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2019 Christopher J. Georges Conference on College Journalism


Opening remarks

Ann Marie Lipinski, curator, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, 1990 Nieman Fellow

Keynote address and conversation

Marisa Kwiatkowski, investigative reporter, The Indianapolis Star/USA Today

The State of Student Journalism Today

Taylor Blatchford, news producer at The Seattle Times and founder of The Leada resource newsletter for student journalists

Presentation slides

Student Lightning Round: Hear from Your Peers

Katherine Gerberich and Rahil Kamath, Barnard College of Columbia University

A presentation about The Spectator’s consistent coverage of the fight for graduate worker unionization at Columbia, including a historic week-long graduate student strike that occurred in April 2018. Our cross-format, cross-platform coverage included breaking news, feature stories, and in-depth investigations. Additionally, we utilized social media to drive traffic to our site and create sustained engagement with our stories. | Presentation slides


Ryan Spencer and Celia Young, Brandeis University

Last fall, in the days following the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford hearings, students held a series of public protests on campus. Though protesters held signs encouraging students to ask questions, they refused to answer questions from student journalists and told us that we were not allowed to publish photos. Covering these protests raised questions of accuracy, the importance (or lack thereof) of photography in reporting, free speech, independence, and minimizing harm. People were upset and protested the presence of photographers in a public space, stirring a debate about the rights of the press at our school. | Presentation slides


Emma Pettit and Ethan Ehrenhaft, Davidson College

This fall, Davidson students found the words “Hitler did nothing wrong” written on a white board in an academic building.  Soon after, the Carolina Workers Collective’s Twitter account doxxed two Davidson students with allegations of spreading neo-Nazi rhetoric online. The week that followed was challenging, with rumors, meetings, and calls for change. Our newspaper covered the events, verified the facts, and provided clarity in a time of fear and disillusionment. | Presentation slides


Destinee McGhee, Ciara Mims and Sterling Bright, Florida A&M University

There is a conflict that lies at the heart of student journalism: Do you put the institution that you love before a truth that may bring harm to it? News that emerged from student discussions revealed that the men’s basketball team had been handed Academic Progress Rate sanctions, and The Famuan broke the news before the athletics department made a final announcement. These revelations led to a meeting with athletics officials to discuss communication boundaries. Soon after, the athletics dept. held a press conference announcing which teams had received sanctions. | Presentation slides


Hilda Dzietror, Rutgers University

During my Fall 2018 semester at Rutgers, I wrote a story about active shooter safety protocols on Rutgers’ Newark campus. The story was inspired by the lack of awareness that students had about active shooter procedures and the lack of transparency between Rutgers-Newark’s students and its safety departments. Along with my peers, I presented research to students and faculty concerning local and national findings on mass shooting occurrences throughout the country. | Presentation slides


Brian Munoz, Southern Illinois University (part of ProPublica’s Emerging Reporters program)

Student media at The Daily Egyptian at Southern Illinois University had been subject to preemptive censorship in an attempt to stop coverage of three African American sophomore student cheerleaders who chose to kneel during the national anthem during athletic events. The plot thickened when the athletics department attempted to put a policy in place to stop any forms of activism during games. Our reporting sparked a national outcry and pushed the athletics dept. to rescind the policy barring protest to promote “unity.” | Presentation slides


Christina Morales, Amanda Rosa and Devoun Cetoute, University of Florida

The Independent Florida Alligator is currently one of a few college newsrooms that was selected by the Poynter College Media Project to conduct a newsroom-wide project called “Who is Gainesville” about the city’s relationship with the University of Florida’s students. For the city’s 150th anniversary, we are exploring the divide between East and West Gainesville and issues of race, inequities in education, policing and economic development. Our newsroom has also done extensive coverage on the Parkland shooting and how it affected students who go to the University of Florida. We have also looked at the difficulties of diversifying a small student newsroom. | Presentation slides

Press Rights Primer

Frank D. LoMonte, director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information

Presentation slides

Plenary Session: A Career in Journalism/Media

Catie Edmondson, The New York Times, Washington, D.C.

Andy Duehren, The Wall Street Journal, Washington, D.C.

Ian Brooking, WPDE ABC-15, South Carolina

Moderator: Anica Butler, deputy editor of The Boston Globe’s news department and a 2019 Nieman Fellow

Finding Stories in Public Records

Steve Myers, editor of The Lens

Mary Ellen Klas, capital bureau chief for The Miami Herald in Tallahassee, Florida

Presentation slides