SPJ 2020 Journalism Conference • Sept. 12-13, 2020



2020: Virtual


October 11th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Students Struggle in Journalism Due to DACA Status

Undocumented student journalists are faced with obstacles that limit their ability to gain real-world experience.  Even when they have DACA, deferred action, they are faced with travel restrictions that limits career opportunities. EIJ news talked with a student, recent graduate and a professor about life as a undocumented student journalist.


September 17th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Breakdown: Journalist analyzes award-winning news story for students

Journalism students struggle to create video packages when they first begin producing stories. They often focus on the technical aspects of using editing software or shooting video instead of the storytelling. Veteran broadcast journalists know there are key elements to a package, like natural sounds and creative camera angles, that help a package resonate with the audience.


September 15th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
C-SPAN’s Jesse J. Holland: Commentators are journalists, too

Jesse J. Holland, Saturday host for the C-SPAN Washington Journal, wants young journalists to understand important distinctions within the field of journalism and to be educated consumers of media. Holland explained to EIJ News that multiple categories of work exist under the umbrella of journalism: including reporters, commentators and columnists.


September 15th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Pandemic: The Stories We Told. The Stories We Missed. The Stories We Need to Tell Next.  

In this #SPJ2020 Super Session Panel, expert journalists assessed the stories that many media outlets may have missed throughout the past few months, and why these stories need to be told. The coronavirus pandemic remains the top story of seemingly every news outlet across the country, even after months of coverage.


September 15th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Nelson Offers Journalists Tips to Nail That Next Interview

Dean Nelson’s Society of Professional Journalists convention panel, “Talking to Strangers: How to Get the Eager, the Reluctant and Even the Haters to Give a Good Interview,” shared insightful tips on how to conduct a successful interview —  the single most important aspect of journalism.


September 14th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
New SPJ President Matt Hall’s Priority: Implementing the Organization’s Strategic Plan

The closing ceremony of any event is sure to be an emotional, yet gratifying moment and the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) version was no exception. Election results were announced, journalism work was honored and there were remarks from outgoing SPJ President Patricia Gallagher Newberry and incoming President Matthew Hall.


September 14th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
#SPJ2020 Panelists Show Off the Latest Digital Tools, Mobile Apps

Society of Professional Journalists attendees viewed the latest and greatest digital and mobile apps to help journalists work smarter and better during “Mobile and Digital Tools for Your Newsroom and Classroom,” with panelists Mike Reilley, a data and digital journalism professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Victor Hernandez, executive editor of Crosscut.


September 14th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
#SPJ2020: The Importance of Inclusive Newsroom and Inclusive Coverage

As Black Lives Matter protests continue to bring light to the racial injustice in our country, newsrooms across the United States are also facing their own reckoning on a major component of media: diversity. Morgan Givens, a freelance audio producer and host of the “Flyest Fables” podcast, states that diversity in our country is often overlooked because white is seen as the perspective of what is normal.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
SPJ Fellow Gwen Ifill: The Heart of Journalism

To Robert Ifill, his younger sister was more than just a journalist breaking barriers and making history as the first African-American woman to host a national political talk show. She was, as he considered, the “star” of the family. “When we were younger, she was always referred to as `Robert’s little sister,’” Ifill recalled.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Spotlight: The Post’s Marty Baron Honored

  Liev Schrieber nailed his depiction of Marty Baron in Spotlight (2015): an exterior gruffness that brings out his cantankerous nature and high-standard expectations.  But Schrieber missed one thing. “What it didn’t capture is that there’s an awful lot of humanity and loyalty–and I would never say softness because he would kill me,” said Tracy Grant, managing editor for staff development and standards. 


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Freelance journalists face barriers in gig economy

Barriers against freelance journalists continues to be a challenge. Susan Valot and Errol Salamon discuss the importance of wording around protecting journalists instead of hurting them.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Director Julie Taymor Shares Her Creative Process in ‘The Glorias’

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off” -Gloria Steinem Julie Taymor, the director of “The Glorias,” discussed the process of creating the film and what takeaways it offers for women and journalists with film critic Amy Nicholson during remarks at the Society of Professional Journalists conference Sept.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Session Discusses Importance of Keeping Tabs on Congress

A former Congressional staffer and an investigative journalist demonstrate how to use online resources to track Congress.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Univision’s Ramos accepts SPJ’s highest honor — but warns journalists of ongoing responsibilities

Univision News host and Society of Professional Journalists Fellow Jorge Ramos accepted the organization’s highest professional honor Sept. 12 with advice and cautions to his fellow journalists. A journalist’s credibility and accuracy are especially important with the current climate of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter protests, and the upcoming election, Ramos stated.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Staying sane in 2020

Staying Sane in 2020 was a breakout session that sought to teach journalists the importance of mental health at this year’s SPJ conference. Dr. Tammy McCoy-Arballo led a discussion on the impacts stress, burnout, compassion fatigue and exposure to trauma have on journalists.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
SPJ2020 Panelists: Newsroom Objectivity Is Changing

The concept of “objectivity” is changing in newsrooms as journalists point out the limitations and implications of the traditional journalistic value. There is currently a white supremacist idea of objectivity in newsrooms, said Morgan Givens, creator of the podcast “Flyest Fables,” in the Society of ProfessionaJ Journalists conference  panel “Beyond the Protests: Inclusive Newsrooms/Inclusive Coverage” Sept.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Becoming a Successful Freelancer

In the panel “Business Basics for Freelance Success” veteran freelance journalists discussed the fundamentals in finding success in the freelance world.  


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Fellow Feature: Nikole Hannah-Jones

For Nikole Hannah-Jones, Black lives have always mattered. Since her first story in high school that sought to prove that Jesus was not a white man, she has been using her voice to unearth racism in America. Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter for The New York Times Magazine.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
SPJ Board Adopts New Sponsorship Guidelines

By an overwhelming vote, Society of Professional Journalists delegates accepted a resolution Saturday night for a new sponsorship policy for future conferences.  The vote comes after years of discussions due to member concerns about who has sponsored parts of the SPJ Conference.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Patricia Newberry Hands SPJ Presidency to Matthew Hall

Coming into the term without an executive director to assist her, her first plan of action was to find someone who would be willing to supervise a staff of 15.



The EIJ News