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American University and the Newseum Sponsor Symposium on “Advocacy Journalism in the Digital Age”

For many Washington, DC readers the upcoming event at the Newseum, co-organized by the School of Communication at American University, is likely to be of strong interest.  Details are below and at the Newseum site.

Advocacy Journalism in the Digital Age

Guest(s): Ted Leonsis, keynote speaker

Date: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Location: Knight Conference Center

WASHINGTON — The Newseum, in association with the American University School of Communication and the Ford Foundation, will cosponsor a daylong conference March 1, 2011, that explores the rise in advocacy journalism in mass communication.

“Advocacy Journalism in the Digital Age” brings together thought leaders in social activism, public policy and journalism to help define the opportunities and challenges created by new digital technologies.

Registration and a coffee reception begin at 8:30 a.m.

Panel 1: “Advocacy Journalism Today: Where Are We?”9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.Advocacy journalism is filling a gap in reporting — investigating and promoting stories that might otherwise go untold — as traditional media outlets undergo economic and institutional change.

Moderator: Caty Borum Chattoo, American University School of Communication


  • Wendy Hanamura, View Change/Link TV
  • Apollo Gonzales, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Sandy Close, New America Media
  • Clark Hoyt, Bloomberg News
  • Panel 2: “Case Studies: What Works, and How? What Does ‘Success’ Look Like?”10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.Panelists present their successful campaigns in a multimedia presentation. Audience questions will be taken at the end of the program.

    Moderator: Sonya Gavankar, Newseum


    • Patrick Meier, Ushahidi
    • Jon Sawyer, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
    • Ginny Simone, National Rifle Association
    • Susannah Vila,
    • Panel 3: “Earning Trust/Credibility”1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.Should advocacy journalism always be objective or should it get at the truth by any means necessary? How can advocacy organizations achieve credibility with a wide audience and news organizations?

      Moderator: Chuck Lewis, Investigative Reporting Workshop


      • Alicia Shepard, ombudsman, NPR
      • Danielle Brigida, National Wildlife Federation
      • Breakout Sessions: “Doing the Work, Making the Connections”3 p.m. to 4 p.m.Two breakout sessions target two audiences: the beginners who demonstrate some familiarity but seek guidance, and the experienced communicators who want to learn more about specific tools and develop best practices.

        Breakout Session 1: “Getting Started”Training advocacy journalists for the present and future


        • Sandy Close, New America Media
        • Todd Wolfson, Media Mobilizing Project
        • Marisa Jahn, People’s Production House
        • Arthur Delaney, The Huffington Post
        • Breakout Session 2: “Working Models, Making Connections”Partnerships, distribution, collaboration and funding


          • Molly O’Brien, award-winning documentary producer and director
          • Jeffrey Tuchman, Documania Films
          • Jane Huber, Oxfam
          • Stéphane Dujarric, United Nations Development Programme
          • This program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please RSVP at


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