Thursday, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Gio Benitez

Kick off your SPJ convention experience with the engaging and uplifting Gio Benitez. As co-anchor of “Good Morning America Weekend Edition,” he starts each day informing his national audience of timely news, culture, wellness and other useful information to help you live your best life.

Benitez is an award-winning reporter who has covered a wide range of stories for the network, including the Pulse nightclub shooting, El Chapo’s underground escape from a Mexican prison and the Boston Marathon bombing. He has a long history of breaking exclusive investigative stories as part of the series, “GMA Investigates.” Some of these investigations have led to important safety recalls.

In his role as transportation correspondent since 2020, Benitez has covered aviation during the industry’s near-total collapse in the pandemic as well as the onset of America’s private space industry. He has also reported extensively on plane and helicopter crashes across the country, train derailments and the dangerous effects of hot cars on children.

Join us as he shares his professional experiences, career trajectory and key moments which shaped him as a journalist and role model.

Friday, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Lisa Guerrero

Award-winning journalist Lisa Guerrero will share insights from her iconic career as the first Latina sideline reporter for “Monday Night Football” to becoming today’s head investigator for Inside Edition. Guerrero’s career has been full of trials and tribulations as a woman and a Latina in the news business. Her new book, “Warrior: My Path to Being Brave,” chronicles her rollercoaster experience and details the scrutiny and harassment she faced as a woman in the sports news industry.

Guerrero is the chief investigative correspondent for Inside Edition and travels the country covering crimes, scams, cold cases and consumer reports. Her journalism career began in 1997 as a sports anchor in Los Angeles. She then moved to the Fox Network and was the first female host of the San Diego Chargers magazine-style television show and co-hosted “The Best Damn Sports Show Period,” before joining ABC’s “Monday Night Football” as its first Latina sideline reporter. In 2006, she joined Inside Edition where she won the National Headliner Award for Best Investigative Report and been nominated for a Prisim Award and Genesis Award for her investigative reporting work.

Get inspired while learning how to deal with harassment and scrutiny as well as finding your voice in a demanding business.

Saturday, 11:30 a.m-12:45 p.m.

2023 Fellows of the Society

Awarded SPJ’s highest professional honor, for extraordinary contribution to the profession of journalism, these decorated journalists will discuss their outstanding careers and share their hopes for the future of the journalism industry.

Richard Drew is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who has spent the past 53 years on the staff of The Associated Press, covering breaking news, sports and features in 11 countries. He is best known for his photographs of the Robert F. Kennedy assassination in 1968, and for "The Falling Man," an iconic image taken during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that appears on many critics’ lists as one of the five most important photographs of all time.

Drew's work is included in the permanent collections of New York's Museum of Modern Art and the 9/11 Museum, and has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and at London’s Tate Gallery, as part of Sir Elton John’s private collection.

Marvin Kalb has a three-decade long career of award-winning reporting and commentary for CBS and NBC. He was the founding Director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy from 1987 to 1999. He is the Edward R. Murrow Professor (Emeritus) at Harvard. For 27 years, Kalb hosted “The Kalb Report,” a program about media ethics and responsibility at the National Press Club. He is currently senior adviser at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and senior fellow in foreign affairs at the Brookings Institution.

Kalb has served as a chief diplomatic correspondent for CBS and NBC, Moscow bureau chief and host of NBC’s "Meet the Press” from 1981-1987. He has authored or co-authored 16 non-fiction books and two best-selling novels. His most recent book is, “Assignment Russia: Becoming a Foreign Correspondent in the Crucible of the Cold War.”

Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning documentarian and broadcast journalist. She anchors and produces the Hearst TV political magazine program "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien" and is a correspondent for HBO “Real Sports.” O’Brien has created numerous documentary films and is the author of two books, her critically acclaimed memoir “The Next Big Story” and “Latino in America.” Her recent productions include “The Rebellious Life of Rosa Parks” and “Black and Missing.”

O'Brien has previously anchored CNN programs “American Morning” and “Starting Point.” Her work has been recognized with numerous awards including four Emmy awards, two George Foster Peabody Award, three Gracie Awards, two Cine Awards for her work in documentary films and an Alfred I. DuPont Award.

Dana Priest is a reporter for The Washington Post and the John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She covers and teaches intelligence and national security reporting. Priest has won two Pulitzer Prizes for her work uncovering secret CIA interrogation sites and the mistreatment of wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital.

Priest is the author of “Top Secret America,” which details the national security buildup in the United States following the Sept. 11 attacks, and “The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military.” She and students at the University of Maryland also founded Press Uncuffed, a campaign to help free imprisoned journalists.

Lesley Visser is a trailblazing sports journalist on her 30th year at CBS. While at the Boston Globe from 1975-1988, she became the first woman to cover the NFL as a beat. She is the only sportscaster — male or female — to have worked on the network broadcast of The Final Four, The Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, The Triple Crown, The Olympics, the U.S. Open and the World Figure Skating Championship. She was voted the No. 1 Female Sportscaster of All-Time by the National Sportscasters of America and was elected to the Sportswriters Hall of Fame.

Visser is often recognized as the “first” — the first woman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame; the first woman to report from a Super Bowl sideline; the first and only woman to present the Championship Lombardi Trophy at the Super Bowl; the first female sportscaster to carry the Olympic Torch; the first woman on “Monday Night Football;” and the first female analyst in both radio and TV.