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Home > SPJ Convention > 2007 Highlights

The 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference is now history! Thanks to everyone who attended, spoke, exhibited, performed and volunteered their time — because of you, the event was a roaring success.

If you're an SPJ member but couldn't join us, this collection of streaming audio and Working Press coverage is the next best thing.

Streaming Audio (free to all members)

Members without an online ID, get one here | Non-members, join in!

2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference Recap

Colorado Pro Chapter VP of Programming Noelle Leavitt presents this brief recap of convention highlights, featuring quotes from Helen Thomas, Alicia Shepard and more.

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Watergate: Thirty-five Years Later

Thirty-five years ago, two young Washington Post reporters were assigned to cover a break-in at the Watergate hotel. American journalism has never been the same. Woodward and Bernstein join a discussion of the story that changed their lives, the country, and American journalism. What lessons were learned? How has the profession changed?

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FOIA Update With Sen. John Cornyn

It’s been a tough year for Freedom of Information Act reforms. Co-sponsor Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) will provide perspective on transparency initiatives on Capitol Hill, including the Open Government Act and the federal shield law.

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Young Journalists Forum
Leila Fadel is a 26-year-old reporter covering the top story of the day — the war in Iraq. Join veteran journalist Helen Thomas of the Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau as she talks with Fadel, Baghdad Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers, about being a young, female journalist reporting from the frontlines of the war.

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Deconstructing Virginia Tech

Mass shootings at Virginia Tech University in April, like so many other sudden cases of calamity or death, attracted blanket media coverage. We tried, on deadline, to answer questions about the case in our coverage. But we mustn't forget, after the fact, to examine ethical questions about the coverage. Were we sensitive? Did we rush to judgment? Is it wise to air a shooter's manifesto when a community's pain is so raw? Join us as we review the media's performance in a discussion that will help you sharpen your own ethical thought process.

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From Superman to Subpoenas: Defending A Free Press

A multi-media exploration of the First Amendment and why our jobs have never been tougher — or more important.

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The White House Press Corps: Lap Dogs?

This session features veterans of the Presidential beat who are tired of hearing they’ve sold out journalism for “access.” Learn the day-to-day truth of the matter.

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Bloggers and Journalists: Friends or Foes?

Legal action against bloggers has skyrocketed during the past three years. While some cases have merit, most are lawsuits designed to suppress free speech. Meanwhile, journalists have sought to differentiate themselves from bloggers through self-regulation and legislation. But should they? As new organizations have begun to embrace blogs and user-generated content, the “blogging v. journalism” debate has begun to dissolve, replaced instead by a greater awareness that what threatens bloggers today may well threaten professional journalists tomorrow.

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The True Numbers Behind the National Debt

The U.S. faces unprecedented budget deficits, and our financial condition is much worse than what national leaders or the media acknowledge. U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker, head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), will make sense of the numbers for journalists, discuss the implications of inaction, and present some options for fundamental federal budget policy reform.

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The Road Ahead: A Conversation with Len Downie

The Washington Post has been a leader in investigative reporting, national security, the Middle East, war coverage in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all manner of domestic affairs. Len Downie, executive editor for more than 15 years, will discuss the future of journalism in an era of shifting audiences, evolving technology and tightening budgets. What lies ahead for news and news companies? How can journalists best serve the public in this era of change? What's on the political horizon? Join the wide-ranging conversation with one of the nation's top editors.

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Fairness and Justice for Whom? The Media’s Coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Case

Allegations that three white Duke Lacrosse players had sexually assaulted a black exotic dancer at a party rocked the campus and the Durham community and made headlines across the country. Were the media caught up in the rush to judgment that eventually led to ethics sanctions against the prosecuting attorney and the dismissal of all charges against the three Duke Lacrosse players? Did mainstream media abdicate their responsibilities as authenticators of the facts to bloggers?

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Watching the Watchdogs: Ethical Implications of the Entangled Roles of Journalists in the Scooter Libby Case

The Scooter Libby trial put journalists in the midst of a huge national story: the vice president’s chief of staff on trial for obstruction of justice, the hunt for a leak and working journalists as key witnesses. What are the ethical implications of journalists as central players in a criminal prosecution and scandal? How did their employers handle the dual roles these journalists played as witnesses and journalists? What lessons can we learn from their experiences?

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The Wrong Stuff

Duke Cunningham was a war hero, one of the most powerful members of Congress — one of the most corrupt. The Copley Washington bureau exposed the millions in cash, antiques and other payoffs the California Republican took in trade for lucrative defense contracts. In six months, the congressman was behind bars. The reporting began without leaks or tips. With hunches and tenacity, a small team of reporters exposed the abuse of power and the political climate in which it thrived. They’ll share the reporting secrets that led to the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, and discuss their book, THE WRONG STUFF: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy “Duke” Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught.

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