SPJ 21 Journalism Conference • Sept. 2-4, 2021




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  • September 2nd, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
    Outgoing President Matthew Hall Hopeful for Future of SPJ and Journalism Advocacy

    Society of Professional Journalists outgoing president Matthew Hall started managing the Opinions section of the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2001, with additional skills in social media and politics reporting.  Hall said he is hopeful for the future of SPJ, especially in the hands of the 105th president-elect Rebecca Aguilar.


    September 1st, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
    Voting Rights Rallies

    This weekend activists marched through Washington, D.C. at the March for Voting Rights. It was one of more than 40 marches and rallies held around the country. SPJNews21 reporter Zaria Oates covered the rally in the nation’s capitol and spoke to one marcher from her home state of Oklahoma.


    September 1st, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
    Covid-19 Surge Costs New Orleans Million of Dollars

    EDITORS NOTE: #SPJNews21 students were assigned advance stories before the conference began. Many assignments were completed before much of Louisiana was shut down by Hurricane Ida.   Louisiana’s rise in COVID cases has created a domino effect because events that werepostponed to this fall are being canceled again.


    September 1st, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
    ‘Unfair and unequal:’ Developing countries in Asia compare COVID-19 vaccine accessibility to USA

    Iowa let 81,000 COVID-19 vaccines go to waste. Alabama threw 65,000 doses away. And Georgia destroyed over 110,000 vaccines. India — despite being a hub for vaccine manufacturers — has faced vaccine shortages. And in Thailand, residents beg their government to import them.


    September 1st, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
    SPJ Transitions to Completely Virtual Conference

    A surge in COVID-19 cases in Louisiana has forced large conferences to move to virtual meetings. Luckily the transition began before Hurricane Ida swept through the state destroying power lines, homes and taking lives. The Society of Professional Journalists will hold its annual SPJ Conference from Sept.


    September 1st, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
    Students at Loyola University Anxious About Return to Classes

      EDITORS NOTE: SPJNews students were assigned advance stories before the conference began. Many were completed before much of Louisiana was shut down by Hurricane Ida.   Spring 2020 introduced a new form of learning for many students across the country: online learning.  


    September 1st, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
    Medical Marijuana: Is it Really Safe?

    Have you ever wondered how medical marijuana is tested and for what it is tested? SPJNews21’s Zaria Oates explored that for her campus media at the University of Oklahoma.


    August 31st, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
    Reading the 2021 Virtual Internship Room

    The passing of Labor Day marks a second summer of virtual journalism internships. As journalism students head back to school, many will be adding another virtual experience to their resume. “While there may be more virtual internships, they’re definitely not in the same league,” Adrianne Flynn, director of internships and career development at University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism said.


    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 • 2019: San Antonio
    Journalists adjust their reporting style through the pandemic

    As stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus remain in place across the country, working from home has been the biggest adjustment for journalists who are accustomed to working out in the field. Reporting went from personal to virtual. Although journalists have used electronic modes of communication to report before, it has never been used this much before to interact with the public.


    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.



    The SPJ News