INN Days is two days of intensive business training for nonprofit and independent news organizations looking to achieve growth and increase their impact, which happens ahead of IRE each year.
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INN Days 2019 was held June 12-13 at The Four Seasons Houston.
Visit the agenda tab to view the agenda or download it here.
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INN Days 2019 featured lessons from news leaders successfully building public financial support for journalism, as well as learnings and tips generated by three years of experience with NewsMatch. The June 12 NewsMatch Day was sponsored by Knight Foundation. INN's annual meeting on June 13 featured a sneak-peak at the latest numbers on nonprofit news, sessions on diversity and trust, sponsorship, and engaging passive listeners and readers to become active supporters, all sponsored by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.
Download the agenda as a PDF document or view it below.
Note: This agenda is subject to change
Accelerating Nonprofit News
June 12-13, 2019
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
INN Days is presented with generous sponsorship from the
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation
Wednesday, June 12
8:00am Registration and check-in
8:30-9:00 am Breakfast and Networking
9:00-9:15 am WELCOME : Sue Cross, CEO and Executive Director, INN
9:15-10:15 am KEYNOTE: Building Your Generosity Network
If you ever wonder how fundraising can feel so rewarding or wonder why you do this work — come get fired up about the coming year! McCrea talks about how to connect money and meaning to mobilize supporters for news. As one of the country’s leading fundraising advisors, she works with many organizations that are successfully building public support for great journalism.
Presenter: Jennifer McCrea, CEO and Founder, Exponential Fundraising
10:15-11:15 am Lightning Talks: NewsMatch - The Local Perspectives
Be inspired by lightning talks from INN members who excelled in NewsMatch 2018, or used their first campaign to try new fundraising tactics and strategies. This session is focused on hearing from newsrooms that cover a particular community or region, but the lessons are useful for everybody.
Panelists: Alice Dreger, Publisher and President, East Lansing Info; Joe Livernois, Founding Editor, Voices of Monterey Bay; Laurie Milford, Development Director, High Country News; Teresa Martin, Executive Director, Lower Cape TV; Asraa Mustufa, Digital Editor, The Chicago Reporter
Moderator: Christina Shih, VP of Business Development, News Revenue Hub
11:30-12:30 pm Lunch and Learn: NewsMatch 2019
Knight Welcome and Remarks: Jennifer Preston, VP of Journalism, Knight Foundation
Presenter: Jason Alcorn, Project Director, NewsMatch
1:15-1:30 pm BREAK
1:30-2:30 pm Email Newsletters: A Magnet for Donors
From newsletter frequency to length, visual appeal and more, this panel will explore best practices in newsletter formats, workflows and why newsletters are a powerful tool in the audience to donor journey.
Presenters: Rebekah Monson, Co-founder and COO, WhereBy.Us; Rebecca Quarls, Director of Strategy, News Revenue Hub; Tim Windsor, Digital Strategy Consultant, Windsor Digital
2:30-3:30 pm Lightning Talks: Because of NewsMatch...!
INN members have been fundraising with NewsMatch since 2016. Hear what organizations that have been participating in the campaign for two or three years have learned and the tips they have for new and returning participants.
Panelists: Dena Drabek, Chief Operating Officer, Oklahoma Watch; Alison Go, Senior Director of Growth, Chalkbeat; Chelsey Tabakian Odom, Business Operations Manager, Center for Sustainable Journalism
Moderator: Karen Rundlet, Director, Journalism Program, Knight Foundation
3:30-3:45 pm BREAK
3:45-4:45 pm Hunting and Gathering for Fun and (Non)Profit
Join us as we explore the wily behaviors and exotic home worlds of the elusive journalism nonprofit major donor. Or maybe they’re not so strange and hard to find after all: You’ll come away from this session with ideas on how to best use your limited time and resources on where to look for great major donor prospects, and how to begin developing a vibrant community of donors through events, volunteer development, research and more. And we’ll also talk about money and why it’s a loaded topic for so many of us.
Presenter: Steve Katz, Publisher, Mother Jones
4:45 pm ADJOURN
5:00-7:00 pm INN’s 10th Anniversary Reception (Ballroom Lobby)
Thursday, June 13
Building the Business Skills that Sustain News
8:30-9:30 am INN Annual Meeting - Coffee and Breakfast
Welcome: INN Board Chair Laura Frank, VP News, Rocky Mountain PBS
Meet the candidates: Presentations from INN board candidates
INN Board Meeting:
- Appointment of Mark Horvit, ratification
- Emeritus board member bylaws change
- Recognition of INN founder Brant Houston, whose board term is ending
INN Index: Sneak peak of some very promising headlines and trends!
Go Boldly: INN members will change the future of U.S. news in the next decade. How we take this challenge and win it. Sue Cross, INN executive director and CEO.
Feedback session with INN staff
Announcement of new board members presented by Brant Houston, INN Secretary
Moderator: Laura Frank, Rocky Mountain PBS and Chair, INN Board of Directors
9:30-11:00 am How Diversity and Trust Intersect: A Workshop in Inclusive Audience Development
Research conducted by The Trust Project reveals how diversity and inclusion are key indicators of trustworthy content. We’ll go over the indicators and discuss how they can be applied to editorial and audience strategy. The Fault Lines framework will help attendees understand their own Fault Lines blind spots and how those blind spots create perception bias and impact coverage, sourcing and audience. As part of the workshop, participants will brainstorm an audience development and engagement strategy that reaches across the Fault Lines of race, class, gender, generation and geography.
Presenter: Martin Reynolds, Co-Executive Director, External Affairs and Funding, The Maynard Institute
11:00-11:45 am Building Strategic Sponsorship Campaign
Learn the key pieces needed to create a powerful and profitable campaign. What pieces do you need in place if you want to offer a special promotion around a product and service? Is a landing page about the promotion, email communication, follow up phone calls part of your plan? Perhaps you also need to offer a complimentary service, training webinar or special contract term. We’ll review the key pieces and talk through them, so you can be best positioned to run multiple campaigns throughout the year. Campaigns are a strategy to grow your prospect list and gain the attention of prospects who aren’t yet on your radar.
Presenter: Ebony Reed, Director of Innovation, RJI Futures Lab, Reynolds Journalism Institute
12:00-1:00 pm LUNCHEON: In Defense of Audacious Goals
Like many fellow INN members, Amy Martin founded her podcast and radio show, Threshold, with huge ambitions and very little else. Three years later, she and her team have followed bison across the Montana prairie, camped out on the Greenland ice sheet, and had their microphone mistaken for a chew toy by a sled dog -- all as part of their quest to dive deep into complex environmental topics and bring nuance to some of our most highly polarized issues. On paper, it all sounds kind of nuts. But would a more "sensible" plan have been as successful? We’ll explore risk and reward in nonprofit journalism in this adventure-filled talk.
Presenters: Amy Martin, Founder & Executive Producer, Threshold; Nick Mott, Producer, Threshold.
Season two of Threshold was sponsored by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
1:00 pm-2:00 pm Peer Group Meetups
As the INN network continues to grow, members have turned to peer groups to share ideas with similar organizations or job title holders. This will be a time at INN Days to gather any new or established small groups to brainstorm, share ideas or vent in person.
Established Peer Groups: Emerging Leaders, LEAD, Steve Katz’s Major Gifts Masterclass, Rural Newsrooms and Statehouse. Peer groups will be assigned to meet in either the Ballroom or Austin room.
2:00-3:00 pm BREAKOUT SESSION: New ideas for turning passive audiences into donors (Ballroom)
WBUR’s BizLab is an innovation lab identifying and testing new revenue streams for public media. With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Knight Foundation, we collaborate with public radio stations across the country on testing new ways of raising funds. In this session, WAMU’s DCist team, Louisville Public Media’s do502.com events team, and WBUR’s podcast team will share their learnings from user-centered experiments designed to convert their largely passive communities into active donors. We will break down each experiment into the questions they were designed to answer, get the audience to guess the outcomes, and then provide a recipe for how to replicate the success at a variety of nonprofit news organizations
Panelists: Lindsy Goldberg, BizLab, WBUR; Tajah McQueen, Events and Special Projects Coordinator, Louisville Public Media; Rachel Sadon, Editor in Chief, DCist, WAMU
2:00-3:00 pm BREAKOUT SESSION: All news is local news (Austin Room)
A lot of energy (and funding!) is being poured into local news right now, in an effort to plug a hole in our civil society. While this has meant great opportunity for some INN members, it has brought new challenges for others. These newsrooms are playing an increasingly important role in plugging these gaps. In this session, national and local members will discuss ways they have oriented their coverage and their partnerships to thrive in this environment. This session will be interactive and members on both sides of the local/national divide are encouraged to come and bring their stories and questions about how national organizations can be more local — and how local organizations can partner with national organizations to achieve greater scale, impact and reach.
Panelists: Noreen Gilliespie, Deputy Managing Editor for U.S. News, Associated Press; Katharine Mieszkowski, CIR/Reveal; Steve Sapienza, Senior Strategist, Pulitzer Center; Willie Shubert, Global Program Director, MongaBay
Moderator: Jonathan Kealing, Chief Network Officer, INN
3:00 pm ADJOURN
INN Days was held at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston.
What Attendees are Saying About INN Days 2019
Michael Ellis, Executive Director-Publisher at Scalawag:
INN Days was a great way to learn best practices from peer institutions who are learning to solve the broad problems that affect us all in the nonprofit news industry. Definitely worth coming.
Amy Norquist, Regional Director of Development at Mother Jones:
The INN conference brought together a diverse group of journalists and nonprofit news staff which provided tremendous learning opportunities and networking both in and out of the conference sessions. INN conference participants are inspired and inspiring folks.
Loren Lynch, Development Director at the Texas Observer:
I found it very valuable to hear what other organizations are working on, the sharing of ideas, what worked and what didn't.
Bruce Putterman, Publisher at The Connecticut Mirror:
I am bursting with anticipation and excitement about implementing the many ideas I learned about at INN Days.
Karen Everhart, Managing Editor at Current:
I came away with new insights and understanding of how editorial staff can contribute to successful business development.
Christine Bockelmann, Chair of Board of Directors at Highlands Current:
In its support for nonprofit journalism around the country, INN energizes reporters and readers alike in their pursuit of news that touches them personally, be it a topic they care about profoundly, an investigation that rights a wrong, a profile of a neighbor in a small community. INN makes possible coverage beyond the scope of the national media.
Lyle Muller, Executive Director-Editor at Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism:
Two days of networking with exceptional, passionate journalists serve as a good reminder that, despite the obstacles, pursuing nonprofit journalism is important work. I learn a lot every time I attend INN Days.
Bonnie Phillips, oversees Connecticut Health I-Team, former editor:
The INN Days sessions imparted valuable information to help us make our small non-profit news site the best it can be, from growing our donor base to engaging readers to practical advice on which apps or support systems to use.
Shereen Siewert, Founder and Publisher of Wausau Pilot and Review:
This conference is vital to the growth and survival of independent nonprofit news outlets. By sharing best practices and learning new skills, we can better position ourselves for future sustainability.
Regina Ridley, Executive Director / Publisher at the Bay Nature Institute:
“INN Days was the best conference I have been to in 35+ years in publishing. From some aha moments that have changed my thinking to practical changes we can make in our processes — my learning these two days will have an important impact on my organization.”
Nancy West, Executive Director at the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism:
“I started the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism to publish InDepthNH.org online with very little understanding of how to run a nonprofit business. The people at the Institute for Nonprofit News taught me how to write a business plan and walked me through the process via webinars and one on one consulting. We are growing now because of INN and NewsMatch. It is not as fast as I would like, but the recent training at INN Days in Houston provided great information that will help us grow faster. I serve on the board of INN because I believe without it, there would be no future for many of the smaller startups. I am so grateful I found INN and that you folks have stuck with us.”
Christie Renick, Vice President at Fostering Media Connections:
“INN Days helped me remember that we are part of a global nonprofit news movement, that we are not in this alone as we fight for funding and recognition — even though no one else does exactly what we do. That connection to peers, reconnecting with my own inspiration for doing this work, and coming away from the conference with a list of achievable action items is invaluable. Thank you, INN team and presenters!”
Meg McGuire, Publisher/Founder at the Delaware Currents:
“Many people who have dared to dream of new ways of doing the news are dyed-in-the-wool journalists and need some help to make the turn into creating sustainable projects that are here for the long run. INN is that help.”
Louisa Lincoln, Development Specialist at PRI / PRX:
“Beyond the workshops themselves, it was incredibly energizing to be surrounded by such smart, resourceful and ambitious folks. Our work can be somewhat isolating — and can sometimes feel like an incredibly small, niche area — but being part of a community of people working towards similar goals and ideals was really reviving. I feel like I have a renewed sense of purpose and I'm excited to collaborate with more with these folks going forward. We are truly honored to be part of such an exciting and dynamic organization. Can't wait for next year!”
Jennie Liska, Director of Loyalty Programs at PublicSource:
“The services that INN provides and the connections that they broker really extend the reach and capacity of our small, nonprofit news organization.”
Todd Reubold, Publisher at Ensia:
“INN Days is consistently one of the best journalism gatherings of the year. As the publisher at nonprofit media outlet, I especially appreciate the focus on business development. I've attended INN Days three times now, and each time I return to the office with a list of actionable items my team can implement right away to improve our operations.”
Mazin Sidahmed, Co-founder & Senior Reporter at Documented:
“INN Days was a truly moving, inspirational and informative experience. Learning about the growth of this movement and meeting my peers from around the country left me feeling invigorated. The speakers and the workshops also provided tangible information that I've taken back to my newsroom and plan to implement.”
Kate Howard, Managing Editor at the Kentucky Center For Investigative Reporting:
“Whether you're an established organization or a new start-up, INN provides the motivation you need to fight for our industry and the metrics, plans and support you need to figure out how exactly to do that.”
Christopher Tyree, Executive Director/President/Co-Founder, Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism:
“It was so exciting to be at INN Days. I was so impressed by the overall programing; and the networking was fantastic. Totally inspired!”
INN Days 2019 hosted the following speakers:
Project Director, NewsMatch
Jason Alcorn is the VP of operations for the American Journalism Project, the first venture philanthropy organization focused on local news. He is also the project director for NewsMatch, an annual matching gift and capacity building campaign that in 2018 helped to raise $7.6 million for nonprofit news organizations. He previously worked as a strategic consultant for nonprofit news organizations and philanthropic foundations and facilitated the first Institute for Nonprofit News Emerging Leaders Council. Jason is also an award-winning journalist. He served as associate director of Seattle-based nonprofit news organization InvestigateWest from 2011 to 2016.
Chief Operating Officer, Oklahoma Watch
Drabek, a native Oklahoman and former television journalist, leads Oklahoma Watch’s efforts in financial development, marketing and public engagement. Her background as a communications professional includes experience with corporate, nonprofit, government and public affairs in Oklahoma and Washington D.C. She holds degrees in journalism and administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma. Drabek began her career as a television reporter in Ardmore and Fayetteville, Ark. Reach Drabek at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 590-5889.
Founder and Publisher, East Lansing Info (ELi)
Alice Dreger founded and publishes East Lansing Info (ELi), East Lansing’s only dedicated news source. Now in its fifth year, ELi has engaged more than 140 local people as reporters of high- quality, nonpartisan, local news, including major investigative reports on government spending and favoritism, whistleblower lawsuits, conflicts of interest, regulatory cover-ups, and environmental dangers. Dreger’s own bylines include the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, New Statesman, and WIRED. She holds a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University resigned her last academic position at Northwestern University’s medical school over censorship by her dean. A native New Yorker, she’s a Guggenheim Fellow and the inaugural winner of the Heterodox Academy’s Courage Award. She is working on rescuing high-quality nonpartisan local news through the news brigade model tested and refined at ELi.
President and General Manager, Rocky Mountain PBS
Laura Frank is the president and general manager of news at Rocky Mountain PBS. Frank was founder of I-News, the nonprofit investigative news organization that merged with Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting in 2013. RMPBS News continues to deliver multimedia investigative reports to news outlets across the Rocky Mountain region. Frank, a Denver native, has nearly two decades of experience at daily newspapers and in radio and public television. She was an investigative reporter at the Rocky Mountain News until it closed in 2009. Her stories have won top awards in both print and broadcast, helped release innocent people from prison, protect abused children and win aid for sick nuclear-weapons workers. Frank is an elected member and chair of the INN board of directors.
Deputy Managing Editor for U.S. News, The Associated Press
Noreen Gillespie oversees breaking news, politics and state reporting in the United States for The Associated Press. The news service has reporters in all 50 states, along with five multiformat publishing hubs and a robust reporting team in Washington, D.C. The news agency reaches 15,000 newsrooms globally and U.S. teams were Pulitzer Prize finalists for immigration reporting and photo coverage of the California wildfires in 2019. Gillespie began her career as a statehouse reporter in Hartford, Connecticut, and has been a news manager for AP in the South, Midwest and in global sports. She lives in Maplewood, N.J., with her husband and three children.
Senior Director of Growth, Chalkbeat
Alison Go is Chalkbeat’s Head of Growth and is responsible for product management, marketing, membership, data, and strategic planning for the fast-growing education news site. Previously, she was a product manager at Amazon, Facebook, and Rent the Runway. Alison received her MBA from the Wharton School and went to the University of Michigan for undergrad. In a former life, she was a reporter and copy editor at U.S. News & World Report, the Boston Globe, and the San Jose Mercury News.
Program Manager, WBUR Public Radio BizLab
Lindsy is the program manager at WBUR's Public Radio BizLab. She joined WBUR after a decade in college radio, where she started and managed a station, consulted on strategic vision and developed organizational strategy alongside undergraduate students. She has also managed internal innovation projects in commercial aviation and higher education. She holds a BA in Communication from Merrimack College and an MA in Civic Media from Emerson College.
Publisher, Mother Jones
Since joining Mother Jones in 2003, Publisher Steve Katz has worn a lot of different hats, but now devotes most of his time to working with the MoJo board of directors and a team of 14 development and membership staff. During his tenure, donor giving of all kinds increased by 250 percent to $12 million, the number of active donors grew to more than 50,000, and MoJo donors pledged nearly $9 million in planned gift expectancies. Steve is the lead staff for the Moment for Mother Jones special fundraising campaign, which is entering its public phase with the goal of reaching the campaign’s $25 million goal. Before joining MoJo, Steve was vice president of development at Earthjustice. He cut his nonprofit teeth working in the South Bronx back in the 1970s. In between he worked in the nonprofit theater scene in the Bay Area and other nonprofit organizations. He received his PhD in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz in 1987, and his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1974. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife, Rachelle. Their visit to the set of Star Trek: Discovery was a religious experience.
Director, INN Labs
Kay Lima leads a team of news technologists at the Institute for Nonprofit News, a fast-growing network of nearly 200 public service news organizations. She identifies and builds innovative solutions for independent news publishers to better engage with the public, strengthen revenue sources, and build trust. The team she directs build products which help newsrooms with their digital presentations of news.
Kay brings her experience in digital marketing, project management, and creative strategy to INN. She leverages this experience to lead trainings and digital innovations for over 70 publisher sites and news organizations each year.
Founding Editor, Voices of Monterey Bay
Joe Livernois has been a community journalist for 40 years, mostly for the Monterey County (California) Herald. He has been a reporter, columnist, city editor, photographer, copy editor and executive editor. He also worked for the Imperial Valley Press in Southern California and for the Carmel Pine Cone, a weekly in Monterey County. In late 2017 Livernois joined forces with three other veteran journalists to create Voices of Monterey Bay, an online bilingual news magazine serving the Central Coast of California.
Founder + Executive Producer, Threshold
Amy is the founder and executive producer of Threshold, a podcast and public radio show that specializes in making complex environmental topics personal, immediate, and real. Each season, Threshold explores one story of pivotal change from the natural world. Season one focused on the American bison and season two brought listeners to all eight countries of the Arctic. In 2017, Outside Online named Threshold one of the best new podcasts of year, and the Montana Broadcasters Association awarded it “Best Non-Commercial Radio Program of the Year.” In addition to producing Threshold, Amy has filed stories for NPR's All Things Considered, PRI's The World, Here and Now, and other radio outlets. In 2016, she was selected for the Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Amy has been invited to give presentations about her work at the Environmental Film Festival in The Nation's Capital, the International Wildlife Film Festival, the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway, and on the TEDx stage. She was raised on an Iowa farm and has called Missoula, Montana home since 1999.
Teresa Martin Executive
Director, Lower Cape TV
Teresa Martin serves as Executive Director of Lower Cape TV, working with five towns on Cape Cod to manage two community and education cable TV stations, while developing non-profit models for local news creation and distribution. She previously held CEO, COO, and senior management roles in media, information, and technology companies.
Throughout her career she has used technology to make positive changes to the world, helping develop ways to communicate and connect, while at the same time writing articles, books, and columns and producing video stories to share and explain our changing world. Past accomplishments include helping develop the first tablet newspaper for the news publisher Knight-Ridder at its Information Design Lab , and bringing fiber communications infrastructure to the Cape and Southeastern Massachusetts as a founder of OpenCape.
She holds degrees from Boston University’s College of Communications and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education -- and loves nothing better than creating engagement between people, their communities, and the world around them.
Sr. Research Fellow Harvard University, Author, CEO/Founder Exponential Fundraising, Co-Founder Born Free, Board Member
Jennifer McCrea is a Senior Research Fellow at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard University and is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of money, meaning and social change and the co-author of the best selling book, The Generosity Network. She is co-founder of Born Free Africa and is a Vice Chairman of the United Nation’s Health Alliance. She’s also a Senior Advisor to Kiva, a powerful global community with a goal of creating a financially inclusive world and a Senior Advisor to the New Consenus.
For more than 30 years, she has partnered with philanthropists, board members and social change leaders to think more creatively and collaboratively about ways in which to align strategic direction, values and resources. Jennifer has worked with more than 1,000 organizations, including Acumen, DonorsChoose.org, Grameen America, Southern Poverty Law Center, Council on Foreign Relations, Teach for America, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Pencils of Promise, charity: water, Witness, Mercy Corps, X Prize Foundation, Creative Commons, Solutions Journalism Network, VisionSpring, American Immigration Council and many others.
She has been a speaker and led seminars for, among others, Ashoka, Skoll World Forum, TED, Board Source, Social Venture Philanthropy, Draper Richards Kaplan, Open Society Foundations, Emerson Collective, New Profit, Echoing Green, Harvard Business School, Wharton and Oxford University.
Jennifer is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the MIT Media Lab and serves as a board member Leading Change Network and Reimagining Democracy Fund. She is also on the advisory board of the Blue School and Pioneer Works and a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
Events and Special Projects Coordinator, Louisville Public Media
Tajah McQueen is an events and special projects coordinator at Louisville Public Media. She manages more than 100 events that LPM produces each year, including WFPK Waterfront Wednesday, a free, outdoor music concert with an average of 12,000 attendees. Tajah works to include community outreach and education in each of the events she plans. When Tajah isn’t working for the non-profit organization, she volunteers for Girls Rock Louisville and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and does science experiments with her three-year-old and partner.
Senior Reporter, Reveal
Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior reporter for Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. She reports for Reveal's radio show and podcast, co-produced with PRX, which airs weekly on more than 470 public radio stations around the country. She's also been a senior writer for Salon and Fast Company. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Slate and on NPR's "All Things Considered."
Katharine's coverage at Reveal has won many national awards including the Alfred I. duPont- Columbia University Award two years in a row, a Peabody Award, an Online News Association Award, a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award and a Webby Award. Mieszkowski has a bachelor's degree from Yale University. She is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.
Development Director, High Country News
Laurie Milford brings 19 years of experience in senior nonprofit and education management to High Country News, where she is development director. She was executive director at the Wyoming Outdoor Council, a statewide, independent conservation group where she played a key role in establishing the first state law to regulate the flaring of methane in natural gas drilling operations and the first state law to require oil and gas companies to determine baseline water quality before using hydraulic fracturing. She has been involved directly in the long-term protection of more than 3 million acres of BLM and Forest Service lands, including the landmark Wyoming Range Legacy Act. She also helped to raise the funds required to achieve these successes. Laurie received her formal training as production editor for Westview Press in Boulder, CO, then a scholarly subsidiary of HarperCollins. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English from the University of Iowa and the University of Wyoming respectively. She graduated from the Institute for Conservation Leadership in 2008; in 2010 the institute recognized her as an exemplary leader in the conservation movement. Laurie lives in Hotchkiss, CO, with her husband and son.
Co-founder and COO, WhereBy.Us
Rebekah Monson is co-founder and COO for WhereBy.Us, a platform that helps curious locals get engaged in their cities, starting with email newsletters. Its brands, Miami’s The New Tropic, Seattle’s The Evergrey, Portland’s Bridgeliner, Orlando’s Pulptown and Pittsburgh’s The Incline, engage more than a million curious locals each year. The company recently completed Jason Calcanis’s LAUNCH Accelerator, and is expanding to new U.S. markets and enhancing its technology platform. Rebekah also co-founded Code for Miami and Hacks/Hackers Miami. She serves on several professional and civic boards aimed at improving journalism, technology, and civic life.
Nick is a producer at Threshold. His written work, audio, and photography has appeared in NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, PRI’s The World, The Washington Post, Outside, Alpinist, and the Mountain West News Bureau, among other outlets. He holds an MA in environmental journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder. Though he was raised in the plains of Kansas, but you can usually find him off in the mountains. He's also a reporter at Montana Public Radio.
Digital Editor, The Chicago Reporter
Asraa Mustufa is a digital editor at The Chicago Reporter, a nonprofit investigative news organization that focuses on race, poverty and income inequality. A Chicago transplant by way of New Jersey, she has a background in reporting and studied journalism, political science and South Asian studies at Rutgers University.
Chelsey Tabakian Odom
Business Operations Manager, Center for Sustainable Journalism
Odom is the business operations manager for the Center for Sustainable Journalism, publisher of Youth Today and Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. She started at the CSJ as an intern in 2015. After graduating from Kennesaw State University with a BBA in marketing, she began her full-time role, now overseeing subscriptions, marketing, advertising, financials, strategy and much more. Odom has also received a Management Development Certificate from KSU, volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA) and does marketing for Cyndy’s Southern Pound Cakes. In addition to being a Big for BBBSMA, she is a member of their Young Leaders Council and serves on the events committee.
Director of Strategy, News Revenue Hub
Rebecca Quarls is the director of strategy for the News Revenue Hub, working with more than 30 for and nonprofit news organizations around the country to test strategies and develop products aimed at optimizing audience engagement and conversion to membership. Previously she was the membership and marketing manager for The Texas Tribune and, before that, a community manager for NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune.
Director of Innovation, RJI Futures Lab
Ebony Reed is director of innovation at the RJI Futures Lab and an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Ebony Reed collaborates with RJI staff and the Missouri School of Journalism to research and test new platforms for journalism, as well as study new revenue models. She’s also an associate professor at the journalism school where she teaches in-person and online classes that focus on media sales and media management.
Reed has worked for both the business and editorial sides of journalism. She came to RJI from the Boston Business Journal, where she was executive advertising director.
She had a nearly seven-year career with The Associated Press, first as an assistant bureau chief, and later as director of business development for U.S. local markets. As director, she worked with AP directors across the country to find digital and commercial opportunities for the AP.
Prior to moving to the business side of journalism she held editing and reporting roles at The Detroit News and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. In 2015, Reed received 40 Under 40 honors from the Boston Business Journal, which recognized her as a top business leader under 40. She received an NAACP Image Award in 2013 for her work in the community, success in journalism and commitment to diversity.
Co-Executive Director, External Affairs and Funding, The Maynard Institute
Prior to being named to the leadership of the organization, Reynolds served as a senior fellow for strategic planning for the institute, helping to oversee the planning and implementation of the “MIJE Re-Imagined” project. Reynolds is co-founder of Oakland Voices, a community storytelling project that trains residents to serve as community correspondents. He was named as Digital First Media’s Innovator of the Year for his work on Oakland Voices. Prior to his Maynard fellowship, Reynolds was senior editor for community engagement and training for Bay Area News Group and served as editor-in-chief of The Oakland Tribune between 2008-2011. His career with Bay Area News Group spanned 18 years. Reynolds was also a lead editor on the Chauncey Bailey Project, formed in 2007 to investigate the slaying of the former Oakland Post editor and Tribune reporter. Reynolds also serves as the director of the Reveal Investigative Fellowships.
Director of Journalism Program, Knight Foundation
Karen Rundlet joined Knight Foundation in November 2015.
As a director in the Journalism Program, her focus is on investing in new methods and models to advance excellence in journalism and civic media as a way to support informed, local communities.
Before entering the field of philanthropy, Rundlet worked as a journalist at the Miami Herald, where she developed the newsroom's first-ever video studio and led initiatives to make video integral to the MiamiHerald.com audience experience. She also contributed business reports to various public radio newsrooms, including WLRN/Miami Herald News and American Public Media’s “Marketplace.”
Rundlet spent the first part of her career working as a television news producer in Miami (WPLG-TV), Atlanta (WAGA-TV) and New York (WNBC-TV). She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Georgetown University and was a Maynard Institute fellow. Most recently, she served on the board of the Lyric Theater in Overtown.
Editor in chief, WAMU / DCist
Rachel Sadon is the editor in chief of DCist, a digital local news outlet owned by Washington’s NPR station, WAMU.
Rachel helmed the site for two years before it was shut down in late 2017. After a brief stint as a radio producer, she led DCist’s relaunch at WAMU, including the launch of a successful Kickstarter campaign. She has since worked on a website redesign and is in the midst of developing a DCist membership program, in addition to regularly reporting for the site and occasionally on air for WAMU.
Previously, Rachel served as the local news editor for the Washington Post Express and as an assistant editor for the Latin America Advisor. She has a degree in Culture and Politics from Georgetown University, and was named a 2018 “Rising Star” by the News Media Alliance.
Senior Strategist, Collaborative News Partnerships
Steve Sapienza is an experienced news producer who has covered a wide range of human security stories in dozens of countries, such as the HIV crisis in Hispanola, Sierra Leone’s child soldiers, Bangladeshi climate refugee, and Cambodia’s landmine survivors. For over 20 years he’s shot and produced stories for broadcast television and online distribution. His stories have appeared in outlets such as the PBS NewsHour, New York Times, Financial Times, NPR, and Al Jazeera. Most recently, he developed TAKEN, a collaborative, data-driven investigation of civil asset forfeiture involving U.S. newsrooms and journalists.
As senior strategist for the Pulitzer Center, he works closely with the Center’s grantees, new media makers, and newsrooms to identify the collaborative space, digital tools, reporting strategies, and partnerships that enable storytellers to best reach their audience. He excels at unifying cross-disciplinary creative teams including journalists, data designers, filmmakers, photographers, mappers, web developers, and news editors.
VP of Business Development, News Revenue Hub
Christina is the VP of Business Development at the News Revenue Hub, a nonprofit that helps digital news organizations build membership programs. She also designs and leads the trainings for NewsMatch, a grassroots fundraising campaign for nonprofit news organizations. Prior to the Hub, Christina managed Voice of San Diego’s membership program
Global Program Director, Mongabay
Willie Shubert is the Global Program Director for Mongabay. He leads its global non-profit newsroom through the management of Mongabay’s portfolio of grants-funded journalism projects. Willie oversees news bureaus in Indonesia, Latin America, India, and the United States as well as Mongabay’s video and investigative programs. He has collaborated with hundreds of journalists to craft in-depth stories and co-create media projects, which have amplified the voices of people living closest to hotspots of environmental change. Previously as the Senior Program Officer for Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, Willie managed programs throughout Asia and led the network’s global technology initiatives. Willie started his journalism career at National Geographic Magazine, where he coordinated translation for the magazine’s local language editions. He holds a degree in Geography from Humboldt State University with concentrations in cartography, environmental economics, and Chinese studies.
Digital Strategy Consultant, Winsdor Digital
Tim Windsor has been breaking new ground in digital news since he launched The Baltimore Sun's first website in 1996 and then grew that organization to a $17 million business over the next 12 years. He also helped create and launch the AOL/PATCH network of nearly 1,000 community news sites throughout the USA, led digital strategy for The Johns Hopkins University and Lincoln Financial Media and developed and implemented a content and SEO strategy for an emerging fintech leader, LendingPoint. Throughout all of his work, Tim's focus is always on helping companies and clients to identify and execute actionable strategies that lead to more effective digital communication.
Building Strategic Sponsorship Campaigns - Ebony Reed
DCist Breakout Session - Tajah McQueen
INN Days 2019 Annual Meeting - Sue Cross
New Ideas for Turning Passive Audiences into Donors - Tajah McQueen
NewsMatch 2019 - Jason Alcorn
NewsMatch 2019 Lightning Talks - Jason Alcorn
WBUR’s Public Radio BizLab & Podcast Donation Experiments - Lindsy Goldberg
KEYNOTE: Building Your Generosity Network with Jennifer McCrea
Lunch & Learn NewsMatch 2019 with NewsMatch Project Director Jason Alcorn
Lightning Talks: Because of NewsMatch with Joe Livernois the Founding Editor of Voices of Monterey Bay
Lightning Talks: Because of NewsMatch with Laurie Milford the Development Director of High Country News
Lightning Talks: Because of NewsMatch with Asraa Mustufa the Digital Editor of The Chicago Reporter
Lightning Talks: Because of NewsMatch with Alice Dreger Publisher and President of East Lansing Info
Lightning Talks: Because of NewsMatch with Teresa Martin the Executive Director of Lower Cape TV
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