SPJ Region 8 Virtual Conference schedule, April 9

Please plan to attend the SPJ Region 8 Virtual Conference on Saturday, April 9. We wanted to make this as easy and convenient as possible after another year of so many challenges, so registration is free. All you have to do is email Kathryn Jones, regional coordinator, at kathrynjones1956@gmail.com with the names, titles (if applicable) and email addresses of those attending. They will receive the Zoom link by email.

This year’s conference will focus on three areas of great interest and relevance to the Region 8 journalism community: increasing challenges to a free student press; coverage of indigenous people; and the rise of nonprofit journalism.

The conference schedule follows. Please email Kathryn with any questions. We look forward to seeing you soon!


11-11:15 a.m. Welcome

Short update on what’s happening in the region by Kathryn Jones, Region 8 coordinator.

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. New Challenges to a Free Student Press

Speakers: Myranda Campanella, editor of The Battalion at Texas A&M University, and Doug Pils, general manager of student media, discuss on the latest developments at A&M, whose president wanted to end The Battlion’s print edition and faced an outcry from students and journalists. Dan Malone, veteran journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, retired assistant professor of journalism at Tarleton State University and a board member of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, will speak about the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, lawsuit accusing Tarleton of withholding public information about its attempt to censor the student-run Texan News Service and take over its editorial independence. Chris Whitley, director of student publications at Tarrant County College and president of the College Media Association, will give the national overview of free press challenges to student journalists and advisers and how to address them.

12:15-12:30 p.m. Break

12:30-1:30 p.m. Keynote Address

Speaker: Dianna Hunt, senior editor at Indian Country Today and a veteran reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle, will give the keynote address on the state of journalism in Native American communities.

1:30-2 p.m. Mark of Excellence Awards

Winners and finalists of the prestigious student journalism awards will be announced. Certificates will be mailed to winners and finalists.

2-3 p.m. Nonprofit Journalism Takes Off in Texas

Speaker: Q&A with Chris Cobler, publisher and CEO of the nonprofit Fort Worth Report and former publisher and editor of The Victoria Advocate, will discuss the successes and challenges of the digital news organization’s first year.

Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.

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