Here's Your PRNDI 2017 Conference Schedule

Mar 27, 2017

Welcome to the 32nd annual PRNDI conference. Here you can find the schedule and room assignments for each session on for Friday, June 23 - Saturday, June 24. Thursday evening, join us for a Reception with BBC World Service & American Public Media at 7 pm on the patio between the hotel and the beach. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

8:00 – 5:00 – Registration Desk Open – Atlantis Mezzanine

8:00 – Continental breakfast & visit with vendors – Atlantis Mezzanine

9:00 - 10:15 a.m. – Main Session – Real News in a Fake News Era - Atlantis Ballroom – It’s on all of our do we, leaders of newsrooms, defend our “real news” in an era when “fake news” gets so much attention?  Panelists:  Nancy Ancrum, Editorial Page Editor,Miami Herald; Anthony Zurcher, North America reporter, BBC news; and Mark Memmott, NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices.

10:15 – 10:30 – Break & Visit with Vendors – Atlantis Mezzanine

10:30 – 11:45– Breakouts

  • Imagining a Collaborative Journalism Network – Atlantis Ballroom - Join Bruce Auster (@bruceauster;, who leading the collaborative coverage initiative for NPR, for a discussion of next steps in NPR's and Member stations' efforts to work together and to build a structure that allows us to operate as a true network. The conversation will cover plans to experiment with new models and approaches for handling breaking news and planning coverage together.
  • Fear No Healthcare Story – Tiffany I - Now that the House has passed its version of the healthcare bill, what’s next?  What will these changes in healthcare coverage mean for communities across the country?  You’ll find ways to generate and cultivate healthcare stories that are engaging, compelling and have an impact. Panelists are:  Mary Shedden, News Director at WUSF and Editor of the Health News Florida journalism collaborative; Carmel Wroth, Managing Editor of Side Effects Public Media and Karoline Mortensen, Associate Professor of Health Sector Management and Policy at the University of Miami.   Moderator of this session is Sammy Mack, Health Care policy reporter for WLRN. 
  • Hidden Figures: How Smart Business Reporting Can Boost Your Local News Coverage – Tiffany II - If your eyes glaze over at the mention of Gross Domestic Product or tax policy, fear not—business news can provide unique insights into your community—and stories that go far beyond numbers. This break out session will include some perspectives and tips that you can take home and put to immediate use in rounding out your local news coverage—no previous experience needed. We'll get help from Marketplace's New York bureau chief Deidre Depke, as well as WLRN Vice President of News and business news program host Tom Hudson, a veteran of Nightly Business Report on PBS and former Bloomberg News Asia Pacific Managing Editor for Broadcast Bill Dorman.

12:00 – 1:30 – Keynote Address from Michael Oreskes, Senior Vice-President of News and Editorial Director for NPR – Kitchen 305 - (@MichaelOreskes; will address the challenges journalists are facing in the current media environment and how Member stations and NPR continue to strengthen their collaborative relationship. This moment presents a real opportunity for NPR and Member stations to build a true local, regional, and national news network. That will take work and commitment -- to create a new architecture that encourages us to work together, to recognize the importance of great editors to great journalism, and to reach our audiences where they are.

1:45 – 3:00 - Breakouts

  • Helping Reporters Transition to Editors – Atlantis Ballroom - Come hear from people who are in newsrooms that are training reporters to be editors. How can that help a newsroom, small or large, function better? How do you help reporters make the transition? Panelists: Donna Vestal (Director of Content Strategy, KCUR); Emily Siner (reporter, Nashville Public Radio); Kate Smith (contract/freelance public media editor).
  • Breaking News – Tiffany I - Are You Ready?  How prepared is your shop to respond to a live shooter in your city?  How about a train derailment, an explosion or a major chemical spill?  During an emergency, things move fast and you don’t need to be making basic procedural decisions.  In this session, Matt Shafer Powell (WFYI) and Julianne Welby (WNYC) of PRNDI’s Breaking News Training team will guide you through the first steps of creating a Breaking News Plan so that you can focus on the emergency—not the process for covering it.
  • NPR audio training – Tiffany II - Rob Byers from NPR will talk audio production. What are some common gripes from reporters on gathering and editing audio? Best practices, but also question and answers tackling some of the stickiest audio editing scenarios.

3:00 – 3:15 – Break & Visit with Vendors – Atlantis Mezzanine

3:15 – 4:30 – Main Session – Reporting on Guns with Al Tompkins – Atlantis Ballroom - Mass shootings and deep divisions over gun laws force us to frequently talk about firearms in our reporting.   But in public media, very few of us own guns. As a result, our reporting is often inaccurate and compromised by our assumptions.   Poynter’s Al Tompkins will address some of the most common mistakes journalists make when reporting on firearms.  What’s the difference between a rifle and a shotgun?   What’s a “semi-automatic” rifle?   And what does the “AR” in “AR15” mean? (hint: it’s not what you think!)    

5:00 pm –– Reception with WLRN - Local station WLRN is planning a great evening out for participants of the PRNDI Conference. We will board buses for a trip to downtown Miami and an exclusive, private reception at the city's brand new $300+ million dollar Frost Science Museum. Enjoy spectacular vistas and unique sense-of-place entertainment, food and beverages. You won’t want to miss it. Buses will board to return to the hotel at 9 p.m.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

8:00 a.m. – Registration Desk Open - Atlantis Mezzanine

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 – Continental Breakfast & Visit with Vendors – Atlantis Mezzanine

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. – Main session - Conflicts Between Newsrooms and Station License Holders – Atlantis Ballroom - Is there a "firewall" between your station newsroom and the organization that holds your station's license?  How does your editorial staff navigate conflicts that arise when the licensing organization seeks to influence editorial decisions or staff? From the conflict between WLRN and the Miami-Dade County Public School Board to the firing of a WUTC reporter, this panel will explore these examples and others while talking about strategies newsrooms can employ to codify their independence. Panelists: Terence Shepherd, News Director, WLRN; Vincent Duffy, News Director, Michigan Radio; Judith Smelser, Founder, Smelser Editing and Consulting; Jacqui Helbert, former reporter, WUTC.  Moderator: Terry Gildea, President, PRNDI

9:45 – 10:00 – Break & Visit with Vendors – Atlantis Mezzanine

10:00 – 11:15 – Breakouts

  • Reporting on Immigration – Atlantis Ballroom - Immigration is one the most difficult and controversial issues to cover. Are you looking for a better way to tell immigration stories? How do you gain trust and access in diverse communities?  A diverse group of experienced journalist will share their perspectives.  They are:  Richard Chacon, Executive Director of News Content at WBUR; Michel Marizco, Senior Editor of Fronteras and Hansi Lo Wang, National Desk Correspondent for NPR.  Moderating this session is Tim Padgett, Americas Editor for WLRN.
  • Getting your stories into the hands of your future digital audience – Tiffany I - How much can we (or should we) expect from our digital publishing tools to support the growth of our audience and our collaborative journalism? Join NPR and member stations to explore how our network could make it easier for stories to reach our current and future digital audience quicker, no matter how they choose to engage.
  • NPR’s State House Collaboration – Tiffany II - Join NPR’s Brett Neely and Phyllis Fletcher from the Northwest News Network as they showcase the latest and largest NPR/member station collaboration to date: a network of reporters working on state legislative coverage all over the country.  Phyllis and Brett will talk about this collaboration is transforming state house reporting - and finding trends and stories that resonate with a national audience.

11:15 – 11:30 – Break & Visit with Vendors – Atlantis Mezzanine

11:30 a.m. –  12:45 p.m. – Diversity Lunch - Why is it so important to look and sound like America? – Kitchen 305 - The story of your community today overflows with the issues we shorthand with the word “diversity." It’s at the center of ideological battles; woven into stories about health care; driving legislation governing faith and sexual orientation. It’s in everyday stories about policing, arts and education.  Join us for lunch as Keith Woods, NPR’s VP of Newsroom Training and Diversity, leads a conversation about how strengthening your storytelling and staff will help you sound more like your community.

12:45 – 2:30 - PRNDI Business Meeting – Atlantis Ballroom

2:30 – 2:45 – Break & Visit with Vendors – Atlantis Mezzanine

2:45 – 4:00 – Breakouts

  • Let’s Do Something Together! Planning and Editing Collaborations, Big and Small – Atlantis Ballroom - If you're dabbling in collaborating with other public media newsrooms, or even your local paper, then this session is for you. As the last several years have shown us, when newsrooms work together, they can accomplish some amazing feats of journalism. But it's not easy. Collaborative projects can be the ultimate cat-wrangling challenge. Experienced editors with statewide and regional journalism consortiums will share their strategies for how to successfully plan, implement and edit projects across newsrooms. Panelists:  Phyllis Fletcher (Managing editor of Northwest News Network a collaboration of public radio stations that broadcast in Washington, Oregon and Idaho); Rachel Osier Lindley (Statewide coordinating editor for the Texas Station Collaborative, a reporting consortium including the NPR affiliates in Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio); Naomi Starobin (Founding editor of Keystone Crossroads, a local journalism collaboration covering Pennsylvania); Donna Vestal (Director of Content Strategy, KCUR.
  • Spotlight on Investigative Reporting and Editing with Reveal – Tiffany I - Are you one of the growing number of stations committed to doing investigative projects? So, how do you pull it off? Join Reveal's Executive Producer Kevin Sullivan and Executive Editor Susanne Reber for a deep dive into the world of investigative news. They'll take you through the building blocks of an investigative news story and show you how to turn complex stories into compelling, character-driven radio. 
  • Is this ON? Successful Podcasting for Stations – Tiffany II - Podcasting is the next big audio thing and stations are jumping in. But even the best intentions around new talent and topics can fail if production, marketing, promotion, staff expectations and sponsorship efforts are not mastered. So…how do you do capture the intimate storytelling styles, hosting and distribution options that make podcasting a unique listening medium? And do it, without going broke. For months, PRX’s Project Catapult has worked with seven station teams through a process of rapid content development and feedback, addressing challenges head-on. Hear about what they’ve learned and how you and your station can implement some of their best practices from presenters Kerri Hoffman, PRX CEO and John Barth, Chief Content Officer.

6:30 – Cocktails – Atlantis Mezzanine

7:00 – Awards – Atlantis Ballroom - Reveal Host Al Letson will emcee the annual awards banquet where we’ll also honor this year’s Leo C. Lee Award Winner, NPR Bureau Chief Andrea de Leon.


Conference Registration Form