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 UNITY: Journalists for Diversity

Regional Media Summit

Friday, October 21, 2016

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (CT)

“Rethinking Journalism in the Midwest”



Loyola University Chicago

Water Tower Campus

Schreiber Center

Wintrust Hall, 9th Fl.

16 E. Pearson Street, Chicago, IL 60611

(773) 274-3000




8:00 AM – 8:30 AM Registration & Continental Breakfast Wintrust Hall


8:30 AM – 9:15 AM Welcome & Keynote Wintrust Hall

Russell Contreras, UNITY Board President; Neal Justin, Planning Committee Chair, Don Heider, Ph.D., Dean, School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago.


AM Keynote: Teri Arvesu, News Director, Univision

“The Power of Partnerships”


Description: As audiences become more fragmented and newsrooms face challenges in resourcing, effective partnerships not only help offset deficiencies, but can also amplify messaging in order to be a catalyst of change.


9:15 AM – 9:30 AM – Break


9:30 AM – 10:45 AM – Sessions 1 & 2


Workshop #1 – (Location TBD)

“Forecasting the Future of the Media”


Panel: Ray Hanania, Columnist, Southwest News Group newspapers, Managing Editor, and Owner, Urban Strategies Group media consulting; Blanca Rios, Assignment Desk Editor, ABC 7 News Chicago; Tracy Baim, Publisher & Executive Editor, Windy City Times.


Description: News media is changing every day, from information gathering and sourcing through social media, to opting out of desktops and into mobile devices. Everything points to covering and writing about issues faster and with more content. A candid discussion on how reporters balance the pressure of ‘feeding the beast’ while staying grounded on journalism principles of fact gathering and reliable reporting.

Workshop #2 – (Location TBD)

“The Power of Startups: Starting Your Own Media Company”


Panel: Eric Ortiz, CEO, Evrybit and Managing Editor, Truthdig; DeShuna Spencer, CEO, kweli TV and; Barbara E. Allen, Filmmaker and Executive Director, Middle Passage Productions, Inc.; Moderator, Jackie Serrato, Independent Journalist, DNAinfo, City Bureau, La Villita Page.


Description: Startups are changing the way media is created and consumed amid a changing landscape. Learn how these entrepreneurs are putting their ideas in action and promoting their plan.


10:45 AM – 11:00 AM – Break


11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Luncheon Forum – Wintrust Hall


“Our Stories, Our Voices: How We Diversify the News”

Panel: Margaret Holt, Standards Editor, Chicago Tribune; Paul Street, Author, Social Critic, Political Commentator; Leah Hope, Reporter, ABC 7 News Chicago; Adriana Cardona-Maguigad, Investigative Producer/Reporter, Univision Chicago; Moderator, Richard Prince, Journalist.


Description: Newsrooms need to be representative of the communities they cover. See how media organizations are reaching emerging audiences and strengthening coverage of race, identity and inequality.


12:30 PM – 12:45 PM – Break


12:45 PM – 2:00 PM – Sessions 3 & 4


Workshop #3 – (Location TBD)


“Community Violence: Beyond the Streets and into the Coverage”


Panel: Susy Schultz, President, Public Narrative; George Villanueva, Assistant Professor of Advocacy and Social Change, School of Communication at Loyola University of Chicago; Jamie Kalven, Invisible Institute; Lorraine Forte, Executive Editor, The Chicago Reporter.


Description: Among the challenges covering community violence is getting to the heart of the story through effective community engagement. This workshop shares those challenges and discusses strategies from those who have delved into the issue.


Workshop #4 – (Location TBD)

“Harassment In and Out of the Newsroom”


Panel: Lucy Westcott, Reporter, Newsweek; Tracy Samantha Schmidt, Founder,; Jill Geisler, Bill Plante Chair in Leadership & Media Integrity, Loyola University Chicago; Moderator, Mi-Ai Parrish, Publisher, Arizona Republic.


Description: Accusations of inappropriate, and often illegal behavior while reporters are trying to do their jobs continue to emerge. Yet most accounts go unreported. How much progress, if

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