Excellence in Journalism 2017 | Anaheim

Yearly Archive: 2016

September 29th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #
SPJ elects a new president

“…As an officer of the Society, I hereby promise to uphold its ideals. I pledge myself to do all in my power, to perform faithfully the duties assigned to me, and to serve fellow journalists, whether of the Society or not. And so endeavor to enrich the profession with the ideals of the Society of Professional Journalists. This I promise and pleasure myself to perform.”

And with those words, Lynn Walsh of Columbus, Ohio, was crowned the new president of the Society of Professional Journalists. Continue reading

September 23rd, 2016
Behind the Scenes of Next Year’s Mardi Gras

Every year residents and tourists gather in New Orleans to celebrate a well known tradition that takes place on the day before Ash Wednesday known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. The holiday is filled with colorful costumes, masks, beads galore, and most importantly and amazing carnival celebration. The EIJ newsteam received e a behind the scenes tour of Mardi Gras World, where several artists and craftsman are already hard at work for the next holiday.

September 23rd, 2016
Gila River Indian News

Jennifer Loren, the host of Osiyo- Voices of the Cherokee People, tells the audience of Lens of Sovereignty, “you can do it for less,” when addressing the 30,000 dollar per episode budget her team has when producing their monthly magazine-style program. Gila River Indian News from Sacaton, Arizona is doing just that– producing short news videos that air online and on their local low power station with a minimal budget of $0.00. While Osiyo, funded by the Cherokee Nation, airs 30 minute documentary-style episodes on regional  television stations as well as FNX-TV,  relatively smaller communities are scaling back in cost and production while still covering important stories. Continue reading

September 23rd, 2016
From French Quarter Artist to Mad Scientist: How One French Quarter Artist Save His Business

Art has been a life long passion for Oscar Donahue, but when the company that provided the metallic resin needed to mold his wearable pieces of art Donahue had a choice, learn to make the material, or go out of business. Donahue’s pieces of art are bright metallic designs like Voodoo Dolls, Angels, and Mardi Gras mask have caught the eye of Market Place shoppers with their bold colors and sparkle since 1989. Building a business for 27 years was certainly a labor of love and Donahue knew he had to do whatever it took to make the material for his jewelry himself. Continue reading

September 22nd, 2016
Take ‘Em Down? Confederate Monument Controversy

Messages are appearing on monuments across New Orleans asking for the city to act and take them down. This past June the words appeared “Take Down White Power” and “Take 'Em Down”  on multiple Confederate monuments in New Orleans. Among those monuments tagged included P.G.T. Beauregard, Father Abram J. Ryan and Battle of Liberty Place.

September 22nd, 2016
Mike Reilley’s 10 mobile storytelling-enhancing tools

(see related story)

Journalism is so much more than newspapers and TV. Today, journalists can upload stories to the Internet or mobile device with photos, video, and graphics, all from their cell phones without having to go back to the newsroom after covering an event.

Here are the 10 multimedia and mobile tools from Mike Reilley’s Mobile Toolbox:

Storyline is an app used to create audio slideshows of photos. Choosing to sign up through twitter allows the photos shared to be posted via twitter as well as on the Storyline app. Continue reading

September 21st, 2016
VIP tour takes visitors through graveyard, sculpture garden

I spent the final day of the Excellence in Journalism Conference tooling around the city on an air conditioned bus on one of the VIP City Tours. The tour guided conference attendees through the French Quarter, the neighborhood of Treme, the Garden District, St. Louis Cemetery #3, City Park, The 9th Ward, and the Lake Front area of Lake Pontchartrain. The bus stopped at both the cemetery and the City Park.

According to the guide, St. Louis Cemetery #3 is one of the most well-kept cemeteries in New Orleans. Continue reading

September 21st, 2016
Living the “High” Life in the Big Easy

“You want to buy some weed?” John, 42, quietly asked me as he walked by. He was careful not to speak too clearly. If someone wasn’t interested, it could be blown it off as a misheard mumble. If they were interested, they would know exactly what John was offering.

In some areas of New Orleans, you can’t walk more than a block without getting a whiff of someone smoking pot. Some, like John, who chose not to share his last name, don’t think it is that big of a deal. Continue reading

September 21st, 2016
Covering the Transgender Community

When it comes to covering the transgender community, the media get it wrong, according to “Covering the Transgender Community” panelists at the Excellence in Journalism Conference.

“We’re human beings,” said panelist and activist Jada Cardona. “Number one, first and foremost, before you say I’m a man, before you say I’m a woman and before you say I’m anything else, remember: if you prick me, I bleed.”

Cardona is referring to the way members of the transgender community are misrepresented when the media group them into dehumanizing stereotypes. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016 | #, #, #
SPJ appoints new board members

The Society of Professional Journalists ushered in a new year of leaders for the 2016-17 year at the end of the 2016 national Excellence in Journalism conference in New Orleans.

All SPJ members were allowed to vote on the six open positions. While several roles, including the new at-large director and campus adviser at-large, included multiple candidates, both the positions of president-elect and secretary-treasurer ran unchallenged.

According to the SPJ board, the year brought a record turnout, with 1,016 votes — roughly 16 percent of all SPJ members. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
Storify: Race, Religion, and Politics

[View the story “Race, Religion, and Politics” on Storify] Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
FOIA champion David Cuillier wins SPJ’s highest honor

Dave Cuillier once drove about 48,000 miles in his car to “spread the gospel” of the Freedom of Information Act, according to his colleagues.0

September 20th, 2016
NAJA Media Award Banquet Winners

The 2016 National Native Award Winners List:

2016 NAJA-Medill Milestone Achievement Award:

Patty Talahongva

2016 NAJA Richard LaCourse Award:

Antonia Gonzales and Pauly Denetclaw

2016 NAJA Elias Boudinot Free Press Award:

Mvskoke Media

Associate– Division 1&2:

Print / Online- Best Sports Photo First Place Beverly Bidney The Seminole Tribune Rodeo Cowboy

Print / Online- Best Sports Story First Place Kevin Johnson The Seminole Tribune Ahfachkee kids receive tips about golf, life from PGA Tour winner

Print / Online- Best Feature Photo First Place Wil Phinney Confederated Umatilla Journal Coyote Cape

Print / Online- Best Feature Story First Place Wil Phinney Confederated Umatilla Journal Billy Q vs. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
Protesters call for the removal of Confederate monuments

Barricades now surround the Battle of Liberty Place monument in New Orleans after suspected vandals sprayed, “Take Em Down, KKK” at its base.

The tall, gray structure, nestled in a lonely corner of New Orleans’ French Quarter, is one of four monuments the city plans to remove. The New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 in Dec. 2015 to declare the structures “public nuisances” and symbols of white supremacy.

“This is but the first necessary step in clearing the public space of all symbols of white supremacy in New Orleans,” said Michael “Quess” Moore, founder of Take ‘Em Down NOLA, the group lobbying for the monuments’ removal. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
Native America Calling Calls On EIJ16

For the first time the Society of Professional Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association teamed up to provide a collaborative student newsroom to cover the Excellence in Journalism Conference. Tara Gatewood, host and producer of Native American Calling, a national live call in program, spoke to students this past Monday from both organizations about the student newsroom’s efforts. Gatewood was also a participant in a conference session discussing environmental issues. Native American Calling can be heard on iTunes or online at nativeamericancalling.com, Monday thru Friday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
Slow journalism and interactive maps: a how to


If you think like I do, the phrase ‘slow journalism’ may strike you as a paradox or a lame joke the first time you hear it.

I certainly was skeptical when I entered the deep dive session, “Storytelling: Out of Eden, Into the Story,” Tuesday at the Excellence in Journalism Conference in New Orleans.

But I left the workshop with an understanding and appreciation for slowing down in a field that increasingly values speeding up. I also left with a new set of skills that helped me cover a street in New Orleans in a day — and will most likely help both aspiring and working journalists as well. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
EIJ News is live at Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World

EIJ News got a behind the scenes tour of Mardi Gras World. NAJA and SPJ journalists met a sculpting robot that creates many of the props that are seen during the annual celebration. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
VCU’s South wins SPJ’s Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award

The Society of Professional Journalists honored Jeff South as the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award as an outstanding journalism educator who has made an exceptional contribution to the profession and/or journalism education.  According to the SPJ, South won this year with passionate letters of support from faculty of the Robertson School of Media and Culture.

“I’m awed, humbled and looking at how many great teachers there are out there and previous recipients of this award whom I have shamelessly stolen teaching ideas from and tried to emulate,” South said. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Charlie Rose Speaks to EIJ News

Charlie Rose, co-host of “CBS This Morning” and host of PBS’ “Charlie Rose,” spent some time talking to EIJ News last night at his award reception. He is the 2016 recipient of RTDNA’s prestigious Paul White Award at this year’s EIJ Conference in New Orleans.

  Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
NOLA climate activist connects with #NoDAPL (Live video replay)

Renate Heurich, New Orleans environmental activist, retired teacher and 350 Louisiana member, talks about her local activism and how it’s connected to the Dakota Access Pipeline movement (#NoDAPL) 1,500 miles away in North Dakota. View a replay of the Facebook Live interview by clicking here or the image below:

Photo by Franklin Robertson

  Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
Check out EIJNews on Facebook

EIJNews has been posting live shots of several breakout sessions, workshops and interviews on its new Facebook page.

Go to our Facebook page and like us to see the Facebook Lives and other stories that our student journalists have been posting. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
Rock the NAJA Vote 2016

Yakama Nation’s Roy Dick casting his ballot for the 2016 NAJA election.

The Native American Journalists Association board meeting took place September 18 to discuss election policies. NAJA’s possible changes included guidelines if there is a voting tie, a vacancy left open by a board member’s resignation or not enough eligible candidates to run for open positions.

As voted on by the board members:

“The current NAJA President will withhold his vote and only cast his or her vote in the event of a tie in the NAJA Board of Directors election.” “For the 2016 NAJA Board of Directors election, the winning write-in candidate(s) will fill the remaining two-years of the term vacated by former board member Rob Capriccioso.”

Before the meeting, there was not a policy addressing ties or a board member’s resignation. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016
A**holes in the News Room: Did You Study for the Test?

It turns out I’m an a**hole.

This revelation was less than shocking for me. Up until the time I took the “Are you an A**hole?” test during Kevin Benz’s “No more A**holes in the Newsroom” session, I only had my suspicions. Now I know for sure.

“We can’t expect things to change if we don’t get help changing it,” Benz said. His presentation on newsroom jerks and how to handle them was based on the book written by Robert I. Sutton, PhD., “The No A**hole Rule.”

The book, and in turn the presentation, highlighted some of the key points about what newsroom bullies do and the poisonous environment that can corrupt the culture of any newsroom. Continue reading

September 19th, 2016 | #, #, #, #
‘Making a Murderer’ – And Covering Him

The Netflix docuseries, Making a Murderer, has sparked national interest in Steven Avery who was convicted for the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2007.

Halbach was a photographer for Auto Trade Magazine and went to Avery’s property in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin to take pictures of the family’s salvage yard. Later that evening, she was reported missing.

Investigators found her remains and vehicle on the Avery property. Avery was arrested on November 11, 2005, and eventually convicted of first-degree murder, sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse on March 18, 2007. Continue reading

September 19th, 2016
Director of SPLC discusses first amendment challenges facing college journalists

The Student Press Law Center’s Director Frank LoMonte discussed press freedom challenges facing college journalists today. He emphasized the defunding of college newspapers, corruption in the electing of college presidents and administrative retaliation against college advisors.

“If you ask college journalists today what the biggest problem they’re facing is, most of them won’t tell you it’s direct institutional censorship, but what I’ve started calling censorship by starvation,” LoMonte said. “That is, we’re going to cut off all access to all the records, all the meetings, all the people on campus who have any meaningful information.”

Guest speaker Jacob Buckland, senior at Fairmont State University and former editor-in-chief of the school’s paper The Columns, covered toxic mold in the school’s dorm that was a health concern to students. Continue reading

September 19th, 2016
EIJ attendees take to the NOLA skies

Excellence in Journalism attendees experience piloting a drone under the guidance of Debt.com’s Brandon Ballenger at Woldenberg Riverfront Park as part of a Monday breakout session.

September 19th, 2016
5 tips to help you become a better freelancer

Controlling your own income sounds like an attractive benefit to becoming a freelancer, but securing long-term clients and making money can be awkward and hard to manage, longtime freelancers say.

Robyn Davis Sekula and Dana Neuts reveal five things they wish they knew before becoming freelancers.

Sell yourself

Having strong multimedia skills and an impressive resume are expected, Neuts says. With the high number of freelancers looking for gigs, selling yourself as a unique candidate with unique credentials sets you apart. Continue reading

September 19th, 2016
FAA clarifies use of drones for newsgathering

Newsgathering drones can only be used if the operator is certified, and the device is properly registered through the FAA, said Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association.

The certification process started on Aug. 29, and requires operators to pass the FAA’s part 107 exam, which tests their knowledge on drone regulations, airspace requirements, weather and operations.

Mary Blue, a professor at Tulane University, took the exam on Sept. 2 and became the 20th drone operator to be certified in Louisiana. Continue reading

September 19th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #
Marty Baron speaks to EIJ News


“Well, I hope that people will indulge their curiosity…they will dig beneath the surface, that they’ll ask tougher questions sometimes.”

All eyes, ears and iPhones were on Marty Baron as he spoke about the film ‘Spotlight’ and the future of investigative journalism, at the Excellence In Journalism Convention in New Orleans on Sunday.

Fourteen years ago, while he was editor of the Boston Globe, Baron and his news team reported extensively about Catholic priests sexually abusing children, and the powerful church that protected them. Continue reading

September 19th, 2016
Hernandez explores latest technology in interactive session (Live video replay)

Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist), USC journalism associate professor, co-founder of #WJCHAT and creator of JoVRnalism, lead Excellence in Journalism attendees in a high-energy, standing-room-only interactive session exploring the latest innovations in technology. Replay of the live video stream can be viewed on Facebook by clicking here or the image below:

Continue reading

September 19th, 2016
Recap from ‘Spotlight’ and the Future of Investigative Journalism: A Q&A with Marty Baron

“Our loyalty is not to our sources — it is to our readers.”

Marty Baron, editor of The Washington Post and former editor of the Boston Globe, kept his loyalty to readers in one of the most controversial stories in news reporting. In 2002, Baron and his staff published a series of stories that revealed three decades of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, and the church hierarchy’s failure to take appropriate action. Their findings inspired the Oscar-winning film, Spotlight and a Columbia University case study. Continue reading

September 18th, 2016
Video highlights from ‘How Well Does the Media Cover Mass Murders?’

(see related story)

Anchor/reporter Casey Ferrand conducts a panel of guest speakers, who discuss media coverage of mass shootings as well as accuracy in reporting, ethics, and responsibility.


Tom Teves, co-founder of No Notoriety and father of Aurora shooting victim, describes the call he received when he learned about his son’s fate. (Part 1)


Tom Teves, co-founder of No Notoriety and father of Aurora shooting victim, describes the call he received when he learned about his son’s fate. Continue reading

September 18th, 2016
Covering Mass Murders: Doing More Good Than Harm

(see related video clips)

Tom Teves’ Hawaiian vacation turned into a nightmare when his son’s girlfriend called him on July 20, 2012.

“Amanda, calm down,” he said. “Where is Alex?”

She didn’t know. She was dragged out of the movie theater when the shooting started (there is a reason we are not using the shooter’s name here).

“Was Alex hurt?” Tom asked.

Again, she had no answer.

“Do you have any of his blood on you?” Tom asked.

Finally, a question she could answer. Continue reading

September 18th, 2016
From bureaus to fellowships: The future of international journalism

While the financial landscape supporting international journalism has changed dramatically in recent decades, the necessity for global news has only grown stronger, said Farah Stockman, a New York Times reporter.

Stockman, the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, urged aspiring and working journalists to embrace this new financial model of fellowships instead of foreign bureaus during a presentation she gave on international journalism Sunday at the Excellence in Journalism Conference in New Orleans.

Stockman has witnessed the industry changes firsthand. Continue reading

September 18th, 2016
Journalism Expo

The Excellence in Journalism Conference Expo, hosting different exhibitors and recruiters, is only this Sunday and Monday. Held from 9 a.m to 5 p.m in the Napoleon Ballroom on the third floor, the expo features booths recruiting and educating attendees on the latest in journalism tools and technologies. One booth contains the Freelance Community of the Society of Professional Journalists, who talk to those interested in freelancing and show them the resources SPJ has such as their website and blog. "Regardless of where you're located geographically you can join this community to get in touch with a network of other freelancers," SPJ Membership Chair Board Member Ellen Eldridge said. One booth for Eli Lilly and Company's focuses on health education for journalists. "I remember being a journalist and I worked long hours in the newsroom and ate a lot of things I shouldn't," Director of Communications Janice Chavers said. The expo contains a silent auction that includes everything from hotel stays to signed reporter's notebooks. There are also career profile critiques by professionals who meet with those who want their resumes or portfolios critiqued and on-site registration for the conference.

September 18th, 2016
Journalists’ Toolbox founder Reilley introduces newest mobile tools for journalists

A packed room of professional and student journalists heard about and experienced some of the latest mobile tools available during Sunday morning’s Breakout Session at the Excellence in Journalism conference at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

Mike Reilley, founder of the Society of Professional Journalists’ resource site, The Journalist’s Toolbox, introduced mobile tools other than Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook, focusing on those that go beyond the “basics that we have in place that we should probably already be using.”

Since these are newer or more “obscure” apps, Reilley encourages giving reporters and new users the time to experience, experiment and play around with the apps “in a practical sense.” Once they’ve been introduced, he recommends encouraging an “experimentation time” with the apps during which even personal family outing can provide useful experience. Continue reading

September 18th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Building from debris: ABCs of podcasting from New Orleans

It had been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, increasing in danger and wind speed like an imposing turbine in the skies, and flooding New Orleans. An estimated 1,835 people died, about 300,000 homes were destroyed and the damage reached over $96 billion in estimated costs. In 2015, when the historic 10-year anniversary approached, Eve Troah, the news director for the New Orleans NPR affiliate WWNO, decided it was time for a podcast to reflect on how the catastrophe had changed and shaped her community.

September 18th, 2016
Using the EIJ16 App

If the Excellence in Journalism Conference had a survival bag, it would be the EIJ16 App. The app is packed with resources including a conference schedule, a list of speakers, and an interactive map. It is available for iOS, Android and HTML users. Here are some quick tips:

Activity feed Schedule Speaker list Map

Activity Feed:

When you start the app using your email account, it will open to the activity feed. This functions like most other social media platforms. Continue reading

September 18th, 2016
Storify: EIJ 16 around town

[View the story “EIJ2016 officially starts Sunday” on Storify] Continue reading