EIJ14 gets under way Thursday

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Conference highlights

September 3, 2014 1:30 PM

Excellence in Journalism 2014 (EIJ14), produced by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), gets started Thursday at the Opryland Resort and Conference Center in Nashville, Tennessee. You can read all about it on the conference website, and follow along with multiple updates per day on RTDNA.org.

Here are some of the hightlights and last-minute tips:


Whether it's keeping track of the schedule with 45+ breakout sessions, our super sessions, events or the awards ceremonies, receptions and more, you won't find a better way to do it than with the EIJ14 mobile app. And this year, you can use the app to stay connected with other attendees! Download it directly from your mobile device here.


Speaking of Twitter, there are a bunch of conference speakers, recruiters, trainers, J-schools, vendors and more who you can follow to hear more about the conference and the other work they're doing. Check out the to see who's who for the September 4-6 conference in Nashville.


The Opening Business Session for RTDNA members is on Thursday, September 4 at 2:15pm. Also, don't miss Saturday's Closing Business Session at 4pm, where the new RTDNA board chair takes the gavel.


Freedom Sings is an entertaining, engaging and irreverent look at free speech and music censorship that has toured the nation for more than a decade. An all-star band of Nashville singers and songwriters plays the "most dangerous" tunes of the past century, including once-controversial songs by the Beatles, Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Black-Eyed Peas and LMFAO. See it on Thursday, September 4 from 4:30-5:30pm.


Join us a for a night of country music, line dancing and fun at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, as we kick off the conference in style in Music City USA.


The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri sparked protests, a large-scale police response and widespread media coverage, including an editorial in the Kansas City Star on August 22, which said there has been “some productive, analytical coverage” but “much has been superficial, sensational and lacking context while feeding well-worn stereotypes and narratives.” This session covers advice for newsrooms covering such a situation, including journalists’ rights, responsibilities and the needs law enforcement has to keep order. Moderator: Bob Priddy, News Director, MissouriNet; Panelists: Robert Brooks, online editor, Radio-One; Elise Hu, NPR reporter covering Ferguson; Gregg Leslie, Legal Defense Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.


Join the Missouri School of Journalism's Barbara Cochran and Poynter's Jill Geisler for a discussion on women in newsrooms: Gender balance in staffing, equal pay, representation in leadership roles and more. Speakers include: Amanda Bennett, investigative journalist and author; Marci Burdick, senior vice president broadcasting, Schurz Communications; Margaret Low Smith, President of AtlanticLIVE; Kimberly Voss, associate professor, University of Central Florida; Caryl Rivers, professor, Boston University; Kara Swisher (@karaswisher), co-chief executive officer of Revere Digital; Bryan Monroe, Washington editor, opinion & commentary, CNN


Kara Swisher is co-CEO of Revere Digital and co-founder of the tech website Re/Code. She'll be telling us about her career as a female journalist and business owner in an industry that is not known for diversity. Her session gets under way on Friday at 2pm.



On Friday, September 5 from 5-6pm, we'll be honoring former NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol with the Paul White Award, and CBS Radio News Vice President Harvey Nagler with the John F. Hogan Award. And don't forget to get your ticket to the awards reception, immediately following the ceremony.


We hope you'll join us on Saturday at 9am for a special session where you can meet the winners of this year's National Endowment for Financial Education/RTDNA Personal Finance Award winners, and hear how they put together their award-winning entries. Each year, participants come away from this session with great ideas to tell stories in their markets.



RTDNA's Ethics Committee has spent the last year revising the Code of Ethics adopted in 2000. Find out what's new, what's improved and how you can contribute. This will be a conversation, not just a presentation. Join us in producing a resource to help journalists make better decisions for themselves, their organizations and the communities they serve. Trainers: Scott Libin, Hubbard Senior Fellow, University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications; Terence Shepherd, news director, WLRN-Miami Herald News


Plus these events:


  • Chat with RTDNA Leadership
  • The Student Union - Student and educator networking
  • Dozens of training sessions
  • SPJ president's installation banquet
  • EIJ14 Dance
  • Video critiques
  • Résumé critiques

And more!

And don't forget the Journalism Expo, where you can check out the latest products and services for your newsroom, publications, websites and more.

Once again, to see the latest details about Excellence in Journalism 2014, check out the

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