Excellence in Journalism 2017 — a joint effort between the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television Digital News Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association — was an incredible success. If you attended, spoke, exhibited, performed, volunteered or followed along online, thank you for being part of the big event.

If you couldn't join us, this collection of recaps, photos, session replays (free to all SPJ members) and student news teams coverage is the next best thing to being there.


Session Replays:
Lester Holt and Jake TapperPressing the President
21st-Century RealityBreakout Sessions

Coverage and More: EIJ NewsStorify Recap
Connect: #EIJ17@spj_tweets@eij_news


Session Replays

Super Session Audio
Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism, featuring Lester Holt and Jake Tapper

Description: Join us for a very special session as RTDNA presents Lester Holt with the prestigious Paul White Award. Holt is an award-winning journalist and anchor of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” the network’s flagship broadcast and one of America’s most-watched evening newscasts. Hear directly from Holt about his remarkable career and the current state of journalism. The Paul White Award is RTDNA’s highest honor and recognizes an individual’s lifetime contributions to broadcast or digital journalism.

In addition, RTDNA presented the John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award to CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper. Tapper currently hosts a one-hour weekday program, The Lead with Jake Tapper, which debuted in March 2013, and has hosted CNN’s Sunday morning show, State of the Union, since 2015. This award is named for the founder and first president of RTDNA and recognizes an individual’s contribution to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Super Session Audio
Work in Progress: Pressing the President

Description: Washington Post Editor Marty Baron may have said it best: "We’re not 'at war,' but we’re 'at work' with the Trump administration." So how's it working? How are journalists in the daily thick of White House and national political coverage able to work in a noticeably more tense and more publicly hostile environment? How are the Trump administration's attacks on the press shaping coverage? Is this truly a unique and unprecedented time for the press, or is the acrimonious relationship between president and press just more amplified? Does the answer matter to the American public?

Moderator: Kyle Pope (@kylepope), editor-in- chief & publisher, Columbia Journalism Review

Speakers: Christina Bellantoni, assistant managing editor for politics, Los Angeles Times; Jeff Pegues (@jeffpeguescbs), Justice and Homeland Security correspondent, CBS News; Jim Acosta (@acosta) senior White House correspondent, CNN; Margaret Talev (@margarettalev), White House reporter, Bloomberg News and president, White House Correspondents Association; Adrian Carrasquillo (@carrasquillo), White House correspondent, BuzzFeed News

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Super Session Audio
21st-Century Reality: Covering Immigrant and Refugee Communities is for Every Journalist

Description: President George W. Bush wanted to pass “comprehensive immigration reform.” Two presidential administrations later, what has changed — and what hasn’t — in the legal, political and news media landscapes? The topic of immigration is so broad and touches so many facets of life in the United States, it’s no wonder having a conversation about immigration and refugee communities isn’t a small task. All journalists, working in every medium and every type of beat, need to understand that just because their job title doesn’t include “immigration” or “refugee,” they won’t cover the topics in some way. Understanding how big and important the topics are is the first step in being a more informed, accurate and compassionate journalist.

Host/Moderator: Maria Hinojosa (@maria_hinojosa), host, NPR's "Latino USA" and president of Futuro Media Group

Speakers: Cindy Carcamo (@thecindycarcamo), immigration reporter, LA Times; Mireya Villareal (@cbsmireya), correspondent, CBS News; Roque Planas (@roqplanas), national reporter, Huffington Post; Mayra Alvarez (@mayraealvarez), president, The Children’s Partnership

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Breakout Session Audio
Geek Out! Latest Gadgets, Apps And Technology

Description: This annual session is where attendees "get their geek on" by sharing information and asking questions about the latest tech innovations and how they can be used by journalists. What will we talk about this year? VR Journalism? Drones? Photogrammetry? Come for an informal, engaging, interactive session where we strip out the formality and chat about all the cool stuff going on in tech and journalism — and why it’s such a fun time to work in it.

Trainer: Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist), digital professor, USC Annenberg/JOVRNALISM

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Breakout Session Audio
Accused: Going For The Long Shot

Description: Investigative podcasts had great success in 2016, with the Cincinnati Enquirer's "Accused: The Unsolved Murder of Elizabeth Andes" helping to lead the pack. This how-to session will walk attendees through examining whether a news story of any type in any medium has the potential to be turned into a serialized podcast and explore some of the lessons learned producing "Accused," which spent more than a week at No. 1 on iTunes' podcast chart

Speakers: Patti Newberry, Area Director, Journalism Program, Miami University; Amber Hunt (@ReporterAmber), investigative reporter, Cincinnati Enquirer

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Breakout Session Audio
Covering Hate: When the KKK and Neo-Nazis are the Story

Description: Who would have ever thought that we’d be covering demonstrations with neo-Nazis chanting “blood and soil” in 2017? In the wake of Charlottesville, U.S. journalists are brushing up on their knowledge of such groups. As journalists, how do we ensure even-handed coverage of clashes between white nationalist and antifa groups? And how does our love of the First Amendment guide us in covering public incidents where hateful speech may be repressed? Where does speech end and violence begin? Experts on this panel will explain the long history of these conflicts in American society, and why it matters today.

Moderator: J. Alex Tarquinio (@alextarquinio), secretary-treasurer, Society of Professional Journalists

Panelists: Ilia Calderón (@iliacalderon), co-anchor of Noticiero Univision Edición Nocturna, Univision; Rachel Glickhouse (@riogringa), partner manager for the Documenting Hate project, ProPublica; Ryan Lenz (@LenzSPLC), senior investigative reporter, Southern Poverty Law Center; Frances Robles (@FrancesRobles), national and foreign correspondent, The New York Times

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Breakout Session Audio
Why You Need A Platform And How To Create One

Description: As the compensation model for working journalists continues to shift from salary and work made for hire agreements, to compensation that's largely based on online metrics, so too must our approach to getting paid. Forget what you think you know about promoting yourself. It's time to platform! The simple fact of the matter is more publishers are demanding that you become a brand unto yourself, and there's no better way to be seen and heard than through the building and proper feeding of your own platform.

Trainers: Mikal Belicove (@belicove), author and journalist; Robyn Davis Sekula (@itsRobynwithay), consultant and writer

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Breakout Session Audio
Trump Nation: Overcome Roadblocks To Information And Effectively Use FOI Laws

Description: Come get an update on tactics used by the Trump administration and state/local governments to thwart journalists from getting information. In addition, get practical tips for overcoming those roadblocks.

Trainers: David Cuillier (@DavidCuillier), director, University of Arizona School of Journalism; Seth Rosenfeld (@SethRosenfeld), investigative reporter

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Breakout Session Audio
Yes, You Can: Investigative Reporting As A Freelancer

Description: Some say it can’t be done; this session proves them wrong. Others don’t know where to start; we'll show the way. We'll dissect stories of experienced investigative journalists to reveal their techniques for gaining access, navigating legal complexities and funding investigative work without the level of newsroom support that comes with a staff position. We'll give ample time for audience questions, which attendees are encouraged to send in advance to eij@nilesmedia.com. It will be relevant for new and experienced journalists and freelancers alike. You may pick up investigative techniques, but PLEASE NOTE: This is not a session about how to conduct investigative reporting. We'll focus on how to do investigative reporting *as* a freelancer.

Trainers: Claire Martin (@clairecmartin), independent journalist and journalism professor; Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold), senior investigative reporter, BuzzFeed News investigations team; Debra Utacia Krol (@Debkrol), independent journalist

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Breakout Session Audio
Surviving the Storm: How to Maintain Your Ethics, Mental Health and Physical Well Being While Covering Natural Disasters

Description: When do you stop being a journalist and help with rescue efforts? What is the line between showing people’s struggles and exploiting their plight? How do you keep focused when your own home and family are being affected by the storm? And how do you ensure your own safety out in the field? These are the questions facing journalists tasked with covering hurricanes, tornadoes and other storms—most recently Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Panelists share their experiences and offer advice on best practices.

Moderator: Rebecca Aguilar (@RebeccaAguilar), freelance TV & multi-platform reporter

Panelists: Nick Valencia (@CNNValencia), general assignment correspondent, CNN; Bernice Kearney (@BKearney), news director, KSAT-TV; Luis Clemens (@LuisClemens), supervising editor, NPR

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Additional coverage [@EIJ_News]


Breakout Session Audio
Reporting In Hostile Times: The Hate Index

Description: The aftermath of the 2016 election raised challenges for journalists on all levels on how to respond. Learn how CUNY J-School’s NYCity News Service quickly created a high-impact digital news project — and pick up some tips for your own ventures. Join the team behind The Hate Index (hateindex.com), a searchable database tracking post-election intolerance, for a wide-ranging session on everything from production to promotion.

Trainers: Jere Hester (@jere_hester) News Director, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; Sandeep Junnarkar (@sandeep_NYC), Interactive Program Director, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

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Breakout Session Audio
"New Voices" Needs You: A Roadmap To Support Student Expressions

Description: Never before has the press been under such scrutiny, and while the professional media are rallying to protect their enterprise, student media are more vulnerable than ever. We'll introduce you to “New Voices” legislation—state bills designed to protect student freedom of expression—and asks you to join in our fight to protect student voices. We’ll show you how legislation has successfully passed and what you can do to support the initiative in your state.

Speakers: Megan Fromm (@megfromm), Educational Initiatives Director, Journalism Education Association; Sarah Nichols (@jeapresident), President, Journalism Education Association; Frank LoMonte (@FrankLoMonte), Director, Joseph L. Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida; Shine Cho, Intern, Student Press Law Center

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Breakout Session Audio
Cybersecurity Literacy For Journalists

Description: This non-technical session will provide journalists with a practical understanding of cybersecurity terminology and deeper perspective for reporting on cybersecurity issues. Topics will include how attacks happen and why, cybersecurity and national security, cyber warfare, the Internet of Things (IOT), and threats to critical infrastructure.

Trainer: Emma Garrison-Alexander (@doctoremma), vice dean, cybersecurity programs, University of Maryland

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Breakout Session Audio
Secrets No More: Inside the LA Times Investigation of Dr. Puliafito

Description: In 2007, the University of Southern California hired Dr. Carmen Puliafito, a renowned eye surgeon educated at Harvard, to attract talent and money as dean of its Keck School of Medicine. In March of 2016, Puliafito resigned his $1.1-million-a-year dean’s post, saying he wanted to explore other opportunities. On July 17, 2017, the Los Angeles Times published the real story of the rise and fall of Dr. Puliafito: The superstar rainmaker led a secret life with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them. In this session, Times journalists discuss the traditional (and less-traditional) records they used to build the story.

Moderator: Danielle McLean, investigative reporter, ThinkProgress

Speakers: Paul Pringle, reporter, Los Angeles Times; Harriet Ryan (@latimesharriet); investigative reporter, Los Angeles Times; Matt Hamilton (@matthjourno), reporter, Los Angeles Times

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Breakout Session Audio
The Power Of x2: Multiplying Your Reach On Social Media

Description: Social media is a significant investment of time and resources for journalists. In this session, come learn specific skills to multiply your efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms, to grow your audience and engagement more quickly. Your trainers are a news manager/executive and a major-market anchor, both of whom are long-time passionate social media students and teachers.

Trainers: Tracy Davidson (@tracydavidson), anchor/reporter, WCAU/NBC Philadelphia; Chip Mahaney (@chipmahaney), News Director, WCPO/Scripps, Cincinnati

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