SPJ 21 Journalism Conference • Sept. 2-4, 2021




September 8th, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
How to Create More Inclusive Classrooms

Many journalists start in a classroom rather than a newsroom, and panelists at the 2021 SPJ Conference stress the need for these classrooms to be safe and inclusive spaces. University of North Texas professor Dorothy Bland said she encourages students and professors alike to start feeling comfortable outside of their current comfort zones. 


September 4th, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
J-school professors: Engaging with community, crucial tool for student journalism

Engagement is journalism and the quicker student journalists learn this, the better. Two J-school professors detail teaching methods aimed at encouraging the next generation of storytellers to strengthen their bonds with those they interview.


September 4th, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
How to be an All-Star Pitcher

Pitching is a crucial skill all journalists must hone and strengthen. The pitching process sets reporters up to share important stories and keep an eye out for gaps in current coverage. Susan Valot, a member of the SPJ Freelance Board, moderated a pitching-focused session at the organization’s 2021 conference.


September 4th, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
Investigative podcast “Why Don’t We Know” hopes to inspire journalists to seek hidden, uncollected data

The producers of investigative podcast "Why Don't We Know" -- a podcast "that tells the story of the absence of data" -- hope it'll inspire the work of other journalists and motivate them to look for hidden and uncollected data.


September 4th, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
Censorship and ‘Media Gags’ Prevent Journalists from Serving the Public Interest

Not sharing the information journalists need to prevents sometimes life saving information from reaching the public, especially during a pandemic.


September 3rd, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
How to Strengthen an Interview When Talking to Strangers

Interviewing sources is a vital part of being a journalist, but it is often difficult for reporters to get a source to open up and feel comfortable sharing their story. Dean Nelson, a journalist of 40 years and an author of 15 books, stresses the importance of “talking to strangers” and being a strong, compassionate interviewer.


September 3rd, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
Tips and Resources for Becoming a Successful Freelancer

Award-winning editor and writer Ruth E. Thaler-Carter breaks down the skills required to be a successful freelance journalist, after her nearly 40 years in the industry.  Thaler-Carter, an author of two books on the subject, provided an overview of establishing a brand and gaining a following as a freelancer in the “Freelancing 101” session.


September 2nd, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
USC Inclusion Initiatives Inspire Empowerment in Student Newsrooms

Amara Aguilar, USC journalism professor and recipient of SPJ’s Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award, moderated a session on student newsroom culture and equity. Speakers Steven Vargas and Miki Turner joined Aguilar to share how Annenberg Media’s equity board worked to encourage diverse coverage and more inclusive journalism practices.


September 2nd, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
SPJ Business Meeting Highlights Accomplishments and Awards

The Society of Professional Journalists hosted its opening business meeting, featuring statements from outgoing president Matthew Hall, nominations and executive director reports, and awards for excellence. Starting with the roles of the Convention Governance in SPJ, Hall reviewed voting procedures by chapter and regional delegates, noting that questions on delegate information can be sent to cescobar@spj.org.


September 2nd, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
A pandemic timeline of Arizona and the Navajo Nation

Click here for a timeline of COVID-19 developments and the responses by Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona health officials and Navajo leaders.  


September 2nd, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
SPJ’s Facebook Journalism Project Shares Social Media Leverage Resources

Giovanna Drpic, an award-winning bilingual local and network journalist of 20 years, detailed different tools to help journalists optimize their social media content. As platforms like Facebook shifted into spaces for discourse, it became important for newsrooms to engage with their communities online, according to Drpic.


September 2nd, 2021 • 2021: Virtual
Outgoing President Matthew Hall Hopeful for Future of SPJ and Journalism Advocacy

Society of Professional Journalists outgoing president Matthew Hall started managing the Opinions section of the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2001, with additional skills in social media and politics reporting.  Hall said he is hopeful for the future of SPJ, especially in the hands of the 105th president-elect Rebecca Aguilar.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Director Julie Taymor Shares Her Creative Process in ‘The Glorias’

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off” -Gloria Steinem Julie Taymor, the director of “The Glorias,” discussed the process of creating the film and what takeaways it offers for women and journalists with film critic Amy Nicholson during remarks at the Society of Professional Journalists conference Sept.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Univision’s Ramos accepts SPJ’s highest honor — but warns journalists of ongoing responsibilities

Univision News host and Society of Professional Journalists Fellow Jorge Ramos accepted the organization’s highest professional honor Sept. 12 with advice and cautions to his fellow journalists. A journalist’s credibility and accuracy are especially important with the current climate of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter protests, and the upcoming election, Ramos stated.


September 13th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
SPJ2020 Panelists: Newsroom Objectivity Is Changing

The concept of “objectivity” is changing in newsrooms as journalists point out the limitations and implications of the traditional journalistic value. There is currently a white supremacist idea of objectivity in newsrooms, said Morgan Givens, creator of the podcast “Flyest Fables,” in the Society of ProfessionaJ Journalists conference  panel “Beyond the Protests: Inclusive Newsrooms/Inclusive Coverage” Sept.


September 12th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Meet Matthew Hall: SPJ’s newest president

Matthew Hall has been elected president of Society of Professional Journalists during one of the most interesting and challenging years for the journalism industry. Hall, a University of New Hampshire graduate, started working at the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2001 and in 2016, he began managing the paper’s the Ideas and Opinion section.


September 12th, 2020 • 2020: Virtual
Asian Americans Bear Brunt of Covid-19 Bias

LOS ANGELES – Dozens of airlines have canceled flights to China in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, but at least one Asian American traveler is skipping his summer trip to the Philippines to avoid a spreading social illness: racism.



The SPJ News