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.
Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Editor, Indian Country Today Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Diné, is the editor for Indian Country Today and a board member of the Native American Journalists Association. Bennett-Begaye received her master's degree in magazine, newspaper, and online journalism through the Newhouse Minorities Fellowship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.
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!
Leslie Rangel, The News Yogi | Yoga for Journalists @thenewsyogiLeslie Rangel is an award winning journalist, yoga and mental wellness expert. In 2020, Leslie launched The News Yogi | Yoga for Journalists, an online yoga and meditation studio teaching journalists mental wellness tools to cope with the stress and trauma of news.
Do you feel like you’re constantly riding the news hamster wheel with no space for your mental wellness? Join this chair yoga workshop to help protect journalist mental wellness. Participants will begin with accessible intuitive movement, followed by mini discussion on how news impacts the nervous system with an embodiment practice to learn simple yoga and meditation tools to stay regulated in a 24/hour news cycle.
Jennifer LaFleur, Senior Editor, Center for Public Integrity, @j_la28Investigative journalist Jennifer LaFleur is senior editor at the Center for Public Integrity and teaches data journalism at American University. She also serves on the advisory board for the National Center for Disability and Journalism. LaFleur’s disability reporting in St. Louis prompted a federal investigation of the transit system.
Ola Ojewumi, author and activist, @Olas_TruthOla Ojewumi is an author, political commentator and activist, particularly for disability rights. While in college, she founded two nonprofits, including one that assists children awaiting organ transplants. Ojewumi, who's Black and has a disability, says she’s experienced unequal treatment not only by people, “but also by laws and institutions.”
Beth Haller, Ph.D., professor emerita, Towson University, @MediadisdatBeth Haller, Ph.D. is professor emerita in the Department of Mass Communication at Towson University in Maryland and a former print journalist. She is co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Disability and Media and author of Representing Disability in an Ableist World: Essays on Mass Media.
Eric Garcia, Washington correspondent, The Independent, @EricMGarciaEric Garcia is senior Washington correspondent for The Independent and an MSNBC columnist. He’s the author of We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation, a book he calls “a message from autistic people to their parents, friends, teachers, coworkers and doctors showing what life is like on the spectrum.”
Journalists are more focused on diversity, with people of color, women and members of the LGBT community more visible than ever in news reports. But coverage of people with disabilities and the issues that affect them has improved at a slower pace. Well-meaning journalists like to highlight people with disabilities in stories of inspiration and heroics. Fewer seek opportunities to include them as experts on a wide range of topics unrelated to disability issues. This session will explore ways to make disability coverage more inclusive and intentional, and provide resources on appropriate language and avoiding stereotypes.
Greg Patterson - Alpha Kappa Psi / RPIGreg Patterson is an Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity member and the former Vice President of Membership Development. In this role, Greg developed the recruitment and new member education program. He's also a Consultant Resource Development Manager for RPI, a Baltimore-based consulting firm where he works in the finance practice.
Recruiting new members is as much an art as it is a science. In this session, learn best practices and innovative ideas to help college chapters grow their numbers. Attendees will identify strategies they can employ in their local organization to continuously recruit new members and provide valuable chapter programming.
Todd Wallack, Deputy Managing Editor at WBUR Radio in Boston, @twallackTodd Wallack is deputy managing editor of WBUR Radio in Boston. He previously spent eight years as an investigative reporter and data journalist on the Boston Globe's Spotlight team. Wallack is a former Nieman fellow and has won national awards for his articles on public records.
In this fast-paced session, you’ll get tons of ideas for important and often overlooked public records to request from all levels of government. Hear about dozens of examples of stories newsrooms across the country produced using public records. The session is ideal for both beginners and more experienced journalists.