Excellence in Journalism 2016 — a joint effort between the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Native American Journalists Association — was an incredible success. If you attended, spoke, exhibited, performed, volunteered or followed along online, thank you for being part of the big event.

If you couldn't join us, this collection of recaps, photos, session replays (free to all SPJ members) and student news teams coverage is the next best thing to being there.


Session Replays: ‘Spotlight’ Super Session | Breakout Sessions

Coverage and More: EIJ News | RTDNA Newsroom | Storify Recaps
Connect: #EIJ16 | @spj_tweets | @eij_news


Session Replays

Super Session Audio
‘Spotlight’ and the Future of Investigative Journalism: A Q&A with Marty Baron

Description: Fourteen years ago, the Boston Globe published an explosive and exhaustive series of stories about Catholic priests sexually abusing children and the church hierarchy that covered it up. The investigation by the Globe’s “Spotlight” team captured a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, inspired a Columbia University case study, and informed a Hollywood movie that grabbed 2016 Oscars for Best Picture and Best Screenplay. The Spotlight work and film are also creating urgent conversations about the need for more investigative work in U.S. newsrooms. In this EIJ Super Session, Marty Baron, editor of the Globe when it chased the priest abuse stories (portrayed by Liev Schreiber in the movie), talks with Kirsten Lundberg, former head of the Columbia case studies project, about the work that exposed a crisis in the Catholic Church, the film it inspired and the state of investigative journalism.

About Martin Baron
Martin Baron joined the Washington Post as executive editor Jan. 1, 2013, after almost 12 years as editor of the Boston Globe. He has also served as editor of the Miami Herald and held top editing positions at the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. He was named editor of the year by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2001, and editor of the year by the National Press Foundation in 2004.

About Kirsten Lundberg
Kirsten Lundberg owns the Boston-based Lundberg Case Consortium. She formerly created and ran the Case Consortium @ Columbia and the Knight Case Studies Initiative, both at Columbia University. A former journalist, she was a senior case writer (and eventually acting director) at the Harvard Kennedy School Case Program for many years. In addition to journalism, she has written cases on public health, public policy, sustainable development and other topics.

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Breakout Session Audio
Five Things No One Tells You About Freelancing (But You Need to Know)

Description: When most journalists imagine becoming a freelancer, they expect they'll be pitching ideas to publications and getting stories published. They imagine they'll be writing for large, national publications in time, and being paid well for their work. While that's certainly possible, there's a lot involved in getting and maintaining freelance work. We'll tell you the five secrets every freelancer needs to know. We'll discuss what pays well (and what doesn't), what to do about taxes (besides pay them), how to be every editor's favorite writer — the skills you need today (well beyond great writing and reporting) and how to tell if you'd be successful on your own.

Trainers: Robyn Davis Sekula (@itsRobynwithay), freelance writer and consultant; Dana Neuts (@spjdana), freelance writer and consultant, past SPJ national president

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Breakout Session Audio
Free Newsroom Tools for Taming the Real-Time Internet

Description: Speed of discovery and speed to broadcast are essential in today’s ever-evolving world of media. What if you could turn your laptop into a virtual drone — obtaining immediate “eyes in the sky” capabilities for precise areas of interest? A capacity achieved within seconds and through a few keystrokes and clicks. In this high-tech/high-powered session, attendees will be exposed to cutting-edge applications and techniques for: 1) discovery of breaking news seconds into an event; 2) connecting with sources on scene; verifying and validating developing stories; 3) accessing user generated content into news coverage; 4) easily publishing to their broadcast and digital audiences. Join for a fast-moving presentation highlighting the latest available resources for tackling social signals, multimedia content, and complex data points to reach audiences faster via the real-time web.

Trainer: Victor Hernandez (@ToTheVictor), Director of Media Innovation, Banjo

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Breakout Session Audio
The Internet is Not Forever: Deep-Diving Through the Web's Unsearchable Digital Past

Description: While the issue of ""web erosion"" has recently garnered some mainstream media attention, few archiving strategies have been put into place. Deciding whether it’s worth resurfacing those digital remnants — words that will otherwise be forever relegated to Page Not Found status — is still largely left to individuals. In this session, journalists interested in researching and preserving digital content will learn best practices for using Internet Archive resources, and also several sustainable approaches for ""curating"" the digital past and creating historical narratives from social media ephemera."

Speaker: Cynthia Joyce (@cynthiajoyce)

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Breakout Session Audio
Police Body Cam Video: Getting the Footage and Moving the Story Forward

Description: As more police are equipped with body cameras, how do you get the footage and what do you do with it when you get it? Can you even get it in the first place? Learn the depth of body cam issues, get pointers on making sure you can have legal access to the footage, and hear best practices for using it once you have it.

Trainers: Carolyn Carlson (@ccarls10), associate professor of journalism, Kennesaw State University and SPJ FOI Committee member; Robert Becker, lawyer, SPJ D.C. pro chapter FOI/First Amendment chair; Sheryl Worsley (@sherylrockin), KSL Newsradio News Director and RTDNA Region 3 Director

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Breakout Session Audio
10 Top Multimedia and Mobile Tools and How to Use Them

Description: Come see and learn 10 easy-to-use online tools and platforms for journalists. Attendees will learn how these tools can enhance storytelling and how to get started using them. Sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University.

Trainer: Mike Reilley (@journtoolbox), founder of SPJ’s Journalist’s Toolbox

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Breakout Session Audio
Collegiate Student Journalists Under Fire

Description: The acceleration of incidents on college and university campuses has been remarkable in the past two years — from attempts to block or prevent access to news coverage to the strangling of funds for student newspapers to the firing of college and university newspaper advisers. Student media serve as training grounds for future professional journalists. How can professional journalists and their news organizations provide advocacy and support for journalism education?

Speakers: Loni Smith McKown, professional practice faculty, Butler University; Frank LoMonte (@FrankLoMonte), executive director, Student Press Law Center; Jacob Buckland, Fairmount State University, former editor in chief, The Columns

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Breakout Session Audio
Finding the Truth in Big Data

Description: Publicly available data can be a gold mine for journalists who want to uncover information that's not available at first look. This panel will reveal what kind of information can be uncovered, where to find such data, and what tools can be used by journalists to find the facts buried in data.

Trainers: Wayne Rash (@wrash), Washington bureau chief and senior columnist, eWEEK; Pam Baker (@bakercom1), editor, FierceBigData

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Breakout Session Audio
Emergence, Excitement & Ethics of Virtual Reality Video

Description: News organizations from the New York Times to Frontline to Fusion are using virtual reality video to tell stories in amazing ways. If you haven’t looked through a Google Cardboard or an Oculus Rift, just think back to your childhood View Master, which was introduced back in 1939. Though those were still shots, they might be the closest thing you can imagine. But a virtual reality news story or documentary will blow your mind. People step out in front of your eyes to talk to you. You can turn around to see the scene 360 degrees around you, above and below. Graphics and images are used in new ways. Storytelling has changed forever. But what does it take to shoot VR video? How does the videographer not get in the shot? And how does the editing work, including using spacial sound? This session brings together people using the technology to answer these questions and more. They’ll demonstrate the technology. And we’ll talk about the ethical implications VR video in journalism poses including whether photojournalists can influence the scenes they record, and whether the visceral nature requires new ethical guidelines.

Moderator: Amy Tardif (@AmyTardif), FM station manager & news director, WGCU Public Media

Trainers: Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist / @VRJournalism), digital journalism professor, USC Annenberg & co-creator of JoVRnalism; Clàudia Prat (@webDOCC), VR producer, Fusion; adviser, Master in Gender and Communication, University Autònoma of Barcelona; Kelly McBride (@kellymcb), vice president, Poynter Institute

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Breakout Session Audio
Geek Out! Latest Gadgets, Apps & Technology

Description: This annual session is where attendees 'get their geek on' by sharing information and asking questions about the latest tech innovations and how they can be used by journalists. What will we talk about this year? VR Journalism? Thetas? Oculus? Google Cardboard? Come for an informal, engaging, interactive session where we strip out the formality and chat about all the cool stuff going on in journalism — and why it’s such a fun time to work in it. One condition: Come with an open and non-judgmental mind — and with your own topics to discuss.

Trainer: Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist), journalism professor, USC, co-founder of #WJCHAT and creator of JoVRnalism

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Breakout Session Audio
Making A Murderer — And Covering Him

Description: Netflix may have brought Steven Avery into American living rooms with its late 2015 megahit “Making A Murderer.” But the reporters who covered the original charges against Avery — convicted of a sexual assault in 1985 and exonerated and released 18 years later; convicted of a murder in 2007 and now appealing that conviction — know the most and most-newsworthy aspects of Avery’s cases. Hear what the key journalists involed in the original reporting learned in the process — and what Netflix left out or got wrong.

Moderator: Patricia Gallagher Newberry, SPJ Region 4 director

Speakers: Tom Kertscher, PolitiFact Wisconsin reporter, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; Angenette Levy, reporter, WKRC-TV; Colleen Henry, investigative reporter, WISN

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Breakout Session Audio
Covering the Transgender Community

Description: Hear how to best cover issues surrounding the transgender community. From what terms to use to common misrepresentations. Journalists and transgender activists discuss how journalists can cover stories involving the community, suggested story ideas, and issues that may be coming next.

Moderator: Jason Parsley, executive editor, South Florida Gay News

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Additional coverage [eijnews.org]


Breakout Session Audio
Reporting on Race and Hot-Button Issues: Lessons from Newsrooms

Description: Many local newsrooms have covered stories this past year where race was at the center or a major part of the issue. How can newsrooms prepare themselves to cover these stories well? Do you have the diversity of staff, community sources, and best practices to cover these issues in your community — both for the long term and when big, breaking events happen and consume the news cycle? Join us for a discussion of lessons learned and advice for the future.

Moderator: Evelyn Hsu, executive director, Maynard Institute for Journalism Education

Speakers: April Bethea (@aprilbethea), homepage producer, Washington Post; Mitch Jacob (@ABC7Mitch), director of News, WJLA-TV; Terence Shepherd (@terenceshepherd), news director, WLRN

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Breakout Session Audio
Everything You Know About Multimedia Storytelling Is Wrong

Description: Reset everything you think you know about multimedia journalism with a fresh look at trends, tools and best practices. Come learn the latest trends and best practices when creating and publishing multimedia projects on the web and more importantly to a mobile audience. As a leader in multimedia production and mobile photography, with over 250,000 social media followers, I'll send you home with the latest trends in mobile photography, video production, growing your audience on Instagram and new tools in order to create stunning projects and build audience.

Trainer: Richard Koci Hernandez (@koci), assistant professor of new media, UC Berkeley

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#EIJ16 in Pictures

>> See more photos


Coverage and more

EIJ News stories

>> Complete 2016 archive


RTDNA Newsroom

See all stories [RTDNA.org]


Storify Recaps

See more: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

See more: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3


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