Enter SPJ 2020

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Welcome to SPJ 2020!

Watch it Again

Special Event

SPJ 2020 Day 1 Welcome and Sponsor Highlight

Tune in for a special message from SPJ President Patricia Gallagher Newberry and SPJ Executive Director John Shertzer. This stream will feed directly into the Fellow Features that follow immediately after.

Fellow Feature

Fellow Feature: Jorge Ramos

Jorge Ramos has been the anchor for 'Noticiero Univision' since 1986. In addition, Ramos hosts 'Al Punto,' Univision's weekly public affairs program, as well as the Facebook Watch program 'Real America.' He also writes a weekly column for more than 40 newspapers in the United States and Latin America distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

During his career, Ramos has won 10 Emmy awards, including an honorary Emmy and a Lifetime Achievement award, is the author of 13 books and bestsellers and has interviewed dozens of influential world leaders. Ramos has been called 'Star newscaster of Hispanic TV' and 'Hispanic TV's No. 1 correspondent and key to a huge voting bloc' by The Wall Street Journal.

Fellow Feature

Fellow Feature: Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill was moderator and managing editor of 'Washington Week' and co-anchor and managing editor of 'PBS NewsHour' until her death in November 2016. During her impressive career, Ifill led numerous public conversations and town halls exploring issues facing the country and moderated presidential and vice-presidential debates.

Ifill was a trailblazer in the industry and among the first African Americans to hold prominent positions in both print and broadcast journalism. After her appointment in 1999 to lead what was then called 'Washington Week in Review,' she became one of the first Black women to preside over a major national political show.

Moderator: Rebecca Aguilar, freelance contributor and SPJ Secretary-Treasurer

- Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor, PBS NewsHour and 2018 SPJ Fellow of the Society inductee
- Michele Norris, opinions contributor and consultant, The Washington Post and 2014 SPJ Fellow of the Society inductee
- Roberto Ifill, search consultant, AGB Search and brother of Gwen Ifill

Super Session

Beyond the Protests: Inclusive Newsrooms / Inclusive Coverage

Black Lives Matters protests across the country reignited a critical conversation in newsrooms: Why hiring goals first imagined in the 1960s have failed to bring needed diversity to news organizations. In this Super Session, our guests lay out the questions and seek the answers about how to create newsrooms that reflect American communities and the American experience.

Moderator: Robert Hernandez, professor of professional practice, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

- Kim Bui, director of audience innovation, Arizona Republic
- Michael M. Santiago, photojournalist, Getty Images
- Arlyssa Becenti, journalist, Navajo Times
- Morgan Givens

Fellow Feature

Fellow Feature: Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and the creator of the landmark 1619 Project. In 2016, Hannah-Jones co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship organization geared toward increasing the numbers of investigative reporters of color.

She has won a Peabody Award, George Polk Award, National Magazine Award and the 2018 John Chancellor distinguished journalism award from Columbia University. In 2017, she received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, known as the Genius Grant, for her work on educational inequality.

Fellow Feature

Fellow Feature: Les Zaitz

Les Zaitz is the editor and publisher of the weekly Malheur Enterprise newspaper, based in Vale, Oregon. His family bought the newspaper in 2015 to rescue it from closure and Zaitz assumed the duties of publisher after retiring in October 2016. Since then, the newspaper has won state, regional and national journalism awards.

Over the course of his career, Zaitz has won state, regional and national journalism awards, including being a two-time Pulitzer finalist and part of a team that won the George Polk Award in 2007. Through his investigative work in Oregon, he exposed corrupt public officials, helped investigate the Rajneesh sect, dug into Mexican drug cartels and led The Oregonian's coverage of the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

Super Session

Pandemic: The Stories We Told. The Stories We Missed. The Stories We Need to Tell Next.

Even as COVID19 remains THE story of 2020, journalists know they captured some angles of this huge international crisis well -- but missed some and still need to cover others. In this Super Session, expert COVID journalists assess the coverage -- past, present and future.

Moderator: Jericka Duncan, national correspondent, CBS News

- Patrice Peck, founder, Coronavirus News for Black Folks
- Steve Riley, executive editor, Houston Chronicle
- Rick Berke, co-founder/executive editor, STAT
- Donald G. McNeil Jr., Science Correspondent, The New York Times

Breakout Session

Words Matter

It is important for journalists to be precise and accurate in the language we use in coverage, particularly on topics such as race, gender and identity. What steps can we take to be precise in language and style choices?

Moderator: Tracy Everbach, professor, University of North Texas and member, SPJ Diversity Committee

- Paula Froke, AP Stylebook editor
- Dorothy Tucker, NABJ president
- Kam Burns, Trans Journalist Association

Breakout Session

How to Fight Back When People Discredit Your Political Coverage

In the partisan world we live in, you know you will likely receive criticisms and accusations about your political coverage. But are you ready to respond? The Trusting News team will explain why you shouldn't ignore claims of bias or 'fake news' and how you can strategically, efficiently and effectively defend your work.

- Joy Mayer, director, TrustingNews.org
- Lynn Walsh assistant director, TrustingNews.org

Breakout Session

Setting Yourself Up for Success as an Independent Journalist

To succeed as a freelancer, you need to develop a name for yourself as a resource to potential clients, as well to colleagues who can refer you for assignments. Learn from successful independent journalists how to forge an identity for yourself as a freelancer. They'll help you figure out how to tell the world who you are, what you do, and how to connect with you; find community and colleagues to replace the newsroom; and build confidence to combat imposter syndrome.

You'll learn about:
- Networking for information, sources, and assignments: Learn from colleagues in SPJ and other journalism organizations, and find work from contacts in the community you report on.
- Hanging out your shingle: Let potential clients know what you can do for them, and make it easy for them to find you.
- Putting your best foot forward: Build a strong persona and spotlight your experience and training.

- Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, resources coordinator, SPJ Freelance Community and author of 'Get Paid to Write! Getting Started as a Freelance Writer'
- Katherine X. Reynolds Lewis, award-winning journalist based in Washington, D.C.
- Damon Brown, business coach and former ASJA board member

Skill Session

Upping Your Election Coverage with Google Tools

Join Deb Halpern Wenger, a 17-year broadcast news veteran and interim dean of the University of Mississippi journalism school, for a practical, surprising session focused on how you can use Google Trends, Advanced Search and Google's verification tools more to add depth to your stories.

Trainer: Deb Halpern Wenger, interim dean/professor, University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

Breakout Session

Don't Bury the Lede: Resume Clinic and Job Search Hacks

Landing in a full-time job is not a rite-of-passage in our highly competitive media environment. College students and recent graduates need to be equipped with extra insights and tools to stand out from the crowd of talented professionals in the job market. This session will combine resume critiques, interviewing hacks and job-search strategies to prepare attendees to succeed out of the gate. Seasoned journalists, newsroom leaders and super interns take participants through exercises that bulk them up for the job fair, elevator pitches and schmoozing at receptions that will win results.

Moderator: Heather Taylor, manager, Digital Media & Programs, Dow Jones News Fund

- Sarah Rabil, assistant managing editor of talent, The Wall Street Journal
- Aaron Kremer, editor and founder, BusinessDen and Richmond BizSense
- Phoebe Gavin, editorial director of growth, Quartz

Breakout Session

Staying Sane in 2020: Journalists' Mental Health

If only deadlines and uncooperative sources were the only causes of journalists' stress. The unprecedented events of 2020 have left many journalists feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious, and fearful as the year continues to deliver the unexpected. All the while, they are being isolated from their loved ones and unable to engage in most stress-relieving activities.

During this session, journalists will learn the importance of tending to their mental health. The primary focus will be on identifying and mitigating the impact of stress, burnout, compassion fatigue and exposure to trauma.

Presenter: Dr. Tammy McCoy-Arballo, Psy.D.

Breakout Session

Weird Science: What Journalists Get Wrong About Scientific Studies... and How to Get it Right

In this one-of-a-kind program, Pyatt digs into the science behind the viral headlines. How can reporters draw more accurate conclusions from scientific studies? When should 'experts say' be viewed with skepticism? And what exactly are predatory journals? In the process, participants will learn about alcohol absorption through the feet, transplanting beavers by airplane and parachute, and whether or not kids are actually scared of hospital clowns. Oh, and climate change.

Presenter: Dr. Rob Pyatt, assistant professor and Research Coordinator, Kean University

Breakout Session

Talking to Strangers: How to Get the Eager, the Reluctant and Even the Haters to Give a Good Interview

Interviewing is the single most important way journalists get information. Yet sometimes the perfect interview feels more like luck than skill. But great interviews aren't the result of serendipity and intuition. They're the result of careful planning and good journalistic habits. This session will give you the tools you'll need to get people to talk to you, and to get worthwhile information from them. Tools for this session are drawn from the speaker's decades of experience as a journalist (freelancer for New York Times and Boston Globe, and magazine staff writer), as well as from his 25 years of hosting the annual Writer's Symposium By The Sea, where he has interviewed the nation's best writers.

Presenter: Dean Nelson, vice chair, Department of Literature, Journalism, Writing, & Languages, Point Loma Nazarene University

Breakout Session

Business Basics for Freelance Success

Working on your own as an entrepreneur, you are now responsible for finding a steady flow of assignments that pay the bills. Established freelance journalists will highlight essential elements of making your own business opportunities, negotiating terms that work for you, and managing your freelance business.

In this session, you'll learn about:
- Finding work: tell publishers and producers what you can do for them and why you're the right person for the job.
- Contracting your way to freelance success: negotiate terms that work for you, and have a clear understanding of each assignment.
- Setting and reaching goals: decide where you're going and then plan a route to get there.

- Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, resources coordinator, SPJ Freelance Community and author of 'Get Paid to Write! Getting Started as a Freelance Writer'
- Katherine X. Reynolds Lewis, award-winning journalist based in Washington, D.C.
- Damon Brown, business coach and former ASJA board member

SPJ Business

SPJ Business Meeting

Hear remarks from SPJ's president and executive director, and watch as SPJ delegates discuss and vote on proposed resolutions to the society's bylaws. Meeting materials will be available at spj.org.

Special Event

SPJ Pub Trivia

Q: What was a big hit at last year''s SPJ conference in San Antonio?
A: The first-annual SPJ Trivia competition.

This year, the author of 'The Biggest Trivia Book Ever' (Applesauce Press) returns with all-new categories, all-new questions and perhaps you as an all-new contestant. Expertise not required to have fun.

Host: Lou Harry, Quill Editor, SPJ

Special Event

Coffee & Conversation: Essential Journalists: How Coronavirus Changed TV News

Television news looks a lot different than it did before the pandemic: multi-million-dollar productions anchored from kitchens, reporters social distancing, and newsrooms deserted. MSNBC producer Marcus Harun will premiere his documentary 'Essential Journalists,' and host a live discussion about how journalism transformed as a result of COVID-19 and the lessons he learned interviewing anchors, multi-media journalists, producers, and news managers around the country.

Breakout Session

Report the Vote: New Resources for Covering Election 2020

This session will explore Report the Vote: Election 2020, a new free, online, nonpartisan resource and news coverage guide for journalists, particularly at the collegiate level, to support reporting on the process of voter registration and election voting in this year's election cycle.

- Gene Policinski, First Amendment senior fellow, Freedom Forum
- Doug Chapin, director of election research, Fors Marsh Group

Breakout Session

Uncover and Enhance Your News Stories with Census Bureau Data

The 2020 Census is coming, and journalists need to be prepared! Come learn how to use Census Bureau data in your reporting with data.census.gov, the new site to access Census data. In this training, you will learn how to access, download, customize and map data from the Census Bureau's most popular surveys and programs. We will also share updates and resources for journalists from the American Community Survey, the premier source of detailed population and housing information for your news stories.

- Tyson Weister, program analyst, US Census Bureau
- Caleb Hopler, survey statistician, US Census Bureau

Skill Session

Face-to-Face with Facebook

This session covers everything journalists need to know to engage their communities, get story ideas and share newsworthy information. The presentation will discuss best practices for Facebook Live, Facebook groups, Instagram and Facebook Stories, Photos, Video and more. It will also introduce new tools to journalists.

Trainer: Lynn Walsh, project coordinator, SPJ Training Program in partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project

Breakout Session

FOI for a Cure: How to Get Health Records and Data

This session will provide practical tips for acquiring health data and records about COVID and other important health matters. It will include examples of useful records to acquire, strategies for overcoming denials, and stories that can help your community.

Presenter: Dave Cuillier, associate professor, University of Arizona School of Journalism and president, National Freedom of Information Coalition

Breakout Session

You Make the Call: Ethics in Your Newsroom

It happens nearly every day. Your newsroom has a decision to make. Do you use the name, do you use the tip, do you cover with a caveat. Join the discussion as we present ethical questions from newsrooms across the country. You'll go back to your newsroom with a better understanding to help you make the right call.

Presenter: Joe Radske, news director, KVRR

Breakout Session

Watchdogging Congress

Two experts -- one a former Congressional staffer and transparency advocate, and the other an investigative journalist -- will demonstrate how to use online resources to track Congress.

- Celia Wexler, journalist, nonfiction author and board member, SPJ D.C. Pro Chapter
- Daniel Schuman, policy director, Demand Progress
- Derek Willis, news applications developer, ProPublica

Skill Session

Mobile and Digital Tools for Your Newsroom and Classroom

Learn about the latest and greatest digital and mobile apps to make your reporting better. Participants get hands-on training, demos, examples and digital handouts to they can take back to their newsrooms and classrooms.

- Mike Reilley, data and digital journalism professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Victor Hernandez, executive editor, Crosscut

Breakout Session

Freelance: Committing Journalism in the Gig Economy

Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, which rely on independent contractors, have brought attention to the issue of employee misclassification. Several states have responded, signing into law bills related to worker classification. While these so-called gig economy laws are designed to protect workers, they could actually hurt freelance journalists. This program will address legislation in California, New York, Minnesota, and elsewhere and brainstorm ways that freelance journalists can respond. The session also will be relevant to editors and news directors who want to continue to use freelancers to add diversity and specialization to their organization's news coverage.

- Stephenie Overman, independent journalist and vice chair, SPJ Freelance Community
- Errol Salamon, senior lecturer in digital media and communication, University of Huddersfield
- Laura Laing, freelance writer and president, American Society of Journalists and Authors
- Susan Valot, freelance radio reporter/producer

Breakout Session

Creating and Maintaining an Inclusive Newsroom

Learn how to analyze common newsroom comments to avoid harassment, discrimination and incivility. You'll identify bias and assumptions, and challenge your thinking. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to navigate common interactions that occur in your newsroom - and beyond. Materials provided by the Power Shift Project.

- Suzanne McBride, chair, communications department, Columbia College Chicago
- Curtis Lawrence, associate professor, Columbia College Chicago

Breakout Session

How Local and National Journalists Can Work Together to Tell the Best Story

Local media outlets around the country face declining revenues, layoffs, and shrinking page counts. Collaborations with national media outlets may help alleviate these problems, but working together doesn't always come easy. Are there ways local and national news outlets can collaborate, instead of compete?

- Jordan Gass-Poore, podcast producer and investigative journalist
- Sarah Baird, Shoeleather
- Mollie Bryant, Big If True
- Katherine Rowlands, Bay City News

Breakout Session

Getting the Story: Foreign Correspondence During the 'New Normal'

With so much focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, other vital stories might get pushed to the side. Seasoned journalists who covered Iran, Iraq, Syria and countless other places prior to the pandemic will discuss why it is important to pay attention to what is going on in the rest of the world, and detail some of the vital issues that should not be ignored. The panelists will discuss how the restrictions on their coverage -- from state-mandated handlers, travel restrictions and now COVID-19 -- has hindered their work, and how they have gotten around those limitations. We will dig deeper with these journalists, learn more about their work, and uncover their forecast for foreign correspondence work going forward.

- Mary Louise Kelly, host, NPR's All Things Considered
- Mike Giglio, national security and intelligence journalist/author of 'Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate'

Special Event

SPJ 2020 Day 2 Welcome and Sponsor Highlight

Tune in for a special message from SPJ President Patricia Gallagher Newberry and SPJ Executive Director John Shertzer. This stream will feed directly into the Fellow Feature that follows immediately after.

Fellow Feature

Fellow Feature: Marty Baron

Marty Baron became executive editor of The Washington Post in 2013. He oversees The Post's print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 80 journalists. Newsrooms under his leadership have won 17 Pulitzer Prizes, including ten at The Washington Post.

He has been honored for his work and leadership by the National Press Foundation, Freedom Forum Institute, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government. In 2012, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from George Washington University, George Mason University and his alma mater, Lehigh University.

Super Session

Covering Politics in a World Where Everything is True and Nothing is True

In a year in which politics were overshadowed by the pandemic and protests, journalists are struggling to figure out how to cover this year's presidential race and other political stories. What is relevant context? What are the best language choices? Which voices matter more than others? In this Super Session, leading political journalists consider the important choices between now and November 3.

Moderator: Kyle Pope, editor-in-chief and publisher, Columbia Journalism Review

- Jessica Huseman, lead journalist, ProPublica Electionland
- Errin Haines, editor-at-large, The 19th
- Jesse Holland, author/journalist, C-SPAN's Washington Journal
- Weijia Jiang, White House correspondent, CBS News

Special Event

Journalism on Screen: Director Julie Taymor talks about 'The Glorias'

Don't Ms. out as film and stage director Julie Taymor ('Across the Universe,' the Broadway blockbuster 'The Lion King') joins film critic Amy Nicholson (LA Weekly, the 'Unspooled' podcast) for a live discussion about her upcoming film, 'The Glorias.'

Co-written by Taymor and playwright Sarah Rule, 'The Glorias' stars Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander and Lulu Wilson all as Gloria Steinem, the women's rights pioneer and co-founder of Ms. magazine.

Special Event

SPJ 2020 Closing Ceremony

We'll announce the results of our elections, honor some of the year's best journalism, and hear remarks from outgoing SPJ President Patricia Gallagher Newberry and incoming SPJ President Matt Hall.

How to participate in each session

1. Using the schedule, click on a session’s title to visit that session’s dedicated page.

2. On that page, you'll find all the details you need — meeting ID, password and link — to access the session on Zoom.

3. Want to plan your schedule early? Click the "Get a head start!" link to add the session to your personal calendar and Zoom account. All access details will also be emailed to you, so you can jump straight into the session from anywhere when it begins.

4. Want to be more spontaneous? Just visit the session’s page when it’s about to begin (or already in progress) and follow the links to jump right in.

5. Miss a live session? Don't worry — all sessions will be archived on their dedicated page so you can watch them later at your leisure.

Support SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund

With your donations, SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund provides vital legal and direct financial assistance to help journalists access the information we need and have a right to know.