MediaFest22 is a unique and inspiring journalism convention experience, bringing together professional journalists, student journalists and college media advisers from every area of journalism, from across the country, to our nation’s capital. Attendees will hear from renowned speakers; benefit from hands-on workshops, general sessions and concurrent breakout sessions; enjoy networking opportunities; soak up everything the exhibit hall has to offer; celebrate during awards presentations, banquets and receptions; unwind during tours of the city and historical sites – and so much more!
Learn about journalism and media trends, new digital tools, emerging technologies and career opportunities. But that’s just the beginning. You’ll also get to delve into topics like tools for investigative journalism and newsroom diversity, as well as covering hot button issues like immigration and healthcare. MediaFest22 will provide a place to network, gain career feedback and explore new opportunities.
MediaFest22 brings together SPJ, the most broad-based professional journalism organization in the country, with ACP and CMA, who have partnered for more than 60 years to host one of the most inspiring student and professional media events.
No matter where you are in your career – an undergrad student journalist, a mid-career journalist or a retiree, MediaFest22 will create the environment for one-on-one connections, inspirational messages from keynote speakers and tools and strategies to take back to your newsroom or classroom.
Keep checking back for more details as events and sessions are added and follow #MediaFest22 on social media for all the latest information. We can’t wait to see you in D.C. this October!
Opening Night Reception
Experience DC from a whole new perspective. With your choice of dining or sightseeing adventures, the nation’s capital has never been more exciting. Upon boarding, you’ll be escorted to your private table by our attentive onboard crew, where you’ll enjoy freshly prepared menu items as you cruise against the city’s outstanding memorials and scenery.
Thank you to the National Basketball Association (NBA) for sponsoring this event.
Please note: While the Opening Night Reception open to all MediaFest22 attendees, we are no longer selling additional tickets for this event. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boarding: 06:00 PM
Cruising: 07:00 PM-10:00 PM
Vessel: Odyssey DC
Departing: Pier 4
580 Water St SW, Washington, DC
Disembarking: Pier 4
580 Water St SW, Washington, DC
- Pauly DenetclawPauly Denetclaw, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, is Haltsooí (Meadow People) born for Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House People).Read more
- Seung Min KimSeung Min Kim is a White House reporter for The Associated Press, specializing in the Biden administration’s relationship with Capitol Hill.Read more
- Juana SummersJuana Summers is a co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” alongside Ailsa Chang, Ari Shapiro and Mary Louise Kelly. She joined the program in June 2022.Read more
- Woodward and Bernstein
In 1973, Woodward and Bernstein were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for their Watergate coverage at The Washington Post, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon and setting new standards for investigative journalism. The pair went on to write two classic best-sellers: All the President’s Men (also a movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman); and The Final Days, chronicling the end of the Nixon presidency. On the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, join legendary reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they discuss the famous investigative story, how they broke it and its lasting impact on journalism.
The Society of Professional Journalists recognizes Jerry Green, Roland Martin, John Quiñones, Clarissa Ward and Bill Whitaker as Fellows of the Society, the highest professional honor awarded by SPJ, for extraordinary contribution to the profession of journalism.
The Fellows will be honored at SPJ’s annual convention Oct. 27-30 in Washington, D.C. SPJ launched the Fellows of the Society program in 1948 and has named three or more Fellows every year since.
Featured precon session
- Precon Presentation
Mobile Tools and More for Your Newsroom
When: Oct. 26, 1:00-4:00 P.M
Learn how to use the best and coolest mobile apps for reporting and editing on the go. Explore useful, free desktop tools in this hands-on workshop. Make sure to bring a laptop and be ready to learn some new tips and tricks. Participants will get handouts with links to tools, examples, training videos, exercises and much more.
Presenter: Mike Reilley, Founder and Editor, JournalistsToolbox.org and Senior Lecturer in Data and Digital journalism, University of Illinois Chicago
Early bird rates (by October 4):
Retired/Post Grad: $180
Non-member student: $180
Regular rates (October 5 – October 26)
Retired/Post Grad: $260
Non-member student: $180.
On site rates:
Retired/Post Grad: $360
Non-member student: $180
Extra President’s Awards Banquet tickets: $90
View our COVID-19 Policy
- The Filmed Blue Line: How to Get Body and Dash Cam Footage in a Post-Floyd EraJoy Ramsingh, Attorney, Ramsingh Legal (@mjoyramsingh) Joy Ramsingh’s national law practice focuses on government transparency issues. Prior to establishing her firm, Joy served as appellate/Amicus Curiae counsel at the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, where she also issued hundreds of binding legal opinions in public records appeals. Above all, Joy loves a good FOIA war story.The power of dash and body cam footage is indisputable — one cellphone video sparked a global movement in police accountability. Obtaining this footage allows you to tell the stories that deserve to be told. This session teaches you how these records requests differ from others and gives you practical tools to handle them. Learn to spot request pitfalls, anticipate common agency responses and master compelling arguments to rebut denials. Understand how to preserve appeal deadlines and how to handle delayed responses. Experience a mock agency/requester negotiation session and leave prepared to get footage you need.
- Talking to Strangers: How to Get the Eager, the Reluctant and Even the Haters to Give a Good InterviewDean Nelson, Director, Journalism Program, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego Dean Nelson is the founder and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, and host of the annual Writer's Symposium By The Sea. His book is Talk To Me: How To Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers, and Interview Anyone Like a Pro (HarperCollins).Interviewing is the single most important way journalists get information. Yet sometimes the perfect interview feels more like luck than skill. But great interviews aren’t the result of serendipity and intuition. They’re the result of careful planning and good journalistic habits. This session will give you the tools you’ll need to get people to talk to you, and to get worthwhile information from them. This is a useful session particularly for younger journalists who feel perhaps too tied to screens for their information, when it is faces and voices that reveal one’s true humanity.
- 25 Ways to Engage and Volunteer in SPJClaire Regan, President-elect, Society of Professional Journalists Claire Regan is an assistant professor at Wagner College in New York City and a contributing writer for the Staten Island Advance. She is past president of the New York City Deadline Club and president-elect of SPJ national. Ms. Regan completed a yearlong fellowship in journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute and received the Charles O’Malley Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.SPJ provides so many opportunities for professional and organizational growth. We need and want you to get the most out of your membership, not in a transactional but transformational way. Learn about the various ways you can engage in the Society to get the biggest bang for your membership buck. Get an overview of the many leadership and volunteer opportunities for you to contribute your talents and skills. Finally, take this opportunity to think about the exact talents, skills and outcomes you want from your future volunteer and engagement experiences.
- FOIA and College Athletics ReportingWesley Wright, Assistant Director of Student Media, Florida Atlantic University and SPJ Florida Board Member Wesley Wright is the Assistant Director of Student Media at Florida Atlantic University and an SPJ Florida board member. He previously reported on education in three states (Florida, Colorado, and Virginia) prior to becoming a student media administrator.Odds are, your sports reporting is too deferential to the institution you cover, and the administrators and coaches want you none the wiser. Learn how and where public records reporting can be beneficial in finding stories within your university’s athletic department, and how that department folds into your college or university more broadly.
- The (Twitter) Balancing Act: Keeping Safe While Seeking Truth and Reporting It
It’s the social media platform at the core of disseminating information — and the platform that has been the most associated with online abuse toward journalists. So, how do you navigate one of journalism’s catch-22 scenarios — seeking truth and reporting it through Twitter while also taking care of yourself? Hear from two local reporters known for their political coverage, and who have used Twitter to engage and inform, on how they navigate it. You’ll leave with details on being a great reporter on Twitter without feeding the trolls.
- Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Santa Monica College Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins is a journalism professor at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, CA and an Emmy Award-winning journalist, PR expert and author. She has worked as a television news anchor and reporter for local FOX, CBS and NBC stations. Ashanti currently serves as the president of SPJ/LA.
- Sarah Wire, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times (@sarahdwire) Sarah D. Wire covers the Justice Department and national security for the L.A. Times with a focus on the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection and domestic extremism. Wire is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner and was part of the Times’ team that won a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News.
- Time Now for the SPJ Story Exchange: Breaking and Enterprise in a Digital Age
The balance between breaking news and enterprise reporting can be, at best, a delicate one for student and professional journalists. Hear from journalists who have done both breaking news and enterprise reporting. If you’re looking for ways to make your stories stronger, then this session is for you. You’ll enjoy the opportunity to hear some great stories, and you’ll return to work ready to seek truth and report it in new ways.
- Elizabeth Smith, Pepperdine University Hi Elizabeth - please fill your bio info right here. Please update the phone number above (I used my SPJ phone #). And, please put your title, Twitter handle, etc. above! Thank you!
- Sarah McCammon, National Correspondent, NPR (@sarahmccammon) Sarah McCammon is a national correspondent for NPR and a frequent guest host of its programs. Her reporting primarily focuses on cultural, social and political divides, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersection of politics and religion. She was also their lead correspondent covering President Trump's 2016 campaign.
- April Bethea, Deputy Education Editor, The Washington Post (@aprilbethea) April Bethea is a deputy education editor at The Washington Post, and previously worked as night local editor and a national homepage editor. Bethea also worked at The Charlotte Observer. She currently serves on the SPJ Foundation board, and served on SPJ boards in Charlotte, DC and multiple national committees.
- Working for You and On Your Side: Consumer InvestigationsCaresse Jackman, National Consumer Investigative Reporter, Investigate TV/Gray Television (@CaresseJ) Caresse Jackman is a National Consumer Investigative Reporter based in Washington D.C. with Gray Television’s Investigate TV. Prior to Investigate TV, she was a Consumer Investigative Reporter at WSMV-TV in Nashville, TN and has reported at WWL-TV in New Orleans, WJRT in Flint, MI and WCBI in Columbus, MS.Everywhere you turn, it appears as though there is a new scam emerging from the shadows. It is why consumer investigations are so important. Whether they’re long-form investigations or a two-minute piece, in this session we will share how you can effectively navigate the consumer investigative world while telling compelling stories that build trust between you and the community and show that you’re truly working hard for them. We’ll also share tips and story ideas that you can take home to your news market.
- Fundraising Basics: Principles & Techniques (Part 1)Ann Fitzgerald, Faculty Member, The Fund Raising School at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Ann Fitzgerald is a faculty member at The Fund Raising School at IU’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She is founder of AC Fitzgerald (www.acfitzgerald.com), a consulting firm offering strategic advice and communications to nonprofits. Ann has a master’s degree in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.Part 1: Expand your nonprofit by developing your fundraising skills! In this hands-on session, learn about the current philanthropic landscape to discover where funds are coming from and where you should look. You will learn to utilize the fundraising cycle and six rights of fundraising to connect and develop your nonprofit’s donor network.
- Shooting a Story With Your Mobile PhoneMike Castellucci, Artist in Residence/Storyteller, Michigan State University (@MikeCastellucci) Mike’s stories are featured around the world. His brand of storytelling just won him the National Edward R. Murrow award in New York City. He has been awarded 29 regional Emmys. And he does it differently. Mike uses only his phone, entirely.“Storytelling” has certainly become a buzz word. There was a time in local news a couple decades ago when there was hardly any storytelling. It was just fires, car wrecks, crime. Since then, it has made a resurgence and the most respected journalists are those who can craft a story. In this session, dissect what makes a good story. Learn what one storyteller has learned by telling stories with his phone for the past eight years and how he does it.
- How to Investigate the Privatization of Public Services
Across the country, federal agencies and state and local governments are accelerating the pace of privatization. From water systems to public schools, virtually every type of public service and asset is being shifted to private control. While some claim the private sector is more efficient than government, outsourcing has often resulted in corruption, cost overruns, service failures, less transparency and greater inequality. In this session, journalists will share tactics from their investigations of privatization in public education, the criminal justice system and economic development.
- Jeremy Mohler, Communications Director, In the Public Interest (@futuredebris) Jeremy Mohler is communications director of In the Public Interest, a national nonprofit research and policy organization that studies public goods and services and advocates for a government that works for all of us.
- Tony Messenger, Metro Columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tony Messenger is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's metro columnist. His first book, "Profit and Punishment: How America Criminalizes the Poor in the Name of Poverty," was published in December 2021.
- Angélica Serrano-Román, State Tax Policy Reporter, Bloomberg Tax Angélica Serrano-Román covers state tax policy for Bloomberg Tax. Before joining Tax, she worked as a reporter and web editor for Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism.
- Jeff Bryant, Advocacy Journalist and Director, Education Opportunity Network Jeff Bryant is an advocacy journalist and director of the Education Opportunity Network, a strategy and messaging center for progressive education policy.
- Small Effort, Big Payoff Video and Audio TricksBrian Champagne, Freelance Journalist, Utah State University (@newschamp) Brian Champagne worked 22 years in television news in four markets, including Chief Photographer at KTXL-TV in Sacramento.Stop making your viewers and listeners’ ears work so hard in your stories. That shotgun mic on your camera isn’t as good as you think it is. Learn some simple basics to make your audio sound great, including the most important technical factor when recording sound, when to use headphones, why you can use headphones as a microphone and what to do when your mic cuts out right before an important interview. Learn how to make a small effort get a big payoff for whatever sounds you’re recording. Your viewers will thank you.
- Freelancer-Editor Meet & Greet: Connecting Freelance Journalists and the Editors Who Hire Them
Finding dependable freelancers and the editors who hire them can be an arduous task for both sides. This session will bridge the gap. Attendees will rotate in small groups to meet face-to-face with national and local editors. Editors will offer tips on how to pitch to their outlet, what stories they’re looking for, mistakes to avoid, who to contact and so much more. Attendees will leave with access to specific pitching guidelines and contacts for more than 450 media outlets and editors. Make sure you bring resumes and business cards to this one!
- Stacie Overton Johnson, Freelance Journalist/TV Producer Stacie Overton Johnson is the vice chair of SPJ’s Freelance Community. She has freelanced for HGTV, E! Entertainment, network news outlets, and more. She was the food editor at The National, a daily in Abu Dhabi from 2013 - 2017. She lives in New York, writing for the show Goodtaste.
- Missy Frederick, Cities Director, Eater Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater, overseeing 25 city sites nationwide. She was promoted to management after spending four years as the editor of Eater DC. She has previously worked as a reporter for The Washington Business Journal, The Washington Examiner, Space News, and The Southampton Press.
- Marjorie Censer, Editor, Defense News Marjorie Censer is the editor of Defense News. She was previously editor of Inside Defense. She also worked as the defense editor at Politico and as a staff writer at the Washington Post, the Carroll County Times, and the Princeton Packet. A Fairfax, Va. native, Censer graduated from Princeton University.
- Building the Next Generation of Community and Investigative Journalists
Community and investigative reporting offer journalism students a remarkable range of opportunities to make an immediate difference in people’s day-to-day lives through their work, but teaching the advanced skills needed to “dive deep” can be challenging. This panel will focus on best practices to overcome the obstacles that many student journalists face in carrying out community and investigative reporting projects, as well as ways to publish, market and brand their work in university-based and professional media outlets.
- Mario Murillo, Vice Dean, Hofstra University Herbert School of Communication (@marioradio99) Mario Murillo is a radio professor and vice dean at Hofstra University's Herbert School of Communication. In his 30-plus years in radio, he has served as a program director, host and producer for WBAI Pacifica Radio and a feature reporter for NPR’s Latino USA, among many other assignments.
- Scott Brinton, Journalism Professor, Hofstra University (@ScottBrinton1) Hofstra journalism professor Scott Brinton edits/advises the Herbert School's award-winning Long Island Advocate, the online multimedia publication for off-campus reporting, and Pulse Magazine, and co-directs the university's Summer High School Journalism Institute. He previously was Herald Community Newspapers executive editor and had reported for The New York Times and Newsday.
- Megan Naftali, News Editor, Hofstra Chronicle (@MeganNaftali) Megan Naftali, a Press Club of Long Island scholarship winner, is an editor for Hofstra's Long Island Advocate and news editor of the Hofstra Chronicle, the student newspaper. She is currently enrolled in Hofstra's dual BA/MA journalism degree.
- Chris Vaccaro, Vice President, Digital News, Altice USA, and Director, Hofstra University Graduate Journalism Program (@ChrisVaccaro) Chris Vaccaro is vice president of Digital News at Altice USA, and director of and an adjunct professor for Hofstra's graduate journalism program. He is also SPJ's Region 1 coordinator, and a board member and past president of the Press Club of Long Island.
- Elections in a time of turmoil: What every journalist needs to know
The midterms are just days away. But this year, more is at stake than control of Congress. Our democracy hangs in the balance. Since 2021, two dozen states enacted laws to suppress the vote or permit interference in elections. More than a third of voters believe the 2020 election was rigged, and droves of experienced poll workers have quit, weary of harassment. Three election experts will offer news you can use on recent changes to state election laws, efforts to help citizens who face problems on election day and the rights of journalists to cover what happens at the polls.
- Jeanette Senecal, Senior Director, Mission Impact for the League of Women Voters Jeanette Senecal is the Senior Director of Mission Impact for the League of Women Voters. For over 20 years, she’s protected voters’ rights, mobilized voters from traditionally underrepresented communities, and supported free, fair, and accessible elections. Jeanette leads the award-winning VOTE411.org website and initiatives such as the Democracy Truth Project.
- Shannon Jankowski, Staff Attorney, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Shannon Jankowski is a staff attorney at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, providing amicus support for journalists and news organizations. She works on matters involving access to courts and records, defamation, anti-SLAPP motions, newsgathering torts, and other First Amendment issues, including reporters’ rights to cover elections.
- Liz Howard, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center’s Democracy Program Liz Howard serves as senior counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. She previously served as the deputy commissioner of elections in Virginia. Howard regularly comments for television, radio, and print media on issues relating to election administration and election security and has testified before Congress and several state legislatures.
- Obstruction of Reporting through PIO Controls and Other Means: Responding to the Controls on Free Speech and Free Press
One of the most damaging threats to free press is the trend over three to four decades in government, businesses and other institutions banning employees and others from speaking to journalists. Sometimes bans are total. Sometimes they prohibit contact without notification of authorities, often through public information offices. They damage our reporting while we tend to think what we get is all there is. What are journalists’ responsibilities to oppose these restrictions? How can we build skills for dealing with blockages and push back on the policy level against the existence of the restrictions on national, state and local levels?
- Haisten Willis, Reporter, Washington Examiner, and Chair, SPJ Freedom of Information Committee Haisten Willis is a reporter for the Washington Examiner and chair of the Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Committee.
- Cinnamon Janzer, Freelance Journalist (@cinnamonjanzer) Cinnamon Janzer is a freelance journalist. She has written for CJR about both the obstruction of reporting through PIOs in the Minneapolis Police Department a year before George Floyd was murdered as well as speech controls placed on CDC employees in the early pandemic days.
- Kathryn Foxhall, Freelance Reporter and Vice Chair, SPJ Freedom of Information Committee (@KathF) Kathryn Foxhall, a reporter of over 40 years, is a point person for opposing gag rules in agencies, businesses, etc., that ban employees and others from speaking to reporters without notifying authorities. Last year she received the Wells Key, the highest honor for an SPJ member, specifically for that work.
- Glen Nowak, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication Glen Nowak, Ph.D., is a Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Previously, he was at the U.S. CDC for 14 years, including six years as the agency’s Director of Media Relations.
- Thinking About the Facts: The Good, the Bad and the UglyChristopher Karadjov, California State University, Long Beach Christopher Karadjov has been a journalist and journalism educator for 30+ years. He has worked in print, broadcast and digital-only publications on two continents in three languages. Karadjov studies journalism practices, media effects and patterns of information flow.Learn how your newsroom can present stronger, more visually appealing content for readers and viewers. In this how-to session you will learn about the changing role of public information officers, given the evolving and dynamic media landscape. Presenters will discuss options to help you connect with experts, find data, graphics, photography and b-roll — all cost-free content to enhance your storytelling. The session also explores how to best approach public information officers who are circumventing your requests and offer tips for building a transparent and resourceful relationship with them. These tips are applicable for reporters covering all beats.
- Lehman College – City Limits Journalism Collaborative
The Bronx is the seventh largest U.S. municipality by population according to the U.S. Census, yet it has minimal coverage of news and politics as a borough of New York City. This urban news desert is ignored by large mainstream media, leaving a vastly underserved population with small grassroots journalism organizations struggling to serve them. The Lehman City Limits Collaborative draws on the lived experiences of journalism students from the Bronx and the credibility and reach of an established online news operation to fill this void. This curriculum-based project prepares and equips new urban journalists to report on their neglected communities.
- Jim Carney, Assistant Professor, Lehman College – City University of New York, (@JimCarney57) Carney teaches Journalism at Lehman College, earned his BA at Fordham and DJ’d at WFUV-FM. At Time Warner Cable, he earned multiple CableAces & Emmys and later led Bronxnet Community TV before joining Lehman. Carney also served as founding Academic Director of the CUNY Online Baccalaureate, Media Communications & Society.
- Daniel Parra, Spanish Language Editor, City Limits (@dparramejia) Daniel Parra, City Limits' Spanish-language editor/reporter, is a seasoned investigative reporter from Colombia. He has worked as a freelancer for more than seven years and has covered war, politics, religion, culture, fashion, and beers. Daniel loves poetry, short stories, and long-form journalism.
- Victor Marinez, Lehman College Journalism Student Victor Marinez is a Journalism Major at Lehman College-CUNY in The Bronx. He is a writer who is obsessed with storytelling, whether that be journalism or fiction. He believes there is no greater feeling than sharing a good story with the world.
- Valeria Martinez, Lehman College Journalism Student Valeria Martinez is a Journalism Major at Lehman College-CUNY, a first generation college student and an immigrant from Mexico. She is passionate about her career in Journalism. Martinez is not only determined, but more than willing to take the extra step to get a story done.
- Tips for Working with Your PIO
Learn how your newsroom can present stronger, more visually appealing content for readers and viewers. In this how-to session you will learn about the changing role of public information officers, given the evolving and dynamic media landscape. Presenters will discuss options to help you connect with experts, find data, graphics, photography and b-roll — all cost-free content to enhance your storytelling. The session also explores how to best approach public information officers who are circumventing your requests and offer tips for building a transparent and resourceful relationship with them. These tips are applicable for reporters covering all beats.
- Sandra Baltazar Martínez, Senior Public Information Officer, University of California, Riverside (@sbaltazarm) Before joining UCR, Sandra’s 18-year career as a bilingual journalist included The Press-Enterprise, The Santa Fe New Mexican, and most recently managing editor for La Prensa (Inland Empire). Among other accolades, she is a Knight Foundation Fellow. Sandra holds a master’s in community journalism from the University of Alabama.
- La Monica Everett-Haynes, Associate Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, San Diego State University (@SDSU) La Monica holds more than 20 years of combined experience as a journalist, communications professional and higher education researcher and scholar. Among other responsibilities, she leads a team that oversees news, marketing, and issues management and crisis communications. She earned a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.
- Freelancing 101: How and When to Hang Out Your Shingle
There’s no “best” time for journalists to give freelancing a try — you can get started as soon as you know how to put a story together. Freelancing can be good for student journalists, recent grads, as a full-time pursuit or a side gig to other ventures, when you’re laid off, or as a step-down to retirement. You just need to know how to get started! This session will show you the basics — how to find work through networking and pitching — and provide business tools you need to begin working as an independent journalist.
- Hazel Becker, Freelance Journalist (@spjhazel) Hazel Becker spent 50 years writing, editing and developing publications for niche audiences. She freelanced before and after 30 years of employment with BNA, a D.C. publishing company now part of Bloomberg. In retirement she volunteers for SPJ and is a founding member and former chair of its Freelance Community.
- Katherine Reynolds Lewis, Independent Journalist (@KatherineLewis) Award-winning science journalist Katherine Reynolds Lewis covers children, social justice, and mental health for the Atlantic, New York Times, and Undark. Her book, The Good News About Bad Behavior, grew from Mother Jones’ most-read story. Founder of the Institute for Independent Journalists, she's former national correspondent for Newhouse and Bloomberg.
- Candace Y.A. Montague, Independent Journalist (@urbanbushwoman9) Candace Y.A. Montague is an award-winning online and print freelance journalist in Washington, DC. She has over 12 years experience covering health, racial and gender equality and social justice issues for several local, trade, and national publications.
- Clayton Gutzmore, Freelance Journalist (@moregutz72) Clayton Gutzmore is a freelance journalist in South Florida. He has bylines in over ten different outlets in his six-year career. Gutzmore is a graduate of Florida International University. He is a 2021 Dori Maynard Diversity Fellow for the Society of Professional Journalists. Gutzmore currently writes for Variety Magazine and Billboard.
- Creating Compelling Visuals for Breaking NewsAlessandra Freitas, Associate Producer, CNN Award winning multimedia journalist currently working as an Associate Producer at CNN. Alessandra has worked at Dow Jones, ProPublica and HuffPost. She started her career as a reporter in Brazil, and has since produced remarkable multimedia reporting, working in the intersectionality of journalism, innovation & technology and business.We are living in a world of on-going crisis that leads to constant major breaking news. As journalists, we’re often in situations where we have little time to analyze data, extract relevant points and transform complicated numbers into digestible visual content that can offer context and add up to the topic in question. Whether you’re working on a quick turn-around live broadcast or a timely digital story, this session will approach how to quickly spot the right numbers and use the right tools to that save time, while also helping you create engaging and informative graphics.
- Telling the Stories of Vulnerable People: A Conversation About Trauma-Informed Journalism
Whether reporting on gun violence, social justice, COVID-19, sexual assault, climate disaster or gender identity, journalists often speak with people or sources experiencing traumatic events. Knowing how to bring sensitivity and earn trust is essential for telling those impactful stories with honesty. Experienced panelists will offer best practices for trauma-informed reporting, including ways to establish and maintain trust, elicit impactful narratives, tell the story with care and respect and maintain story integrity throughout editing. Panelists will also offer resources for reporters to protect their own mental well-being. There will be time for questions and sharing experiences.
- Sandy West, Independent Journalist Sandy West is a former full-time staff writer for local newspapers, business publications and the Associated Press. She is currently an independent journalist writing on health-related issues, juvenile justice, child welfare. She has reported on the AIDS crisis, murder trials, mental health issues, Covid, and political attacks on transgender youth.
- Ann Hinga Klein, Independent Journalist Ann Hinga Klein, an independent journalist, has covered forced migration, gender identity, climate change, homicide and domestic violence. She reported on the pandemic’s devastation in America’s prisons and jails for The New York Times and was part of a team awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
- Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Editor, Indian Country Today Jourdan Bennett-Begaye is the editor of ICT. She is the first woman to be the chief news executive and top editor of the 40-year-old newspaper and website. She is Diné and based in Washington, D.C. She is also a Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) board member.
- Naseem Miller, Senior Health Editor, The Journalist's Resource Naseem Miller is senior health editor at The Journalist's Resource, where she also reports on the intersection of journalism and trauma. She was part of the Orlando Sentinel’s 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist reporting team that covered the Pulse nightclub shooting. In 2017, she co-started the Journalists Covering Trauma Facebook group.
- Write your own FOIA letterNerissa Young, Associate Professor of Instruction, Ohio University (@NerissaYoung1) Nerissa Young has taught or worked in journalism in Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and West Virginia. She is the author of "Mass Communication Law in West Virginia, 2nd Edition." Young has served on SPJ's Watchdog, Ethics and Education committees. She advises the Ohio University SPJ chapter.Attendees at this workshop will walk away with a custom Freedom of Information Act request to the agency of their choice requesting the information of their choice. Bring a device with you, so you can hit “send” and start your search for information at session’s end. This session is great for campus journalists who are stonewalled by administrators. It presents opportunities for investigative and data projects. Anyone who wants to learn to use FOIA is invited.
- How to Get Your Investigative Projects Funded
Learn about grants and fellowships that are available to support investigative journalists — and get tips on how to apply for them successfully. This session will provide concrete resources, leads and tips from both leaders of organizations and journalists who have successfully secured funding from them. Gain specific ideas for funding sources that could support your reporting, concrete tips on how to structure effective proposals for funding and contact information for funders who you can follow up with for help applying for funding.
- Eric Ferrero, Executive Director, Fund for Investigative Journalism (@ericferrero) Eric Ferrero is the Executive Director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, the 53-year-old national organization that provides funding, editorial mentorship and legal help directly to reporters. He has 25 years of experience in nonprofit and philanthropic leadership, working closely with journalists at the local, state and national levels.
- Margaret Engel, Executive Director, Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation Margaret Engel directs the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation, which gives grants to journalists in the name of Alicia Patterson, the founder of Newsday. She was a reporter for the Washington Post, Des Moines Register and Lorain (OH) Journal and was a Nieman fellow at Harvard, studying worker health and law.
- Strength in Numbers: Building Coalitions to Advocate for Press Freedom
Our industry is at a crossroads where journalist access and press freedoms are constantly under attack. This session will show you how to build coalitions between journalism organizations, media unions and First Amendment advocacy groups in your area to help advocate for press freedoms through policy at the state level and beyond. Hear from representatives from the Los Angeles Journalist Coalition who successfully lobbied to get California State Bill 98, legislation that protects journalists from detention or arrest while covering civil unrest, passed into law. Find out how this coalition continues to mobilize when press freedoms are at risk.
- Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Journalism Professor, Santa Monica College Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins is a journalism professor at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, CA and an Emmy Award-winning journalist, PR expert and author. She has worked as a television news anchor and reporter for local FOX, CBS and NBC stations. Ashanti currently serves as the president of SPJ/LA.
- Yvette Cabrera Senior Reporter, Center for Public Integrity Yvette Cabrera is a senior reporter at the Center for Public Integrity covering inequality in economic and social well-being. She reports at the intersection of justice and equity, examining the impact of systemic disparities. She currently serves as vice president/digital for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
- Matt Pearce, Reporter, Los Angeles Times Matt is the president of Media Guild of the West, which represents NewsGuild journalists in Southern California, Arizona and Texas. He is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and a University of Missouri graduate.
- Julie Patel-Liss, Journalism Professor, California State University, Los Angeles Julie Patel is a journalism professor and a national Emmy Award-winning journalist. She previously worked at Fullerton College and before that, the Better Government Association and the Center for Public Integrity, investigative journalism nonprofits. She is currently the president of Asian American Journalists Association's Los Angeles chapter.
- Fundraising Basics: Principles & Techniques (Part 2)Ann Fitzgerald, Faculty Member, The Fund Raising School at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Ann Fitzgerald is a faculty member at The Fund Raising School at IU’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She is founder of AC Fitzgerald (www.acfitzgerald.com), a consulting firm offering strategic advice and communications to nonprofits. Ann has a master’s degree in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.Part 2: Why should a donor give to your organization? It all starts with your mission statement and your case for support. In this interactive session, learn how to increase your fundraising success by developing a strong mission and a compelling and unique case for support. Then discover the tools and techniques to identify and reach the potential donors to support your work.
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