SPJ Region 1 Conference sessions and speakers

The SPJ Region 1 Conference was held at Roger Williams University on April 21 and 22, 2023.

The full list of panel discussions and speakers can be found below. For more details about the conference, click here.

Friday, April 21

1 p.m.

How to Get a Job in Journalism: Hear from recent college graduates about the job hunt process, and get tips for your own search.

  • Bill Bleyer, Press Club of Long Island and SPJ Region 1 (virtual)
  • Kathleen Kiely, WCVB Channel 5 Boston
  • Jeneice Roman, WSHU Public Radio, CTSPJ board member
  • Megan Willgoos, WPRI 12
  • Moderator: Chris Vaccaro, SPJ Region 1 coordinator

How to Build an Antiracist Newsroom: This panel explores the role of the press in Latino communities.

Steph Solis and Marcela Garcia speak during a panel discussion at the SPJ Region 1 Conference at Roger Williams University on April 21, 2023. (Jocelyn Jackson)
  • Marcela García, Boston Globe
  • Steph Solis, Axios Boston
  • Jessica Vega, KIDS COUNT Rhode Island
  • Moderator: Kevin G. Andrade, Rhode Island Current

2:30 p.m.

Campus Media Roundtable: Student media leaders are invited to a Q&A with the Student Press Law Center regarding student rights to report, publish and broadcast.

  • Mike Hiestand, Student Press Law Center (virtual)
  • Moderator: Roy Gutterman, Tully Center for Free Speech at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University

How to Shoot Video: Learn tips and tricks for better videos.

  • Paola Prado, Roger Williams University Journalism Department chair
  • Kayla Ebner, K. Ebner Creative Inc.

Resume and Reel Review: Get expert advice from journalists on how to present your resume and reel.

Andrew Revkin from Columbia Climate School speaking to an audience at Roger Williams University on April 21. (Sarah Shelton)
  • Kate Farrish, CCSU
  • Steven Kalb, UConn

4-6 p.m.

Opening Night Reception Keynote Speech

  • Andrew Revkin, Columbia Climate School

Saturday, April 22

8 a.m.

SPJ Region 1 Leaders Meeting

9 a.m.

First Amendment Roundtable: Hear from leading First Amendment experts in the region on current issues and trends. 

  • Ed Fitzpatrick, Boston Globe Rhode Island Bureau
  • Roy Gutterman, Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University
  • Steph Machado, WPRI
  • Justin Silverman, New England First Amendment Coalition
  • Moderator: Tim White, WPRI

Fun with Drones: Learn what you need to know to become a licensed drone pilot, and see a drone demonstration. 

  • Jonathan Elmer, SCSU Drone Academy

Reporting on Immigration: Immigration is a growing beat. Learn how to find stories and report with respect.

  • Omar Bah, Refugee Dream Center
  • Elli-Michelle Continue, freelance reporter
  • Deborah Gonzalez, Immigration Law Clinic
  • Autumn Quezada Grant, Roger Williams University
  • Moderator: Bernardo Motta, Roger Williams University

10 a.m. – noon

Hatchery Tours: Learn about what it takes to grow shellfish at Roger Williams University’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development  shellfish hatchery.

Tours were 30-45 minutes long.

10:30 a.m.

Trauma in Journalism: Learn how to approach sources who have been impacted by traumatic events, and how to take care of yourself as a reporter covering those issues. 

  • Jenifer McKim, GBH
  • Bruce Shapiro, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma (virtual)
  • Gal Tziperman Lotan, GBH
  • Moderator: Mike Savino, CTSPJ board member

Artificial Intelligence and the News: AI is here to stay. Find out the latest on how newsrooms and the public are using this technology. 

  • Sonya Cates, Roger Williams University Computer Science department
  • Ammina Kothari, University of Rhode Island Journalism Department
  • Ernest Kung, Associated Press (virtual)
  • Peter Sterne, City & State NY
  • Moderator: Chris Blake, SCSU

Reporting on Health and the Environment: This complex beat is more important than ever. Learn about resources and perspectives to help you report on issues around health and the environment.

  • Colleen Cronin, ecoRI News
  • Kevin Miller, Maine Public Radio
  • Kendall Moore, University of Rhode Island
  • Christine Woodside, freelance reporter
  • Moderator: Kate Farrish, CCSU

12 p.m.

So You Want to Write a Book? Hear from other journalists who have published books on their beats. Learn the ins and outs of writing, editing and finding a publisher. 

  • Bill Bleyer, Press Club of Long Island (virtual)
  • Janine Weisman, Rhode Island Current
  • Tim White, WPRI
  • Christine Woodside, freelance reporter
  • Moderator: Jane Primerano, New Jersey Professional Chapter of SPJ

Audience Engagement for Journalists: More than just the latest buzzwords, find out how to engage with your audience in new ways. 

  • Lindsay Boyle, Hearst Connecticut Media
  • Eryn Dion, Providence Journal
  • Karen Florin, The Day
  • Maddie Mortell, Boston Globe Media
  • Moderator: Jodie Mozdzer Gil, SCSU

Responding to Misinformation: Do journalists have an ethical obligation to address the onslaught of misinformation and disinformation? Find out what is being done by newsrooms in the region.

  • Amanda J. Crawford, UConn
  • John Ferraro, Lee Enterprises
  • Carlos Virgen, The Day
  • Moderator: Marie Shanahan, UConn

Changing Landscape in Local News: Find out how news is evolving to be part of the future.

  • Joe Admits, Center for Cooperative Media
  • Jo Detz, ecoRI News
  • Belén Dumont, New England Latino News Network
  • Simon Galperin, Community Info Coop
  • Richard Watts, Center for Community News, University of Vermont
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse speaks to a crowd of journalists and students at the SPJ Region 1 Conference at Roger Williams University on April 22, 2023. (Jocelyn Jackson)

1:15 p.m.

Mark of Excellence Awards Luncheon and Keynote Speech

  • U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

3:15 p.m.

Podcasting Potpourri: Podcasting continues to be a great way to reach your audience and dive deep into topics. Hear from journalists who have embraced the platform for their work.

  • Ana González, WNYC
  • Ed Fitzpatrick, Boston Globe Rhode Island Bureau
  • Carlos Virgen, The Day
  • Moderator: Janine Weisman, Rhode Island Current

What’s the Buzz About the Beer Beat? Writing about beer and alcohol can be your bread and butter. Find out more from those in the beverage and food beat. 

  • Jaqueline Cain, The Food Lens
  • Beth Demmon, freelance writer (virtual)
  • Courtney Iseman, freelance writer (virtual)
  • Moderator: Robert Cole, Roger Williams University