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Breakout Block M

  • Obstruction of Reporting through PIO Controls and Other Means: Responding to the Controls on Free Speech and Free Press
    • 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.
    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?
  • Creating Compelling Visuals for Breaking News
    Alessandra 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.
    Creating Compelling Visuals for Breaking News
    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.
  • Strength in Numbers: Building Coalitions to Advocate for Press Freedom
    • 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.
    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.
  • Threats to Journalists in Mexico and Why It Matters
    • Dan Kubiske Dan Kubiske is the co-chair of the SPJ International Community. He is a freelance journalist who has worked in Mexico, Jamaica, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Honduras. He is also an active member of the Washington, DC, Professional SPJ, currently serving as its treasurer.
    • Katherine Corcoran Former Associated Press journalist and bureau chief who worked in Mexico and Latin America for nine years. She is the author of the upcoming book In the Mouth of the Wolf: A Murder, a Coverup and the True Cost of Silencing the Press.
    • Cristina Caicedo Smit She covers crime, a particularly risky beat for journalists in Mexico. She produced two animated reports on threats to Mexican journalists for Voice of America Press Freedom website. She is a graduate of the Universidad del Norte Barranquilla in Colombia, and worked for Telemundo before joining Voice of America
    • Vicente Calderon He is a well-respected journalist in Tijuana who founded Tijuana Press, an independent news site https://tijuanapress.com/. He has worked with major US news organizations -- at great risk to himself -- to tell the story of violence against society in Mexico
    Threats to Journalists in Mexico and Why It Matters
    Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. Brave media workers in Mexico have pushed forward despite threats to their lives and families. As in the United States, when local journalism fails, government corruption and malfeasance increases and the very structure of a democratic society collapses, along with press freedom. The panelists will explore how the threats from government and criminal elements are weakening the Mexican democracy and how that failure can affect the safety of journalists everywhere.