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2014: Nashville


Excellence in Journalism 2014 – That’s a Wrap

With Excellence in Journalism 2014 in the books, find out what attendees thought about the event and what they expect of next year’s conference in Orlando. Also check out noteworthy statistics from this year’s conference.

The 950 journalist who attended Excellence in Journalism 2014 were able to choose from more than 50 workshops and breakout sessions. The Super Sessions with Kara Swisher and Dick Ebersol attracted about 300 people each, while 40-50 attended most of the workshops on average.

CNN Newsource spoiled journalists with a big Opening Night Reception at the Wildhorse Saloon. Continue reading


SPJ President’s Installation Banquet Photos

The Society of Professional Journalists President’s Installation Banquet rounded out the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Conference on Saturday evening. Members, volunteers and staff gathered to celebrate the end of the conference and honor members and journalists for their efforts within SPJ and the media industry.

Alex Tarquinio of the New York Deadline Club accepting the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award.

Michele Norris of NPR was recognized as a Fellow of the Society.

Kevin Smith, ethics committee chairman, receiving the Wells Memorial Key for Outstanding Service to the Society. Continue reading


In 10 Years From Now, The State Of Journalism Will Look Like…

We asked a collection of attendees of the Excellence of Journalism 2014 conference to finish the following sentence, “In 10 years from now, the state of journalism will look like ___ .”

Here’s what they said:

Continue reading


Kevin Smith Awarded Wells Memorial Key Award

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) honored outgoing ethics committee chairman Kevin Smith with the Wells Memorial Key award Saturday evening at the Excellence in Journalism 2014 conference.


Global News Relay: Students Connect Through Media

College students from 10 universities in eight countries participated in last year’s inaugural Global News Relay, a project that delivered 12 hours of continuous broadcast news worldwide.


What’s In A Name? The Debate Behind the SPJ Name Change

The fight for an amended preposition and noun will trudge on for one more year.

For the fourth time, a proposed name change from the Society of Professional Journalists to the Society of Professional Journalism, an idea spearheaded by SPJ Region 3 Director Michael Koretzky, failed during the SPJ Closing Business Session at Excellence in Journalism 2014.

A straw poll vote with the proposed amendment circulated to SPJ members via email failed 345 to 205 votes — a majority of 57 percent. Continue reading


‘The Dirty Dozen’: Top Apps for Journos

Attendees headed to the App Store Saturday afternoon to pick up apps highlighted for their usefulness to journalists by Kevin Smith and Doug Haddix.

Smith and Haddix, both from the Kiplinger Program, ran down the top tools they chose to represent different tasks in the reporting process.

Here’s what they chose:

Research: Internet Public Library

Internet Public Library offers journos a number of different ways to search information vetted by librarians. There’s also an “ask a librarian” function to help with more complicated questions, where the site will even ask you to input the research you’ve already done to help guide results. Continue reading


News Staff Picks: Top 5 Moments of EIJ14

Now that Excellence in Journalism 2014 is officially a wrap, the EIJ News staff compiled these top 5 moments of the conference:

SPJ Ethics Code Revisions Pass. After much discussion and revision, the new Code of Ethics was passed at the closing business session. SPJ Name Change Motion Failed: A highly publicized discussion and session could not steer the majority of those who participated in the straw poll to possibly changing the Society of Professional Journalists to the Society for Professional Journalism to vote in its favor. Continue reading


Minority Reporters: How Race And The Media Should Interact

Michele Norris, host and special correspondent at NPR, asserts that race only gets airtime during monumental events.

“People think racism is a problem of the past. It’s not,” said Bob Butler, president of the National Association of Black Journalists during Saturday’s session of “Race Coverage: 50 Years of Change.”

Four panelists with experience covering minorities shared advice and observations about starting accurate, necessary racial dialogues.

The panel began with investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell and associate professor at Mississippi University Kathleen Woodruff Wickham talking about the oftentimes-slanted coverage of the Civil Rights Movement. Continue reading


Exceptional Service: It’s Not Just Journalism

Let’s have a conversation about race.

Journalist Michele Norris will be there to listen. At least, she was during a panel at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Conference to discuss her initiative, The Race Card Project.

It’s all about point of view, she said. Creating a conversation with the help of storytelling, experiences and feedback folks entrust to her. It’s a conversation more newsrooms need to have.

“I’ve never had conversations this deep as a journalist before in my life,” Norris said. Continue reading


SPJ Election Results

Attendees and registered SPJ members were able to vote for the upcoming year’s directors and representatives since Thursday when the Excellence in Journalism conference began. And doing so in appropriate fashion for the digital age; for the first time members were able to cast their votes via an online voting system.

The position applications opened in the spring. Since then, candidates have campaigned for their hopeful spots in the society with live streamed candidate speeches and the creation of social media groups to raise awareness of their ambitions. Continue reading


Practicing Journalism: The Ethics Of Daily Journalism

“Where does valid news come from over time as the industry is changing?”

Paul Steinle – President at Valid Sources “I think deciding what to put on the news day after day is an ethical dilemma. You need to ask yourself, ‘are you serving the community? Are you telling the truth?’ Those are the main things. There was a horrible example during the Boston Marathon explosions where social media was used and one of the newspapers grabbed a picture and put it on their front page and basically indicated that the people in the pictures were suspects. Continue reading


Panel Discussion on Media Entrepreneurship with Industry Heavyweights

In recent years, journalism has undergone a profound, all-encompassing change. Old hierarchy structures, job prospects, linear career steps and ways to make money have been disrupted by new jobs, new methods to self brand and new revenue streams.

One of the most important issues in this new era in journalism, which is something many journalists still dread, is how to monetize stories.

Kara Swisher, Brian Stelter and Etienne Uzac are no strangers to media entrepreneurship. Saturday morning, the three industry heavyweights discussed media entrepreneurship, new forms of storytelling and the future of journalism. Continue reading


How Wearable Tech Can Help Journalism

Penn State Instructor Pat Trosky testing Google Glass for the first time.

“OK, Glass.” It’s the phrase that you may be hearing a lot more of in the very near future, and it’s the phrase that’s influencing the next technological generation.

The “Google Glass and Wearables: What All Journalists and Newsrooms Should Know (And Test)” session took place Saturday morning, and presenters demonstrated the upcoming Google Glass device along with a few other gadgets.

“[Technology] gets smaller, faster, cheaper and more intimate with us,” Assistant Professor at USC Annenberg Robert Hernandez said. Continue reading


The Experts Break Down New Media Entrepreneurship

[View the story “The New Media Entrepreneur ” on Storify] Continue reading


A Freelance Chapter?: SPJ’s First Virtual Community Have Already Made a Motion

For the first time in its 105 years, SPJ members are in talks for possibly creating their first ever virtual chapter. The Freelance Community, the first non-geographic community recognized by SPJ, has made a motion at EIJ14 for the Bylaw Committee to consider making a chapter for the future.

The motion, initially drafted by D.C. freelancer and Freelance Committee member Hazel Becker, states “The Freelance Community requests that the SPJ Board ask the Bylaw Committee to consider what changes might be needed to give communities a voice in governance of the society.” The Freelance Committee voted unanimously for the motion and planned to relay the message to respective parties before the upcoming Board of Directors meeting. Continue reading


File your FOIA in Five Easy Steps

Saturday morning held a solution to one of a reporter’s most common problems – filing a FOIA request.

Gregg Leslie, a representative with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, explained to attendees of the “Simplifying FOIA” session how to utilize iFOIA, an online tool for filing and organizing requests. The tool is an update on the organization’s FOIA Letter Generator which initially launched in 1996.

In case you missed the demonstration, here’s how to file your FOIA request in five easy steps using the iFOIA generator. Continue reading


EIJ14 Day 2 in Tweets

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Getting Creative with Google Maps

Media Outreach Coordinator Vanessa Schneider led the breakout session “Storytelling with Google Maps.” The Googler said she enjoyed the conference. “Excellence in Journalism is a great opportunity to meet with journalists, see what challenges they have and how they want to use these geo-tools in their work.”

Vanessa Schneider’s job is to help people tell stories through Google mapping tools. Schneider showed some EIJ attendees the way to utilizing these tools, like Google Earth, Maps and Crisis Map during a panel. Continue reading


Covering Ferguson: NPR’s Elise Hu

NPR’s Elise Hu discusses her experiences covering recent events in Ferguson, Mo. during a panel at this year’s Excellence in Journalism convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Photo by: Julian Paredes

 

Fighting for more access means covering more than just riots, NPR’s Elise Hu said during today’s Excellence in Journalism panel, “Lessons From Ferguson,” in the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.

“How many of us have covered crime scenes and had to duck under crime scene tape to get better footage? Continue reading


Let Freedom Sing

From rocking out Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman” to crooning the sensual Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps” a la the folksy 70s, the First Amendment was exercised with a melody on Thursday night.

Freedom Sings, a program of musicians, perform songs that were once censored by the government for provocative lyrics. The group is the brainchild of Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center, who created Freedom Sings to draw youth to the density of the freedom of speech from censorship. Continue reading


Women Of EIJ: Highlighting Female Journos

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Roundup: Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism

Harvey Nagler

Dick Ebersol

From ESPN to NBC to SNL, two creative forces behind some of the nation’s most-watched programming were recognized Friday for their achievements in journalism.

Harvey Nagler, longtime Vice President for CBS Radio News, received the John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual for contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.

Former NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol was awarded with the Paul White Award, RTDNA’s highest award which recognizes lifetime contribution to journalism. Continue reading


EIJ Celebrates Student Journalists

SPJ Campus Chapter of the Year winners, Ohio University

Though it’s no longer a swanky luncheon to celebrate the Society of Professional Journalist’s student awards, the conference still puts on a show for its younger participants.

The annual student union handed out five individual awards recognizing the campus chapter of the year, campus advisers, students, teachers and graduates.  It also included the annual Mark of Excellence Awards on the national level after reviewing winning entries on the regional levels evaluating work from print, broadcast and online.   Continue reading


Reporters Reflect on Lessons Learned in Ferguson

Photo by Julian Paredes

While the crisis in Ferguson raged on in front of camera crews for weeks on end, reporters on the ground saw a different reality.

They also saw that reality distorted – or participated in the distortion themselves – as Ferguson descended into a “war zone” in a matter of days. The protests and the violence were mostly limited to a three street block area and most of the incidents happened after nightfall, more specifically, after midnight.

Speakers at Friday morning’s Ferguson panel were on the scene as the police brutality and subsequent protests unfolded after a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, an unarmed black resident of St. Continue reading


What A Reporter’s Notebook Looks Like In 2014

Everybody has a story to tell… about their phone. This is an ongoing project during this year’s Excellence in Journalism conference. Contact @EIJ_News to participate.

 

University of Maryland student Emily Schweich forwards an email about national Society of Professional Journalists elections on her cell phone in a hallway of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center during EIJ14. Texas A&M University-San Antonio journalism instructor Jerry Townsend purchased an iPhone for an introductory photojournalism course he's teaching this fall. Townsend says all students in this course have an iPhone and that he will be using the latest technology to teach them about the profession. Continue reading


Kara Swisher Discusses Pros of Doing What You Love

The successful future journalist is someone who rarely sleeps, is not afraid to fail, probably does not  work for a traditional news organization but is  having  a heck of a good time doing it.

That is what Super Session speaker Kara Swisher,  the  co-CEO of Revere Digital and co-founder of  technology  news and analysis site Re/Code, told  attendees at the  Excellence in Journalism  Conference.

Re/Code is an independent tech news and analysis  site  that aims to reimagine tech journalism. The  site  delivers the latest tech news from some of the most informed journalists in the country. Continue reading


Diversity at EIJ14: Bringing Color to SPJ

The SPJ Diversity Committee had a lively discussion at EIJ14 on better ways to improve the experience of members of color. Although more can be done in shaping programming and recruitment, the new chair, April Bethea, plans to implement new solutions to diversify management training and membership. Here is a video highlighting some of the key topics and plans discussed at this session.

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Don’t Be An Intern. Be A Freelancer.

Michael Koretzky speaking on freelance journalism.Photo by Rutger University, Society of Professional Journalists

Michael Koretzky, a freelance content director, gave some insight Friday at Excellence In Journalism 2014 on how students should learn to freelance while still in school. Koretzky also works at financial news and education website, Debt.com, for which he is always hiring freelancers.

“Even as a starter, getting paid 25 bucks a story, you will make more money than most internships,” Koretzky said.

Here are some of his tips:

Freelancer over intern.  Continue reading


Jayson Blair, Ben & Jerry’s and Manti Te’o: Plagiarism in the Digital Age

Jayson Bair is famous in the journalism world for all the wrong reasons after committing the most frowned upon crime of the profession.

And it happened before the social media-age and the explosion of online.

With the vast amount of article and media consumption that comes with the worldwide web, instances of plagiarism and copy write issues continue to rise. Editors, professors and reporters fight to make sure their writing is not only their own but that its also protected from the Jayson Blairs of today’s generation. Continue reading


Remembering Eva: An EIJ13 News Team Member Reflects on Twitter Experience

Courtesy photo: EIJ13 News Team member Bobby Blanchard at work.

Bobby Blanchard remembered covering the panel led by actress and philanthropist Eva Longoria during last year’s Excellence in Journalism.

Blanchard had been assigned to provide social media updates about the panel.

“How might Texas, with it’s [sic] growing Hispanic population, impact the 2016 election?” Tweeted the University of Texas at Austin journalism senior.

Longoria was supposed to be answering Tweets throughout the panel, but, in the end, chose only Blanchard’s.

His social media savvy skills earned him street cred in-and-out of the EIJ News Team newsroom and his legacy lives on a year later. Continue reading


Roundup: Journalists at Death’s Door

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Google: Beyond the White Screen

Google Trends can compare different hot topics with a variety of search tools.

You may have heard the phrase, “Just Google it,” in your newsroom at one time or another when searching for additional background or double checking an image source.

Google Media outreach lead and speaker Nicholas Whitaker, gave an overall view Friday at Excellence in Journalism 2014 on how to go well beyond Google’s main search page. The company’s co-founder and CEO Larry Page once said of a perfect search engine to be a tool that “should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want.”

That’s when Advanced Google Search and Google Trends comes into play to support your search for specific items in an easier, more efficient way. Continue reading


The SPJ Name Change: What People Think About the Upcoming Vote

The upcoming SPJ name change discussion is slated for discussion Saturday during Excellence in Journalism 2014.  However many attendees aren’t waiting until the weekend to share their views.

While the proposal to change from “The Society of Professional Journalists” to “The Society for Professional Journalism” may seem like a minor issue, it’s actually created a bit of a stir among organization leadership and members. Please check out this exclusive video on the various thoughts and opinions on the topic.

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In Case You Missed The Ferguson Panel: Storify of the Discussion

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SPJ Members Attend Ethics Code Revision Forum

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EIJ14 Remembers John Seigenthaler

The coincidence that the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Convention in Nashville convened shortly after the death of John Seigenthaler, the Nashville-born publisher of the Tennessean, administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and lifelong defender of the First Amendment is, well, uncanny.

Or maybe it’s just serendipitous, said Freedom Sings’ frontwoman Jonell Mosser, a singer in a band formed to educate young audiences about the importance of the First Amendment.

“It’s exactly the right thing,” said Mosser.

The convention officially began with a memorial held for Seigenthaler, who died in July at the age of 86. Continue reading


EIJ14 Day 1 in Tweets

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EIJ14 Photo Gallery | Day 1

EIJ14 Photo Gallery | Day 1: Continue reading


Ain’t No Party Like a Journalist Party — PHOTOS From EIJ 2014 Opening Reception

EIJ 2014 Opening Reception:

EIJ 2014 Opening Reception

September 4, 2014 Continue reading


Mean Tweets — They’re Not Just For Celebrities

Celebrities aren’t the only ones who get mean tweets.

In journalism — where everyone from editors to readers has something to say — words can hurt. Sometimes criticism is just a casualty of reporting on a controversial topic. But behind the guise of an ambiguous screen name, personal comments can quickly escalate into personal attacks.

“You just want to say F-you, but you can’t,” said Rebecca Aguilar, a freelance reporter and vice president of membership for Society of Professional Journalists’ Fort Worth chapter. Continue reading


Cracking the code: SPJ Code of Ethics gets an update

 

The SPJ Code of Ethics is a cornerstone of the organization, and after the Excellence in Journalism conference, it will most likely be getting an update.

SPJ delegates will vote Saturday afternoon on the final draft of the revised Code of Ethics. The updates, which have taken a year and three rounds of revisions, aim to bring the code into the present. The last code was released 18 years ago in 1996.

So, what’s changing?

The new changes focus on updating the code to reflect the current state of journalism. Continue reading


EIJ14 Journalism Jamboree

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SPJ President-Elect: What Can I Do For Students, Professionals, Journalism?

 

Dana Neuts, president elect of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Since 2005, Dana Neuts has been a faithful Society of Professional Journalists member. A veteran of multiple EIJ/SPJ conferences, Neuts has networked with industry professionals and, arguably, the most important, asked, “what resources can I get from SPJ?”

After being laid off from her corporate business job, along with the help of SPJ, Neuts was able to establish herself as a freelance writer in the Seattle-area. Neuts additionally created a personal website, Virtually Yourz, and established a hyper-local news site for her local town, IloveKent.net — all while continuing to regularly contribute to AARP Bulletin and The Seattle Times. Continue reading


Journalists get crash course in coding

  Journalists started to learn a new language Thursday afternoon at the Excellence in Journalism conference. Speaker Andy Boyle wasn’t teaching basics of French or Japanese.

Boyle, an applications developer at The Chicago Tribune, taught the building blocks of writing HTML and CSS and then set attendees free to try it out themselves. He said that sometimes learning code can seem overwhelming but that nothing is really impossible.

“I think a lot of times people think they can’t do this stuff because it’s a new thing and its hard,” Boyle said. Continue reading


Looking To The Future: Passion Overcomes Fear for Many Young Journalists

With employment rates across the news industry expected to decline 14 percent within the next eight years, U.S. newspapers making their staff reapply for jobs and reporters earning significantly less than the average U.S. wage, one would expect young journalists entering the workforce today to feel more apprehensive about their career choices than ever before.

However, hyper-passionate would be a good description for many young journalists at the 2014 Excellence in Journalism conference. Armed with briefcases, badges, resumes and hope, students and recent graduates invaded the hallways and conference rooms of Thursday’s EIJ conference. Continue reading


Dear Recent Grads: What Employers Want You To Know

For the recent graduates at the 2014 Excellence in Journalism conference, slinging resumes and business cards at employers is the name of the game.

Journalists applying for their first job out of college have a diploma and, hopefully, an internship or two under their belts. To add another notch to that belt, veteran reporters, editors and media savvy folks at the conference were kind enough to offer their advice to those just starting out.

Nathan Gunter, managing editor of Oklahoma Today, took a deep breath before embarking on a long list of advice. Continue reading


What do people expect of Excellence in Journalism 2014?

We went out to get a pulse of guests’ expectations for this year’s Excellence in Journalism Conference. Across the various professions, cultural groups, and regions, networking was the standout response of what members were looking forward to doing during this 4-day convention. Whether one is a digital news professor who wants to mentor aspiring young journalists or a student who is looking forward to professional exposure and learning, please check out what your fellow journos expect out of  this year’s conference! Continue reading


Media Management Moves From Instruction to Innovation

Editors, producers and various media leaders converged at a six-hour workshop to discuss the transformation of media management and leadership during a News Management Master Class Thursday morning.

“Traditionally, media management used to supervised the production of journalism,” said Jill Geisler, senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute said. “Now, they lead constant change. I think today’s news managers have learned that IQ isn’t enough. They have to be emotionally intelligent. They have to be able to inspire and motivate.”

During the session, Geisler and Scott Libin, senior fellow a the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication discussed the core areas of effective management in the digital age, including conflict resolution, innovation, leadership skills and performance management. Continue reading


EIJ Survival Wear

At conferences such as Excellence in Journalism, first impressions are everything. When meeting industry newsmakers and future employers, everything is considered; from what one says to how one acts. It’s all a part of the first impression.


Data Journalism Workshop with Pulitzer Prize Winner

Wednesday morning, Pulitzer Prize-winning Seattle Times journalist Michael J. Berens led a workshop on data journalism.

50 students, educators and reporters participated in the workshop, which was sponsored by the National Center for Business Journalism.

“Databases are the backbone of every story,” says Berens. “The key to data journalism is quantification – the ability to count what we do specifically.”

According to the investigative journalist, not knowing about data journalism is like being “functionally illiterate.” Berens adds: “vast reams of public data are kept exclusively in electronic format. Continue reading


Gaylord Opryland Hotel History

Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is one of the largest hotel in the world and the  largest non-casino hotel in the United States. It’s also the former home of the Grand Ole Opry.  The current Grand Ole Opry is next door, which is known as a home base for jump-starting the careers of dozens of country superstars.


Got some free time? Use our guide to explore ‘Music City’

Smart discussions and networking opportunities are expected to go well beyond the hallways and conference rooms of the Opryland Resort and Convention Center this weekend.


Getting Ready for Excellence in Journalism 2014

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EIJ 2014 Officially Opens for Business

The 2014 Excellence in Journalism conference kicks off Thursday, attracting over 900 journalists from across the industry. Held in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, the conference will go through Saturday, September 6th.


EIJ 2014 By The Numbers

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