3-7 p.m. Registration

5-7 p.m. Opening reception and journalism trivia night

Patricia Gallagher Newberry, incoming president, Society of Professional Journalists

Trivia host: Lou Harry, editor, Quill (SPJ magazine)


8-8:45 a.m. Region 5 meeting

Registration continues

9-9:50 a.m. Breakout sessions

1. Creating Something Out of Nothing

Spencer Holladay, team leader, Gannett Design Studio

Have a page to design, but have bad or not art? No problem. Here you will equip yourself with the tools to build bold and conceptual pages using typography, infographics and illustrations. More importantly, learn how to start thinking beyond the visuals you have (or don't have.)

2. Drone Journalism

Barry Fulmer, news director, WDRB

10-10:50 a.m. Breakout sessions

1. Facebook for Journalists (Part 1, runs 2 hours)

Ben Meyerson, content editor, Audience team, Chicago Tribune

2. Storytelling for Journalists

Michele Day, Northern Kentucky University, and Jenni Laidman, freelance writer

Engaging journalism involves more than gathering facts. Learn how to bring your stories to life with interesting characters, details, dialogue, scenes and other narrative techniques. 

11-11:50 a.m. Breakout sessions

1. Facebook for Journalists (cont.)

Ben Meyerson, content editor, Audience team, Chicago Tribune

2. Tech Tools for Journalists

Adam Maksl, Indiana University Southeast

Digital tools give us the chance to engage audiences in many more ways than ever possible before. But keeping up with it all can be overwhelming. Come to this session to learn new tools (many of them free) to help you work more efficiently and tell more engaging stories.

3. More than a Brand: When Student Journalists and Administrators Clash Over the Role of Student Media

Michael McDevitt, managing editor, Loyola Phoenix, Loyola University

Carina Smith, news editor, The DePaulia, DePaul University

Bailey Vandiver, editor-in-chief, Kentucky Kernel, University of Kentucky

Student journalists play a vital role in informing their communities about what’s happening at their schools, both good and bad. But sometimes administrators act as if student journalists should only promote a positive image of the university. Student editors who have faced conflict with administrators will share their strategies for maintaining their independence.

12-1:20 p.m. Lunch

Lunch & Learn 1: Column Writing in the Digital Age

Tom Eblen, retired metro/state columnist and managing editor, Lexington Herald-Leader

Newspapers' focus on digital readership has changed the role of columnists. Succeeding online often requires different timing, approaches and sometimes style and subjects.

Lunch & Learn 2: Top Tips for Freelancers

Ginny McCabe, freelance writer

Are you a freelance journalist, or have you considered becoming a freelancer? Learn more about the world of freelancing with an educational session presented by Ginny McCabe, an award-winning, freelance journalist and author. Presented in a conversational style, topics discussed will include tips on how to make the most of your freelance experience, the business basics of being a freelancer, and more. 

Lunch & Learn 3: All About SPJ

Amy Merrick, SPJ Region 5 coordinator

You may not know all the ways you can build your skills and get involved in SPJ, from joining a committee to earning a scholarship to cover the National Excellence in Journalism conference. Come learn more about what SPJ does and how you can make the most of your membership.

1:30-2:20 p.m. Super Session: Seven Days of Heroin Through a Photojournalist’s Lens

Cara Owsley and Sam Greene, Cincinnati Enquirer

2018 Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting

2:30-3:20 Breakout sessions

1. Covering Poverty and Social Justice — and Making Audiences Care

Lucy May, reporter, WCPO

For much of the past six years, Lucy May’s reporting at WCPO 9 On Your Side has focused on issues of poverty and social justice in Greater Cincinnati. She spent much of the summer of 2018 covering the controversy surrounding a homeless encampment in downtown Cincinnati. Lucy will talk about the challenges of covering people experiencing homelessness and poverty and the challenge of making other people care about the stories.

2. Social Media Strategies for Journalists

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp, freelance writer

Extend your reach and increase your engagement by avoiding the common pitfalls of social media. Learn the importance of curating your online presence. Learn how to write engaging social media posts, how to moderate trolls and haters, and how to blog successfully for the digital age. Together, we’ll explore how to connect with readers by serving your niche and writing beyond the anecdote with current events in mind.

3:30-4:30 Mark of Excellence Awards

The Mark of Excellence awards celebrate the best student journalism of 2018. Winners will go on to the national competition.