The conference theme, “For the Love of Journalism,” reflects both our love for our chosen profession and a growing public appreciation of how the role of a free press serves a democracy.
Our focus during the Saturday, April 21, sessions at Annenberg Hall will be on the skills you need to know to be a better journalist. On Sunday, April 22, our focus will broaden to some of the bigger challenges facing journalism today.
The weekend will also include some activities that are just for fun – including a walking tour of historic sites in journalism in downtown Philadelphia and, for those who arrive early, a Friday, April 20, night ballgame between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies.
But a word to the wise: the number of conference tickets and hotel rooms are limited. You’ll want to register for both the conference and the hotel as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate. We anticipate this event will be sold out well in advance.
What we have planned
Here are some of the sessions that will be part of the SPJ Region 1 Spring Conference. We are continuing to add sessions, so check the conference website for the latest additions as well as information on panelists.
- Into the Weeds: Efforts to legalize marijuana are advancing in the Northeast. NewJersey‘s new governor has called for legalizing recreational marijuana. Susan Livio covers medical marijuana for The Star Ledger. She will be part of a panel discussion of reporters delving into the issues raised by legalization.
- Covering Cosby: The first sex assault trial of comedian Bill Cosby in Norristown, Pa., drew national attention until it ended with a hung jury and a mistrial in June 2017. A retrial is scheduled to begin on April 2 and is anticipated to last about two weeks. This panel will be moderated by Roy Gutterman, an associate professor at Syracuse University where he also is director of The Tully Center for Free Speech.
- Going Digital: The trend toward digital journalism continues to accelerate as print and broadcast newsrooms grapple with new ways of telling a story and communicating it to their increasingly online audience. Cate Barron, editor of The Patriot-News and vice president of the PA Media Group, will serve as moderator.
- “Dirty Dozen” Digital Journalism Apps: Digital journalists increasingly rely upon an ever-changing and always expanding tool kit of applications. But what are the best and most effective tools currently available? What apps are on the cutting edge? Kevin Z. Smith, director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio State University, will demonstrate some of the best tried-and-tested apps when he presents his popular KipCamp talk “A Dirty Dozen Journalism Apps.” Smith is a former national SPJ president.
- Google Tools: Google continues to roll out new programs and applications that can be useful for journalists. Victoria “Vix” Reitano is a social media strategist, editorial marketing expert and a content strategist/creator based in New York City.
- Drawing with Signe: Among the joys of Philadelphia journalism are the cartoons of Signe Wilkinson, editorial cartoonist for the Philadelphia Media Network. We’ll ask this two-time Pulitzer Prize winner to show how she draws her cartoons in this session.
- The Future of Journalism in Philadelphia: Philadelphia has been a laboratory for experiments and news business models in journalism in recent years with innovations such as the online news site Billy Penn and the non-profit Lenfest Foundation and its partnership with the Philadelphia Media Network. Among the confirmed speakers thus far are Stan Wischnowski, executive editor and senior vice president of the Philadelphia Media Network, and Chris Krewson, vice president for strategy at Spirited Media and a founder of Billy Penn.
Here are important details:
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