Breakout Sessions and Workshops

There's something for everyone in this year's schedule. Check out a growing list of the breakout sessions we're offering in San Antonio! All sessions are included as part of your conference registration — no additional fees apply.

Please note, however, that sessions designated as a workshop have limited seating and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

More sessions, as well as speaker bios, will be added shortly, so check back in soon!


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News Management
Newsgathering
Digital
Career Development
Sponsored Sessions

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Wednesday: 9 a.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m. 1:30 p.m. 3 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m. 3 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 2 p.m.


Additional training opportunities at EIJ19

ACES: In-Depth Editing Workshop
When: Wednesday, Sept. 4,
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $150 for members of ACES/SPJ/RTDNA/NAHJ, $200 for non-members

Go beyond the basics of grammar and style in this full-day advanced editing workshop. You’ll leave with tools for attacking the structure and focus of a piece and for approaching content destined for multiple platforms. You’ll also discover tricks for editing with elegance and learn to define your role with your writers or clients. You can register for this workshop here.

Speakers: Merrill Perlman, Samantha Enslen

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Merrill Perlman
Merrill Perlman is a freelance editor, consultant, trainer, and coach for writers and editors. Her clients have included Amazon Kindle Singles, Propublica, Rosetta Books, the Poynter Institute and dozens of schools, corporations, news organizations, nonprofits and individuals. She spent 25 years at The New York Times as an editor or manager of editors, and is an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She's also worked in Southern Illinois and Des Moines, Iowa, though she now lives in New York City.

Samantha Enslen
Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial, an agency that provides writing and editing to customers worldwide. She is the former editorial manager for CSC and a former contributing editor to the Editorial Eye. She is also an award-winning writer who has been recognized for her websites, brochures, features and white papers. Sam is the vice president of ACES and the managing editor of Tracking Changes, ACES' quarterly journal.


CNBC Business Producing Workshop
When: Friday, Sept. 6,
10-11:30 a.m.
Cost: Free (admittance by application only)

CNBC is hosting an interactive workshop at EIJ19 designed to teach general news journalists how to quickly identify and present a financial news story for a business audience. By participating in this workshop, you’ll have an opportunity to work directly with experienced CNBC producers to learn the tools of financial journalism. Get additional details and request an application here.

Wednesday, Sept. 4,
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Workshop (Full Day)
IRE: Multi-Platform Watchdog Journalism

Learn how to combine watchdog reporting with innovative digital storytelling to produce stories with high impact. This special full-day Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) workshop features leading journalists from broadcast, print and online newsrooms. You'll leave the workshop better equipped to get the goods you need for stories that make a difference. Plus, you'll discover strategies and tools for producing compelling coverage across all platforms. Sessions include Web and Social Media for Watchdogs; Finding and Getting Public Records; 30 Quick-Turn Stories in 60 Minutes; Turning Data into Online and TV Gold; and the Art of the Watchdog Interview

Speakers: Francisco Vara-Orta (@fvaraorta), Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors; Patti DiVincenzo (@PattiDiVincenzo), Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors

Click for speaker information


Francisco Vara-Orta, Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors;
Francisco Vara-Orta brings 18 years of newsroom experience to his role as an IRE trainer, which he began in February 2019. He has worked for a variety of online and print publications, including Chalkbeat, Education Week, the San Antonio Express-News, Austin Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He earned a master’s degree in investigative/data journalism at the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Patti DiVincenzo, Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors
Patti DiVincenzo has spent more than three decades working in TV stations across the country, from Topeka, Kansas to WSB-TV in Atlanta, where she was an investigative producer and data specialist for 16 years. A long-time member of IRE, she joined the staff as a training director in February 2019. DiVincenzo earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.


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Thursday, Sept. 5,
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Workshop (Full Day)
Better Data for Better Health: A Journalist’s Workshop

Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will organize and present a data workshop to train reporters on new and existing data sets, as well as inform attendee journalists on how they can bring health equity into their reporting. Throughout the workshop, trainers will (1) highlight a selected area of RWJF’s priority work (Equity, Housing, Data); (2) explain how health is connected to social factors and conditions, such as income, housing, employment, education, and environment; and (3) explore solutions, signs of progress, and what’s happening in places where change is taking place. Data sets include: City Health Dashboard, 500 Cities, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHRR), and the Opportunity Atlas. The data workshop will be an open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., giving journalists the opportunity to come and go at will. Monitors will be available, but journalists should bring their laptops.

Speakers: TBA


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 9 a.m.-Noon

Workshop (Half Day)
Building Resilience to Online Violence

The International Women's Media Foundation in partnership with the Knight Foundation will offer an in-depth training workshop for women journalists and digital security experts to assess and respond to the risks that they face online, and to support a culture of resilience and diversity in the news media. Online attacks against journalists, especially women, has become a growth industry that is adversely impacting journalists and their stories. While a number of organizations are working to address this problem, none are focusing on providing services to the community the IWMF is best positioned to serve, women journalists around the world who are targeted online and attacked for doing their jobs because of who they are. The workshop will touch on the development of security assessments and protocols to combat and respond to online attacks and offer individualized technical support for participants. The IWMF is committed to researching the issue of harassment in the industry, to develop and encourage solutions that not only provide support and resources to women journalists, but also seek to address the underlying structures.

Speaker: Elisa Lees Muñoz

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Elisa Lees Muñoz
Elisa Lees Muñoz is the IWMF’s Executive Director. Elisa leads the organization to achieve its mission to support women journalists to develop their careers by providing training, tools and assistance so that they can work as safely as possible. She enhances the IWMF’s brand, and delivers the annual Courage in Journalism and Lifetime Achievement Awards and the Courage in Photojournalism Award. She is charged with growing the IWMF by expanding its programs into new geographies; introducing new initiatives such as Hostile Environments and First Aid Training (HEFAT); partnering with other organizations; and driving communications and outreach to our core constituents. Elisa has been a human rights activist since graduating from the University of Maryland with an MA degree in International Relations. Before joining the IWMF as Director of Programs, Elisa lead the Crimes of War Education Project and before that monitored the human rights of scientists for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and served as an election monitor for the OSCE in the Balkans.


Workshop (Half Day)
Boyd's 10 Exercises to Pump up Your Storytelling Muscles

Each day on the job as a journalist is an opportunity to build storytelling muscles. This session will be loaded with exercises and practical tips to help you reach your goals. Boyd Huppert will share writing and storytelling techniques that have helped him earn 16 national Edward R. Murrow Awards, four Sigma Delta Chi Awards and a National Emmy for feature reporting. Whatever your medium — whatever your deadline — strong storytelling muscles build powerful stories. There's no better time to get started.

Speaker: Boyd Huppert

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Boyd Huppert
During his 35-year career in television news, Boyd Huppert has become widely known for his work as a video storyteller and teacher.

Boyd works as a reporter at KARE TV in Minneapolis. He's also presented more than 200 visual storytelling workshops in the U.S. and abroad — while serving for two decades as a faculty member at the NPPA Advanced Storytelling Workshop.

Boyd's reporting has earned some of journalism's highest honors, including a National Emmy, the Scripps Howard Award, 16 national Murrow awards and four Sigma Delta Chi Awards

Prior to his 1996 arrival at KARE, Boyd worked at WITI-TV in Milwaukee, KETV in Omaha and WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin.


Workshop (Half Day)
Magnum FOI: Access Workshop for Becoming a Data Sleuth

This half-day workshop covers the essentials for becoming an FOI power sleuth — the key elements for mastering the art of access. Based on the fundamentals from “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records” (Cuillier and Davis, second edition due out in July 2019), as well as the latest research and tools, this three-part hands-on workshop engages people for three hours in the following main segments: 1. Cool records/data and how to find them (online resources for identifying records and dozens of examples of data worth dipping into). 2. Art of the ask (learning the law, effective request techniques and online tools to assist, such as iFOIA). 3. Overcoming denials (psychological strategies, effective appeals, and how to go about suing, even on your own). The workshop will allow participants to try the online tools themselves, brainstorm ideas, and leave with a plan for requests to submit when they get back home. Also provides a hefty handout with the tips and resources (60 pages plus). The benefit of this workshop is it pulls together all of the main components of access that are typically either a) crammed into a one-hour session and therefore glossed over or b) tackled in separate bite-sized sessions, lacking the ability to hit the whole process in one sitting. Become a record sleuth, or hone your current skills!

Speaker: David Cuillier

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David Cuillier
David Cuillier, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he teaches access to public records and data journalism. A former journalist, Cuillier served as national SPJ president and FOI Committee chair, and is currently president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. He is co-author of "The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records," and editor of the Journal of Civic Information.


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Got What It Takes to Report for America?

As Report for America enters its second year, now working in 30 states and Puerto Rico, what lessons can be learned from communities where corps members are digging into vital beats and serving underrepresented communities? How are reporters and editors taking leading roles in building trust and telling stories that might otherwise go untold? And how can session attendees get involved in the 2020 class?

Speakers: TBA


Anchor/Producer Leadership Quiz

What sets the strongest newsrooms apart? It’s leadership from anchors, producers, editors, digital producers and other newsroom leaders who do not have the ultimate Head Honcho title. People in these roles have crucial positions in the editorial leadership process decision-making This is an interactive, hands-on session where you will receive and produce information that you can take home and put to use immediately. Find out how your leadership knowledge rates with a quick quiz on specific skills and best practices. You might get the chance to teach the rest of us a thing or two!

Speakers: Jill Geisler (@JillGeisler), Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago; Scott Libin (@smlibin), Senior Fellow, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota

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Jill Geisler, Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago
Jill Geisler is the person newsrooms turn to when they want first-class leadership and healthy cultures. The veteran broadcast journalist holds the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago and is the Freedom Forum Institute’s Fellow in Women’s Leadership, heading its Power Shift Project. Jill is known for the practicality, humanity and humor she brings to her teaching and coaching. She’s the author of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.” Jill was among the country’s first female TV news directors. Her management mantra is “Life’s too short to work with jerks.”

Scott Libin, Senior Fellow, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
Scott Libin is a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He specializes in broadcast and digital journalism, leadership skills and ethical decision-making.

Before joining the university, he served as vice president of news and content at Internet Broadcasting. Scott was news director at WCCO-TV and at KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities, and at WGHP-TV, in Greensboro, N.C. Scott spent seven years on the resident faculty of The Poynter Institute. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for dozens of news organizations and has taught internationally from South Africa to China.


The Metrics are the Message: Find Your True Newsroom Value with These Audience

The way we craft our stories has evolved to serve the metrics that pay our salaries, but journalists and even managers rarely understand the ROI of our work. Knowing the world of visits, users, page views, ratings, share, CTR, TSV, lead gen, and other KPIs and being able to compare that to the costs of production will help you get a raise, get your new reporter hired, get approval for a new type of show, and make the business of journalism work long term. Join this session to finally understand metrics and see how to calculate the return on investment for your journalism. And all the various metrics would be explained, and the scenarios for how newscasts are added, how personnel can be added, and for how news outlets make their money would be explained. Why we create 60-second TV stories; why web stories are around 300 words long; why photo galleries are important for some news outlets and not for others; why we deep tease tomorrow. Brandon M. Mercer is a former television news director who now runs two large-market websites. From his work in television to his work in digital, he's worked to understand and tap into the power of metrics and ROI. Knowing how the product a reporter creates translates into revenue for a company, he's armed with powerful data that can improve the bottom line for any news organization and that can help individuals understand how their success impacts the business of journalism.

Speakers: TBA

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Brandon M. Mercer
Brandon M. Mercer is a digital and television content innovator whose career includes six years managing digital for a diverse group of media outlets, five years as a television news director, and a lifetime passion for connecting with the audience in memorable ways.


Don't Lose Touch. Hiring Staff That Reflects Your Community

How diverse is your newsroom? What steps do you take as a News Director or in other hiring management roles to ensure your staff reflects the community you serve? What impact does diversity in your staff have on your organizations ability to effectively identify and cover the issues that are important to your audience? Newsrooms need diverse voices, people who come from various backgrounds and employees who bring a myriad of experiences to our organizations, in order to fully and honestly cover the communities we serve. Without it, we run the risk of overlooking issues that can have an impact on our viewers, readers and social media followers. We run the risk of being out of touch with our audience. When you have an opening on your team, whether it's on-air, behind-the-scenes or in key leadership roles, what can you do to deepen the pool of potential candidates from which you recruit?

Speakers: Rebecca Aguilar, Bernice Kearney, Ken Molestina, Julie Dreixler, Andrea Valdez

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Rebecca Aguilar
Rebecca Aguilar is a freelance reporter, the founder of Latinas in Journalism and the SPJ Diversity chair. She's a former board member with NAHJ. Rebecca has worked at seven television stations and has been recognized with 50 awards and nominations for her journalism work, including several Emmy awards. Her investigation into mail carriers who were registered sex offenders forced the federal government to create new employment policies. She also helped shut down a Texas foster home placement center after three children were murdered in three different homes. She currently lives in Dallas, Texas.

Bernice Kearney
Bernice Kearney is the News Director for KSAT12, the Graham Media Group station in San Antonio. For 30 years, Kearney has worked in television news, collaborating with journalists to bring the stories of South Texas to life — on TV, online and on mobile devices. Kearney is a proud graduate of St. Mary's University, and has called San Antonio home since 1985. After working for nearly 5 years as a producer at KENS-TV, she joined the KSAT12 News team as a producer in 1993. Kearney worked her way up through the newsroom as an Executive Producer and Assistant News Director, before taking on the role of News Director in 2013. Kearney lives in San Antonio with her husband and their two pets, Zoila the Wonder Dog and Verdell the Wonder Cat.

Ken Molestina
Ken Molestina is an anchor and reporter at CBS 11 in Dallas. Prior to joining CBS 11 News, Ken was a reporter for WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. and a news anchor and reporter at KVIA-TV in El Paso, where he focused on crime and public safety reporting. Ken won an Emmy Award for his work exposing underground sewer tunnels in El Paso, which were being used by undocumented immigrants and human smugglers to break into the U.S. He was nominated for another Emmy Award for his reporting on the Barrio Azteca gang, a dangerous transnational border gang that primarily operates along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Ken is also the recipient of a 1st place award from the Texas Associated Press in the “Breaking News” category.

Andrea Valdez
Andrea Valdez is the editor of WIRED.com. Before coming to WIRED in 2017, she worked at Texas Monthly for 10 years, first as a fact checker, then as a columnist, and, ultimately, as the editor of texasmonthly.com. She is the author of How to Be a Texan: The Manual. Valdez received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University. Her corporeal being resides in San Francisco, but her spirit sometimes drifts back to the Lone Star State.

Julie Dreixler
Julie Dreixler is the Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer for Graham Media Group. In her role, she oversees all aspects of recruiting, training, employee relations, compensation and benefits for GMG. She works closely with GMG management in creating HR strategy to identify, grow and develop GMG employees. She has held this position since March 2014. Dreixler is active in the Chicago community with Girl Scouts USA and Human Resources Management Association of Chicago. She serves as Vice Chair on the Board for Envision Unlimited, a nonprofit human service provider for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, Dreixler serves on the Emma Bowen Foundation Board as well as the Augustana College Alumni Board. She earned her B.A. in Public Administration, Political Science and German from Augustana College in Illinois and an M.S. in Industrial Relations from Loyola University of Chicago.


Climate Matters: Fitting a Planet-Sized Story Into Your Newsroom

News directors and managers have to make sure a wide variety of stories are covered by an ever-shrinking number of reporters. While staff size is shrinking, and competition for space in traditional media can be challenging, demand for content on digital platforms is growing. This skills session will provide tools and strategies that help directors and managers work with their staff to tell local climate stories that speak to their audience's health, wallets, businesses, food, and free time. Learn about resources to bring climate change into many stories, saving your staff time and effort. Get up-to-date findings on what the public wants to hear about climate change and what journalists (including RTDNA and NAHJ members) say about the challenges of local climate reporting. Resources that share localized data and graphics suitable for all media - broadcast, print, digital, and social - will be presented.

Speakers: TBA


COLD: How to Make an Investigative Story Into a Hot Podcast

COLD started in a newsroom but it was quickly clear it was too expansive to be told in a 35 second radio wrap, a 2 minute TV package or even a series of stories. The decision was made to try something KSL Newsradio had never tried before: long-form journalism in a podcast. Cold was born. Investigative Journalist (and host) Dave Cawley and Sheryl Worsley (his former News Director) share with you how this all started, the investigative process and the things which worked and the things which did not work. COLD launched at #1 on the iTunes chart and has significant following.

Speakers: TBA


5 Ways to Love Your Work (And Your Newsroom)

Sponsored by The Kneeland Project

Newsrooms are notorious for being... well, politely,... not great places to work. And journalism is hard—demanding long hours against long odds in often foreboding places. Still, we are called to this work and it is so important. There are ways you can make a difference in creating better working conditions for yourself and your newsroom colleagues. From the guy who brought you "No more a**h*les in the newsroom," newsroom coach Kevin Benz shares 5 simple answers to "why should I go to work today?," both inspirational and pragmatic. For news managers and those who make the magic happen everyday; you might not learn to "love" your newsroom, but you might at least enjoy your work a little more.

Speaker: Kevin Benz

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Kevin Benz
As a newsroom coach and journalism consultant, Kevin works inside newsrooms across the country teaching ethical, entrepreneurial journalism and newsroom culture. He has reached thousands of journalists with his inspiring and practical ideas for how to do the job smarter. Kevin is a former news photographer, "recovering" news director and served as Chair of RTDNA.


Field Producing DJ Style

As most local stations are using MMJs, we want to share valuable training and offer up best practices for field producing as a video journalist. What camera techniques work best when you are in a competitive environment working solo? How can you ensure that you are capturing the major points of a story, while gathering footage and sound? Experienced network news DJs explain how they gather editorial, video and sound, without missing the most critical elements in the field.

Speakers: TBA


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 3-4 p.m.

Minority Media: Building Alliances and Surviving the Future

Minority media in the United States has had a long and storied history, beginning with African American newspapers that served underreported communities across America to newspapers that have sprung up address issues of concern to immigrant communities. These newspapers, say journalists, do more than report the news, they approach journalism as a public service. Audiences turn to these papers for news on what is happening in their communities and for analysis on issues such as health care, immigration and civil rights. They give their audience a voice. This panel will look at the challenges facing minority media across the country as the industry itself continues to change. Panelists will also address how mainstream and minority meeting can work together to enhance coverage of minority communities and issues.

Speakers: TBA


Minimizing Harm: Social Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide

This interactive session will teach the audience best practices for covering the public-health issue of suicide and individual deaths in a way that conforms to the SPJ ethics code and mental health guidelines so coverage will not contribute to suicide contagion. It will include guidance for writing proactive pieces about mental health, resilience and recovery for communities affected by suicide.

Speakers: TBA


Building Sources to Land Scoops

How do veteran journalists break news? Oftentimes, they rely on excellent sources. Learn how veteran journalists find the best sources, develop a mutual trust and then maintain those sources after the story airs. Your competitors may share your source, so how do you get them to come to you first? What should you do if your source hates your story?

Speakers: TBA


More to the Story: How 15 Local TV Newsrooms Covered Solutions to Community Problems

How many stories do you cover every week that are just plain depressing? Long-term community problems are obviously newsworthy but there is often more to the story that doesn't get told — namely, what’s working to fix the problem. Come hear how 15 local TV stations have covered complex, ongoing stories in their communities using a solutions framework that avoids fluff, advocacy or PR, and learn how to apply the lessons they’ve learned in your newsroom.

Speakers: Carolyn Robinson, Deborah Potter

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Carolyn Robinson
Carolyn Robinson is a television journalist, media development program director, and educator. Carolyn began her career with CNN Medical News in Atlanta before relocating to Asia and the Middle East, first as a senior news producer in Hong Kong, and then in East Timor, where she ran the local TV station for the United Nations. Carolyn was the Internews Program Director in post-revolution Libya, overseeing media projects in Tripoli and Benghazi. She has received several awards and fellowships for her work, including the 2019 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship, and has trained journalists in almost two dozen countries around the world.

Deborah Potter
Deborah Potter is an experienced journalism trainer and reporter who spent 16 years on air at CBS and CNN. She leads workshops for journalists around the world and is co-author of Advancing the Story: Quality Journalism in a Digital World, now in its fourth edition. For almost 20 years, Deborah was executive director of NewsLab, the journalism site she founded in 1998. It is now affiliated with the University of Mississippi. Deborah is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a master’s degree from American University.


Aim High: Getting to the Top Job in the Newsroom

Do you want to be a News Director, or Editor-in-Chief or whatever the top job is in your newsroom? This is a must-attend session for you. There's a HUGE difference between #2 and #1, and this session will give you a better understanding of what's in store when you get your first opportunity. Our teaching team will outline strategies for winning that top job and then succeeding in it. We'll discuss: establishing a personal leadership style, setting your priorities, working with your boss, building a management team. Bring your questions; we'll answer those too!

Speaker: Chip Mahaney

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Chip Mahaney
Chip Mahaney's 35 years in journalism have included adventures in local, network, and corporate; news, weather and sports; as well as leadership and technology. He has served on RTDNA's board of directors for more than a decade, and he has produced and hosted dozens of training sessions over the past two decades.


Advancing Investigative Journalism by Investing in J-Schools

Last year, in a move to advance high-quality enterprise journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation invested $6 million to create two centers for investigative journalism — one at Arizona State University and the University of Maryland. Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., meanwhile, launches an independent investigative journalism center this fall 2019, thanks to a gift from alum Michael I. Arnolt. In this session, leaders from Scripps and universities with new centers explain their genesis, outline their goals and explain what their initiatives mean for journalism higher ed.

Speakers: TBA


Turning Data Into TV and Online Gold

Sponsored by the Knight Foundation

Discover ways to use data effectively in storytelling — on the air and online. Digital tools such as data visualizations can boost viewership and audience engagement online. Plus, as people explore your data and key findings, they may find new leads for you to explore. This session will cover tools and techniques to get you started.

Speakers: Francisco Vara-Orta (@fvaraorta), Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors; Patti DiVincenzo (@PattiDiVincenzo), Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors

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Francisco Vara-Orta, Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors;
Francisco Vara-Orta brings 18 years of newsroom experience to his role as an IRE trainer, which he began in February 2019. He has worked for a variety of online and print publications, including Chalkbeat, Education Week, the San Antonio Express-News, Austin Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He earned a master’s degree in investigative/data journalism at the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Patti DiVincenzo, Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors
Patti DiVincenzo has spent more than three decades working in TV stations across the country, from Topeka, Kansas to WSB-TV in Atlanta, where she was an investigative producer and data specialist for 16 years. A long-time member of IRE, she joined the staff as a training director in February 2019. DiVincenzo earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 9-10 a.m.

280 Character News: Staying Ethical When News Breaks on Twitter

A panel discussion about reporting on Twitter through case studies focusing on how Twitter was at the center of journalism. This discussion will also focus on ways to conduct meaningful, ethical engagement on the social network and to help restore trust between journalists and the audience.

Speakers: Ashley Lopez (@AshLopezRadio), Senior Reporter, KUT Public Radio, Austin; Lauren McGaughy (@LMcGaughy), State Capitol Reporter, Dallas Morning News; Natalie Moore (@nemoore91), Engagement Editor, Community Impact Newspaper; Brandi Smith (@BrandiKHOU), Anchor, KHOU-TV Houston; Alex Veeneman (@alex_veeneman), Freelance journalist

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Ashley Lopez, Senior Reporter, KUT Public Radio, Austin
Ashley Lopez covers politics and health care, and is part of the NPR-Kaiser Health News reporting collaborative. Previously she worked as a reporter at public radio stations in Louisville, Ky.; Miami and Fort Myers, Fla., where she won a National Edward R. Murrow Award. Ashley was also part of NPR’s Political Reporting Partnership during the 2016 presidential election.

Lauren McGaughy, State Capitol Reporter, Dallas Morning News
Lauren McGaughy is a Texas politics and policy reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She also has previously covered the state Capitol for The Houston Chronicle as well as the statehouse in Louisiana for The Times-Picayune. McGaughy’s focus areas include education policy, state and federal courts, criminal justice and LGBTQ rights issues.

Natalie Moore, Engagement Editor, Community Impact Newspaper
Natalie is the Engagement Editor of Community Impact Newspaper. She oversees the social media and newsletter strategy for over 30 hyperlocal monthly newspapers in Texas, Arizona and Tennessee. Her role also involves teaching the newsroom staff critical digital tools to help improve their storytelling.

Previously, Natalie worked in audience development at Texas Monthly.

Natalie is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. She grew up in Atlanta, but got to Texas as fast as she could.

Brandi Smith, Anchor, KHOU-TV Houston
Brandi Smith serves as the social media anchor for KHOU 11’s revolutionary morning newscast, HTownRush. The role is a natural one since, when she’s not on air, you’ll still find her scanning Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for story ideas and conversations. Old enough to remember when Facebook was considered a “distraction” that was blocked on newsroom computers, she’s now a champion of using social media to engage in a dialogue with viewers.

Alex Veeneman, Freelance journalist
Alex Veeneman is a freelance journalist based in Chicago and a member of the Ethics and Awards Committees of the Society of Professional Journalists. His work has been seen in publications including Kettle Magazine of London, Forbes and the digital publications of Twin Cities PBS.


Getting Grants to Fund Your Next Investigation

Cutbacks in newsrooms across America mean more journalists are pursuing careers as independent freelancers, who not only pitch stories to editors but must often finance their reporting out of their own pockets. There is money out there, and we will help you discover the organizations that have it. Nonprofit, independent newsrooms are also on the lookout for freelancers with compelling investigative story pitches. Because journalists of color and women have long been underrepresented in the field of investigative journalism, some philanthropic nonprofits have sought to encourage more minorities and women to apply for grants, not only to increase their ranks in the field but also to promote reporting on issues important to communities of color. This workshop assembles the experts and resources to help independent journalists, especially those new to the world of freelancing and grants, to find money for reporting expenses, secure letters of commitment from publishers and draft pitches to land reporting grants. We'll focus on the elements of a successful pitch, how to draft a budget and how to grab the attention of editors and grant givers.

Speakers: Ana Arana, Director of Operations, Fund for Investigative Journalism; Jin Ding, Communications and Inclusion Manager, Pulitzer Center; Jenni Monet, journalist; Samantha McCann, VP of Journalist Practice Change, Solutions Journalism; Johnny Magdaleno, freelance journalist

Click for speaker information


Ana Arana, Director of Operations, Fund for Investigative Journalism
Arana is an award-winning veteran investigative journalist and media trainer with experience covering international organized crime. A former U.S. foreign correspondent who reported from Central America and Colombia for CBS News and The Miami Herald, Arana has worked most recently as a freelance journalist and editor. She has received several awards for outstanding journalism, including a team award from the Online News Association, a Third Coast Audio Festival Silver Award, a Peabody and two Overseas Press Club awards, among others.

Jin Ding, Communications and Inclusion Manager, Pulitzer Center
Jin Ding is the Communications and Inclusion Manager of the Pulitzer Center. She joined the Pulitzer Center team in 2014 with focuses on marketing, diversity outreach, and impact research. Jin co-directs Asian American Journalists Association's Women & Non-Binary Voices affiliate group. She's also a founding member of Chinese Storytellers, a collective empowers Chinese non-fiction content creators.

Jenni Monet, journalist
Jenni Monet is an award-winning journalist who writes about Indigenous rights and injustice for such publications as The LA Times, The Guardian, the Center for Investigative Reporting, PBS NewsHour, Al Jazeera, and others. She is currently investigating the extreme rate at which Native Americans experience violence in the United States.

Samantha McCann, VP of Journalist Practice Change, Solutions Journalism
Samantha McCann has worked with the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) since 2013. As Vice President of Journalist Practice Change, she directs SJN's online presence, public events, as well as supporting the growth of solutions journalism efforts around the world. Previously, she worked in environmental and fiscal policy research at Seattle University.

Johnny Magdaleno, freelance journalist
Johnny Magdaleno is a freelance journalist. His work has been published by Reuters, Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Newsweek, NPR, VICE News, Univision Noticias, the Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News & World Report, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and others.


Al's Cool Tools

Learn the tools that will save you time and make you a newsroom hero. Learn to use your phone to produce terrific graphics, produce 3D images and slideshows. Capture documents as flawless PDFs and learn to build interactive photos, videos and before and after sliders. This is a practical, fast moving and fun session. Bring your phone.

Speakers: TBA


Staying Safe in Streets: Lessons from a First Responder Turned Journalist

Conditions have changed. Safety and security concerns are no longer just for journalists working in war zones. This session is conducted by an expert in field journalism operations safety and security. You will learn about topics including situational awareness, violence towards media, gender based violence, psychological trauma and self care, pre-planning and mitigation, safety equipment, complementary training and logistics for working in the field in difficult conditions. This session focuses on coverage of domestic events, natural disasters and civil unrest. This session is appropriate for field crews, newsroom managers and senior supervisory staff who would like to learn about implementing safety and security practices into their news gathering operations.

Speaker:Chris Post

Click for speaker information


Chris Post
Chris Post is a former emergency responder turned journalist. With over 20 years of frontline emergency experience under his belt, Chris has taken those same basic skills that kept him safe for many years and now teaches them to field crews and advocates for safety training for all journalists. Chris is a Hostile Environment First Aid Training instructor. When Chris is not teaching he works as a photojournalist for WFMZ-TV 69News in Allentown, Pa.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 9-11:30 a.m.

Google Flourish Graphics and Data Scraping with Google Sheets

Attend this dual topic session on scrapping data from websites using Google Sheets, then how to visualize data with charts and maps in the free Google Flourish tool. Participants should bring a laptop with Google Chrome on it to the session and set up a free account at Flourish.Studio prior to the session. You also will need a Gmail account to access you Google Drive for the session.

Speaker: Mike Reilley (@journtoolbox)

Click for speaker information


Mike Reilley
Mike is an SPJ digital trainer who has taught Google News Initiative tools to more than 5,150 journalists and educators in the past three years. He is a faculty member in data journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago. A former reporter at the LA Times and web editor at the Chicago Tribune, Mike served for 14 years as a faculty member at Northwestern, Arizona State University and DePaul University. He holds journalism degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (undergrad) and Northwestern University (masters). Mike founded and updates the research site The Journalist’s Toolbox (journaliststoolbox.org) for SPJ.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

How We Built This: Public Radio's Texas News Hub

NPR and the public radio stations of Texas are constructing the prototype "regional news hub." It's the first step in a systemwide collaborative project to create a nationwide virtual public radio newsroom of 1,000-plus journalists. The panelists will dig into the key steps of building a collaboration that now includes two daily hourlong statewide programs, six daily statewide newscasts and a statewide digital news desk. They'll cover the keys to building any collaboration: management alignment, finances, technology, collaborative journalism and, perhaps most important, building trust.

Speakers: Bruce Auster, Senior Director, Collaborative Journalism Network; Rick Holter, Vice President/News, KERA; Joyce Slocum, President and CEO of Texas Public Radio; Rhonda Fanning (@RhondaFanning), Senior Managing Producer, Texas Standard; Laurie Johnson (@LJohnsonNews887), Executive Producer for News, Houston Public Media

Click for speaker information


Bruce Auster, Senior Director, Collaborative Journalism Network.
Bruce Auster is at the center of an effort to transform the public radio system and establish a new way for NPR and the newsrooms of hundreds of NPR Member Stations to work together. He led NPR's National Security unit from 2008 to 2015, directing coverage of international security issues. Before that, he was the Senior Supervising Editor of NPR's Morning Edition and before joining NPR, Auster spent sixteen years as a reporter and editor at U.S. News & World Report. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Rick Holter, Vice President/News, KERA
Rick oversees news coverage on radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News won 30 awards last year. In 2017, the station won its first-ever national Edward R. Murrow Award for a video in its series One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life. KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebolacoverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor. Previously, he edited the NPR shows Weekend All Things Considered and Day to Day, and supervised the Digital News operation and spent 15 years at The Dallas Morning News. A graduate of the University of Maryland.

Joyce Slocum, President and CEO, Texas Public Radio
Since joining in 2014, TPR has enhanced news coverage through training, hiring a full-time News Director and dedicated reporting beats. TPR has had record-setting pledge drives and listeners are at an all-time high. Previously, she was NPR's Chief Administrative Officer and served as Interim President and CEO in 2011. Prior to NPR, Slocum was Executive Vice President, Global Legal and Business Affairs, and General Counsel for HIT Entertainment, bringing together HIT, Comcast, Sesame Workshop, and PBS to launch the Sprout channel, now in over 55 million homes.

Rhonda Fanning, Senior Managing Producer, Texas Standard
Rhonda joined Texas Standard in late 2013 as the show’s inaugural associate producer. An Iowa native, Rhonda got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her master’s degree in library science at Florida State University. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio. The team relies on Rhonda’s encyclopedic mind and extensive Rolodex to book the perfect guest for any occasion.

Laurie Johnson, Executive Producer for News, Houston Public Media
Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been heard on CNN, the BBC, MSNBC and other news outlets. Laurie has been recognized for her work in public affairs and government reporting, and in 2012 was named the Radio Journalist of the Year in Texas by the Houston Press Club. She is a graduate of the University of Houston.


Covering Extremism in the Age of Trump

Extremist ideology represents a growing threat in America, and newsrooms across the country must make complicated and serious coverage decisions every day. The Atlantic strives to tell the stories of hate groups and the beliefs that fuel them not just by covering events as they happen, but by delving deep to explore the roots of hatred in American life. Join Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic, as he discusses how to cover white supremacy, ideological extremism, and hatred in all its forms, with journalists Swati Sharma, Alexis Madrigal, and Brian Jimenez.

Speakers: TBA

Click for speaker information


Jeffrey Goldberg
Jeffrey Goldberg became editor in chief of The Atlantic in October 2016, after nearly a decade covering politics and foreign policy as a national correspondent. He has led The Atlantic’s newsroom through the largest expansion of its more than 160-year history, overseeing launches of Ideas, Family, and Books sections; staff growth that includes a doubling of the politics team and the creation of a national security team; and the establishment of a podcast platform. Goldberg is a National Magazine Award recipient for reporting, and has authored 11 cover stories for the magazine among hundreds of other articles.

Swati Sharma
Swati Sharma is a managing editor at The Atlantic. She previously worked at The Washington Post, where she served as the foreign and national security digital editor and the deputy general assignments editor, and the Boston Globe, where she was an online editor covering nightlife and hyperlocal news.

Brian Jimenez
Brian Jimenez is the video production manager at The Atlantic. He was previously a production technician and a supervisor for U.S. and Canada distribution at National Geographic. He got his start in journalism at WORA TV, a Univision-affiliated television station in Puerto Rico, where he served as an editor, photojournalist, and technical director. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón and a master’s degree in legislative affairs from the George Washington University.

Alexis Madrigal
Alexis Madrigal is a staff writer at The Atlantic and is based in Oakland, California. He was previously the editor-in-chief of Fusion and and a staff writer at Wired. He's a visiting scholar at the Information School at UC Berkeley and author of the book “Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology.”


Don't Be a Reporter. Be a Storyteller.

Are you a reporter? Do you report? Mike and Boyd want you to stop being a reporter and become a storyteller. Mike does that using only his iPhone. Boyd does that with a photojournalist. What are the differences, how do you tell stories with a teammate and how do you tell stories with a phone? We will dive in to how to create a compelling, engaging and emotional 3 minutes of television using innovative technology and a pencil.

Speakers: Mike Castellucci, Boyd Huppert

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Mike Castellucci
Mike Castellucci has found that Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean something will be widely accepted. Innovation can be looked at as brilliant and ground breaking, or it can just as easily be perceived as a fad.

It isn’t common to proclaim broadcast firsts these days, but that definition applies to the half hour specials called Phoning it in. To our knowledge, no one in this country has broadcast 4 half hour shows shot entirely with an iPhone.

In this latest special, Phoning it in tackles the perception of shooting with a phone and what it means to an industry. Filmmakers have embraced the technology, television stations have not, although that is slowly changing. Could “phonography” be the future of TV making?

One thing is certain. Technology changes, storytelling never will.

The goal in Phoning it in is to highlight the wonders of the human condition. Mike has learned that telling stories with his phone makes his one day relationship with the unique characters he finds that much more intimate.

Some say his work is disrupting an industry. Mike is finding out that being known as a pioneer in phonography can be good...and bad.

Boyd Huppert
During his 35-year career in television news, Boyd Huppert has become widely known for his work as a video storyteller and teacher.

Boyd works as a reporter at KARE TV in Minneapolis. He's also presented more than 200 visual storytelling workshops in the U.S. and abroad — while serving for two decades as a faculty member at the NPPA Advanced Storytelling Workshop.

Boyd's reporting has earned some of journalism's highest honors, including a National Emmy, the Scripps Howard Award, 16 national Murrow awards and four Sigma Delta Chi Awards

Prior to his 1996 arrival at KARE, Boyd worked at WITI-TV in Milwaukee, KETV in Omaha and WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Communications for Social Change

With the shift in philanthropy towards adopting a more public-facing style of civic leadership, there is a need for the reporting and writing expertise of journalists to help philanthropic and non-profit organizations advance their public policy priorities. From climate change to education to gun violence prevention, journalists craft stories that help move the needle on some of the most pressing issues of our time. This panel will explore how you can use your journalistic skills and mindset to transition from mission-driven journalism to mission-driven communications, in order to promote social change.

Speakers: Theola DeBose, Kayce Ataiyero, Kristen Mack

Click for speaker information


Theola DeBose
Theola DeBose is the Founder of Life After Journalism, a talent solution startup for the common good that trains journalists to change careers so they can find and match to companies aiming for greater transparency and better storytelling. She recognized the opportunity for companies and organizations to power up their work by embracing journalistic values after making her own career change. She spent more than a decade as a reporter for The Washington Post, where she reported on the Haiti earthquake while five months pregnant, the Iraq war, local news, and she was a frequent contributor to NPR’s News & Notes. She made a pivot from journalism to serve as a senior communications leader in DC public education, and in the administration of President Obama as an appointee at the federal government’s culture agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY to parents from Haiti, she lives in DC and serves on the Steering Committee of Haitian Ladies Network. She is a current member of the spring 2019 cohort of BFF Labs, an accelerator for Black female founders with tech and tech-enabled startups.

Kayce Ataiyero
Kayce manages communications strategy, content development and public engagement for the Joyce Foundation.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2018, she served as Director of External Affairs for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she led communications and community engagement. She has also led communications for U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly, the Illinois Governor’s Office and the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. A former journalist, Kayce was a staff writer for a number of national newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A native of Washington, D.C., she received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Kristen Mack
Kristen manages communications for a portfolio of programs, including the Chicago Commitment and 100&Change.

Prior to joining MacArthur, Kristen served as Director of Corporate Communications at the global public relations agency Golin and as Director of Media Relations for the Cook County Health & Hospitals System. Kristen was also Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Earlier in her career, Kristen was a reporter and writer for the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and Houston Chronicle.

Kristen received her bachelor of arts from Emory University and her master’s in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.


Oh crap, laid off

You lost your media job for reasons that have nothing to do with you. But how to persuade a new employer of that? What should your resume look like? Can journalism experience land you jobs related to journalism? What skills can you quickly acquire to up your odds? What about freelancing till something better comes along? Get answers, ask questions, and leave with practical plans.

Speakers: Michael Koretzky; Christiana Lilly

Click for speaker information


Michael Koretzky
Expelled from Boca Raton Academy (1981) and the University of Florida (1989). Fired from the South Florida Sun Sentinel (1997) and Florida Atlantic University (2010). Started and sold two magazines, one to the Tribune Company (1991), the other to the one-armed heir to the Listerine fortune (1999). Copyedited and designed for the trashy supermarket tabloids Globe, Star, Examiner, and National Enquirer (2002-2009). Not exactly a distinguished journalism career, but he's come to terms with it.

Christiana Lilly
Christiana Lilly is past president of SPJ Florida and web editor at Boca magazine. She spent three years as a full-time freelance journalist after unexpectedly losing her job, and continues to do contract work with various magazines. Her work has been published in Newsweek, Fusion, Fox News, Fort Lauderdale magazine, The Miami Herald’s Indulge magazine, South Florida Gay News and more.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 3-4 p.m.

Managing Newsroom Stress and Trauma

Poynter Senior Faculty Al Tompkins and his wife, Rev. Sidney Tompkins combine his decades of news experience and her lifetime work in psychotherapy to help journalists understand how to manage the stress that surrounds newsrooms daily. You will see how it is not just the overwhelming news events but the culmination of repeated exposure to sad, tragic and sometimes graphic news events that weighs on journalists. We will show you how photojournalists, producers and younger journalists may be paying the highest price and how news managers can spot stressors developing. This is a practical, sometimes emotional and vitally important session for journalists at every level.

Speakers: TBA


Finding Allies in Your Public Records Fight — for Free!

This training session provides practical resources for journalists in getting free help from legal experts when denied public records, focusing on three areas: FOI ombudsman offices, state FOI coalitions, and the emerging First Amendment law clinics. Universities throughout the country are creating law clinics to sue on behalf of journalists for free. Many journalists can't afford legal help in suing for public records, especially freelancers (a large percentage of SPJ members) and independent online news publishers. Even reporters at small news organizations will find this helpful, especially as their owners become less inclined to take agencies to court.

Speaker: David Cuillier

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David Cuillier
David Cuillier, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he teaches access to public records and data journalism. A former journalist, Cuillier served as national SPJ president and FOI Committee chair, and is currently president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. He is co-author of "The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records," and editor of the Journal of Civic Information.


Innovation in Action: Lessons from the Knight-Cronkite News Lab

Sponsored by the Knight Foundation

For the past year, the Knight-Cronkite News Lab has been conducting experiments, collaborating with tech partners, and creating case studies for local TV newsrooms seeking to re-invent themselves for the digital age and a new generation of news consumers. Join us for a live update featuring senior researcher Andrew Heyward and professor of practice Frank Mungeam, along with local news executives who will share challenges, experiences and lessons learned. We'll leave plenty of time to hear your stories too!

Speakers: TBA


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 9-10 a.m.

Say This, Not That. Writing Ethically and Inclusively

Are you cisgendered? A survivor? Latinx? Did someone "die by suicide"? Was there an "officer-involved shooting"? More than ever, advocates, activists and experts are insisting that journalists adopt certain terms and abandon others. Whose call should it be, and how can such decisions be made most ethically? This session will examine how to be independent, informed and accountable in choosing how to describe people and the things that happen to them.

Speakers: TBA


Excessive Bail: Covering Court Reform

Courts in every state are confronting the impact the traditional money bail system has had on communities. Sparked by revelations about the inequitable fees system in Ferguson, Mo., reporters across the country have covered these revolutionary changes in criminal justice, along with the court fines and fees that may keep populations in poverty. As states, counties and cities implement comprehensive changes to pretrial justice practices, reporters explain what's at stake and the many moving parts, including risk-assessment algorithms that are increasingly a part of judicial decision-making on pretrial release. Panelists will describe their coverage and strategies to explore issues that affect civil rights, poverty, and public safety. The topic yields many reporting possibilities, including technology and process innovation, public private partnerships, court funding, community activism, and statehouse coverage. Reporters covering business, technology, criminal justice, courts, features and politics could all get story ideas from this session. Also discussed will be the data available regarding pretrial detention practices and through indigent defense commissions, and data tools that assist in reporting on the issue.

Speakers: Jolie McCullough (@jsmccullou), reporter, Texas Tribune; Josh Brodesky (@joshbrodesky), editorial writer and columnist, San Antonio Express-News; Tim Eigo (@azatty), editor, Arizona Attorney

Click for speaker information


Tim Eigo, editor, Arizona Attorney
Tim Eigo is the editor of Arizona Attorney Magazine, an award-winning monthly publication. He has reported and written on criminal justice issues, including sentencing reform, overincarceration and pretrial release. Prior to that he edited and wrote at various publications, including the Orange County (Calif.) Business Journal, and practiced law in California. He’s also President of SPJ’s Valley of the Sun Pro Chapter.

Jolie McCullough, reporter, Texas Tribune
Jolie McCullough is the criminal justice reporter at The Texas Tribune, covering statewide policy on policing, prisons and courts. She's covered bail fights in federal courts and at the Texas Legislature, including the ways in which county litigation affects the rest of the state and how reform efforts at the Capitol are often engulfed in politics.

Josh Brodesky, editorial writer and columnist, San Antonio Express-News
Josh Brodesky joined the San Antonio Express-News in 2012 as an editorial writer and columnist. He is the principal author of the Express-News’ ongoing “Unequal Justice” series, which has examined inherent inequalities in the criminal justice system. His work has spurred several reforms, including representation for defendants at bail hearings. Prior to joining the Express-News, he was a reporter at the Arizona Republic and metro columnist at the Arizona Daily Star. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 9-11:30 a.m.

Workshop (Half Day)
Using Google Earth and Google Earth Pro to Tell Stories

Attend this hands-on workshop to learn about Google Earth Pro can help you pull archived satellite imagery, create graphics and video tours to tell breaking news stories. Participants should bring a laptop with a Google Chrome browser and install Google Earth Pro for free prior to the session. The download link is at the bottom of this page and your IT department can help you move it through your firewall: https://www.google.com/earth/versions/

Speaker: Mike Reilley (@journtoolbox)

Click for speaker information


Mike Reilley
Mike is an SPJ digital trainer who has taught Google News Initiative tools to more than 5,150 journalists and educators in the past three years. He is a faculty member in data journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago. A former reporter at the LA Times and web editor at the Chicago Tribune, Mike served for 14 years as a faculty member at Northwestern, Arizona State University and DePaul University. He holds journalism degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (undergrad) and Northwestern University (masters). Mike founded and updates the research site The Journalist’s Toolbox (journaliststoolbox.org) for SPJ.


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Unleash and Focus Your Inner Broadcaster

Finding your voice for radio, television or even podcasting isn't always easy. In this session, you'll learn techniques to deliver copy in a clear, conversational manner and more effectively communicate with your audience. You'll also learn how to stay focused and “in the moment” with every story you read. We'll have scripts to help you unleash your inner broadcaster. NOTE: While this session is great way for existing and aspiring broadcasters to develop stronger vocal ability, it's also a great way for newsroom managers to learn new techniques for coaching their own staffs.

Speakers: George Bodarky, News and Public Affairs Director, WFUV FM; Naomi Starobin, Radio General Manager, WHYY

Click for speaker information


George Bodarky, News and Public Affairs Director, WFUV FM
George Bodarky is the news and public affairs director at WFUV FM, an NPR affiliate station, based on the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University in the Bronx. George is a past president and current board member of Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and a past president and current board member of the New York State Associated Press Association. He also serves on the executive council of the Deadline Club. George is an award-winning journalist who trains undergraduate and graduate students at Fordham University in multiplatform journalism. George is also an adjunct professor at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He is widely known for his vocal coaching and journalism training. Over the years his students have won countless awards and have secured employment as anchors, reporters, writers and producers in commercial and public television and radio outlets across the nation.Prior to working at WFUV, George spent many years as an anchor, reporter and news manager in commercial radio and television.

Naomi Starobin, Radio General Manager, WHYY
Naomi Starobin is the Radio General Manager at WHYY, Philadelphia’s public radio and TV station. She decides when shows air, improving the quality of everything the audience hears, training hosts and reporters, and creating new shows.Naomi teaches audio reporting and production and does voice coaching at Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. She was founding managing editor for Keystone Crossroads, a Pennsylvania statewide reporting project on urban issues. That included hosting the Keystone Crossroads podcast, “Grapple.” Before that she was the news director at WSHU Public Radio in Connecticut, and a factchecker at Consumer Reports magazine. In her former life she was an environmental scientist at consulting engineering companies and (favorite job ever!) was a ranger at several national parks. She has a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and has been on board of PRNDI, Public Radio News Directors, Inc.


Innovation Meets Preparation: How to Succeed in Tomorrow's Newsroom

OTT, ATSC 3.0, 5G...they’re all having significant impact on broadcast and other media industries. View new research into how local news organizations leveraging these technologies and others to innovate. Learn what are the skill sets that journalists need to succeed in a world where the distribution platforms are continually changing the way we do business.

Speakers: Debora Wenger; Ellen Crooke; Chip Mahaney; Dr. Rocky Dailey


New Facebook Tools Your Newsroom Needs

This session covers everything journalists need to know to engage their communities, get story ideas and share newsworthy information. The presentation will discuss best practices for Facebook Live, Facebook groups, Instagram and Facebook Stories, Photos, Video and more. It will also introduce new tools to journalists, including Author Tagging.

Speaker: Lynn Walsh

Click for speaker information


Lynn Walsh
Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism for more than 10 years. Currently, she is a freelance journalist and the Assistant Director for the Trusting News project, where she works to help rebuild trust between journalists and the public by working with newsrooms to be more transparent about how they do their jobs.

She is a past national president for the Society of Professional Journalists. During her term, she spoke out against threats to the First Amendment while working to protect and defend journalists and journalism. She also serves the journalism organization as a member of SPJ’s FOI committee and is the current Ethics Chair. Lynn was also selected to represent SPJ on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee where she worked to recommend changes to help improve the national FOIA process.


Serving All People: Combating Bias When Covering Race and Religion

Sponsored by The Kneeland Project

New research shows that minority communities not only do not see their reality portrayed on the news, but many believe the stereotypes and inequality to be overt and planned. Bias is ingrained in all of us. Our implicit, unconscious bias leads to errors in how we as journalists perceive truth, remember events and, most importantly, make decisions about people. In short, bias limits our truth-telling. When we recognize and mitigate our bias, we become curious about the emotional experience of others; we go beyond what we, ourselves, perceive and instead go on a path to discover how others perceive their own "truth." This of course leads us to more accurate, diverse, enlightening stories. Using real examples and interactive personal exercises, this program will teach all journalists how to identify unconscious cultural bias and hidden agendas and help them connect with people on a deeper, more truthful level.

Speakers: Kevin Benz, Sara Fahim

Click for speaker information


Kevin Benz
As a newsroom coach and journalism consultant, Kevin works inside newsrooms across the country teaching ethical, entrepreneurial journalism and newsroom culture. He has reached thousands of journalists with his inspiring and practical ideas for how to do the job smarter. Kevin is a former news photographer, "recovering" news director and served as Chair of RTDNA.

Sara Fahim
Sara is an independent strategic planner, researcher and ideas consultant. Over the past several years she has studied how people of color experience the news. Her understanding of implicit bias and the use of empathy helps her develop training on meaningful and impactful coverage choices for journalists. Born to multi-cultural parents and fluent in Arabic, her company, Run With Wolves, advises brands across the globe and across industries.


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 2-5 p.m.

Workshop (Half Day)
Master the Lead: Writing to Capture Attention and Trust

"Hail of bullets" - "Pool of Blood" - "Man launches campaign" - All popular phrases, but big no-no's for the newsroom at KFI-AM in Los Angeles, America's most listened to news/talk station. Join KFI's News Director, Chris Little, as he deconstructs lazy and overused writing styles in favor of a conversational approach. His award-winning news team has :32 to tell a story with audio, and they manage to include all the important information. Little has developed a style guide with a long list of banned words and phrases that he says helps his reporters speak to the audience like they're having a conversation with their grandmother. If a reporter files a line like, "The blaze ripped through numerous structures causing people to evacuate as law enforcement tracked down the male arsonist," they'd get a scathing email and have to refile something like, "Flames tore through the neighborhood forcing people to leave their homes while cops tracked down the man who started the fire." If you want to learn to write conversationally for radio or television, this is the session for you. Walk away with a new appreciation for the reasons why the best broadcast writers avoid trite, hackneyed writing and cliches.

Speaker: Chris Little

Click for speaker information


Chris Little
Chris Little has been in broadcasting for 40 years. In 1979, Little began his career in music radio and then went on to television news. In 1991, he became a reporter at KFI AM-640 in Los Angeles, and by 2000, Little was named news director. Little has helped build one of the most respected radio newsrooms in America. His leadership and out-of-the-box management style has contributed to KFI’s position as the most listened-to talk radio station in the United States. Little also has the distinction of the longest serving news director, ever, in Los Angeles Radio.


Workshop (Half Day)
Mobile and Desktop Tools for Data Viz, Fact-Checking and Digital Workflow

Trainers Mike Reilley and Victor Hernandez return to EIJ to share the latest and greatest mobile and desktop tools to create data viz, handle digital workflow and fact-check information. The hands-on workshop is fast-paced, so bring a fully charged laptop, smartphone and a double espresso. You'll leave with some cool projects, digital handouts and other resources you can take back to your newsroom or classroom.

Speakers: Mike Reilley (@journtoolbox); Victor Hernandez, (@ToTheVictor), Executive Editor, Cascade Public Media

Click for speaker information


Mike Reilley
Mike is an SPJ digital trainer who has taught Google News Initiative tools to more than 5,150 journalists and educators in the past three years. He is a faculty member in data journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago. A former reporter at the LA Times and web editor at the Chicago Tribune, Mike served for 14 years as a faculty member at Northwestern, Arizona State University and DePaul University. He holds journalism degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (undergrad) and Northwestern University (masters). Mike founded and updates the research site The Journalist’s Toolbox (journaliststoolbox.org) for SPJ.

Victor Hernandez, Executive Editor, Cascade Public Media
Victor Hernandez is the executive editor at Crosscut and KCTS 9. He is an award-winning newsroom leader and strategist with a passion for managing teams, developing and refining content strategies and growing audiences. He has previously worked at CNN, NBC, University of Missouri School of Journalism and technology startup Banjo.

He currently serves on the national board of directors for the Society of Professional Journalists and is a member of the Online News Association and National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He is a frequent speaker and trainer at national and international journalism conferences and serves as visiting faculty at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.


Workshop (Half Day)
Why Newsrooms Lose Trust and How to Get It Back

At Trusting News, we take audience misassumptions, questions and feedback and turn them into strategies for journalists. Stop thinking of distrust in journalism as an unsolvable, big-picture problem. Instead, find concrete ways everyone in your organization can work to demonstrate credibility and *earn* trust every day. In this workshop: You'll hear what we've learned about the most common causes of mistrust. (Some of them will feel all too familiar, and some may surprise you.); You'll see dozens of examples of what our partner newsrooms have done to address these problems, and you're guaranteed to be exposed to ideas you could put into practice right away. Our focus is on day-to-day solutions any journalist can employ; You'll throw your own challenges with trust and credibility at us, and together we'll map out plans to address them directly. You'll leave the workshop feeling more optimistic about your relationship with your community. You'll be ready to empower your colleagues (in every department, at every level) to take ownership over the problem of trust.

Speaker: Lynn Walsh

Click for speaker information


Lynn Walsh
Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism for more than 10 years. Currently, she is a freelance journalist and the Assistant Director for the Trusting News project, where she works to help rebuild trust between journalists and the public by working with newsrooms to be more transparent about how they do their jobs.

She is a past national president for the Society of Professional Journalists. During her term, she spoke out against threats to the First Amendment while working to protect and defend journalists and journalism. She also serves the journalism organization as a member of SPJ’s FOI committee and is the current Ethics Chair. Lynn was also selected to represent SPJ on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee where she worked to recommend changes to help improve the national FOIA process.


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