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 ReplaysSuper Session Audio
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 networks flagship broadcast and one of Americas most-watched evening newscasts. Hear directly from Holt about his remarkable career and the current state of journalism. The Paul White Award is RTDNAs highest honor and recognizes an individuals 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 CNNs Sunday morning show, State of the Union, since 2015. This award is named for the founder and first president of RTDNA and recognizes an individuals contribution to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.
Description: Washington Post Editor Marty Baron may have said it best: "Were not 'at war,' but were '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
Description: President George W. Bush wanted to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Two presidential administrations later, what has changed and what hasnt 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, its no wonder having a conversation about immigration and refugee communities isnt a small task. All journalists, working in every medium and every type of beat, need to understand that just because their job title doesnt include immigration or refugee, they wont 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 Childrens Partnership
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 its such a fun time to work in it.
Trainer: Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist), digital professor, USC Annenberg/JOVRNALISM
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
Description: Who would have ever thought that wed 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
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.
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.
Description: Some say it cant be done; this session proves them wrong. Others dont 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Description: When do you stop being a journalist and help with rescue efforts? What is the line between showing peoples 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 stormsmost recently Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Panelists share their experiences and offer advice on best practices.
Moderator: Rebecca Aguilar (@RebeccaAguilar), freelance TV & multi-platform reporter
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-Schools 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.
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 legislationstate bills designed to protect student freedom of expressionand asks you to join in our fight to protect student voices. Well 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
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
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 deans 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
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.
Coverage and more
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– Award-winning journalist teaches newbies MMJ survival skills
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– ‘Make journalism great again’: Rebecca Baker takes president post
– Stacie O. Johnson’s Family Home in Path of Irma
– Pressing Issues: Reporting On A Changing Climate