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2013 SPJ Region 2 Spring Conference

Virginia Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM - Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM (EDT)

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Student Ticket   more info Ended $70.00 $4.84
Pro Ticket   more info Ended $90.00 $5.94
Luncheon Ticket   more info Ended $50.00 $0.00

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Event Details

The 2014 Region 2 Conference will be held March 28-29 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

We look forward to seeing you there!


 Region 2 Spring Conference

April 19-20 in Norfolk



See you in Norfolk!

The Virginia Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce we will once again team up with the Virginia Press Association to host the Region 2 Spring Conference April 19-20 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.

We will kick off the weekend with a cash bar reception at Trilogy Bistro near the hotel in downtown Norfolk on Friday night.

Saturday, plan on an event packed with compelling speakers, panels, workshops and networking opportunities. During three sets of sessions, panelists and presenters will address the pressing issues of journalism, including social media, data journalism, how to navigate jobs in the tough market and more. Registrants are also welcome to attend all non-meal events during the Virginia Press Association's programing Saturday.

We will recognize regional winners of the collegiate Mark of Excellence Awards during an included Saturday luncheon presented by Regent University. Mark Coatney from Tumblr will present the keynote speech. Coatney worked for Time and Newsweek before becoming Tumblr's "media evangelist."

If you or your organization are interested in taking part in a panel or workshop, learning about sponsorship opportunities or more please contact Conference Co-Chairs Pat Kane and Robyn Sidersky by phone at (804) 986-6804 or e-mail at virginiaprospj@gmail dot com.


 Friday, April 19


6-10 p.m.
Reception at Trilogy Bistro, 101 Granby St  Norfolk, VA 23510
Cash bar with complimentary hors d’ouvres

As is customary during SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter's social gatherings, we'll “pass the hat” for donations for the SPJ, SDX Educational Foundation Scholarship Fund.


Saturday, April 20

8-8:30 a.m.
Coffee and greetings from Virginia Pro Chapter President Paul Fletcher

8:30-10 a.m.
Morning Supersession: Social media, data journalism and the new normal - Hampton Ballroom III
Moderator: Nicole Livas, WAVY TV, Norfolk
Panelists: Jeff South, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
Bob Bennett, WAVY TV, Norfolk
Justin Karp, WJLA, Washington D.C.
Sean Kennedy, digital editor and online producer, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk

10:30-11:45 a.m.
Breakout Sessions A

-How to Go Above and Beyond on any Assignment - Hampton Ballroom VI
Quick tips and tricks to incorporate multimedia, and get ahead of the competition on any platform.
Panelists: Bob Bennett, WAVY TV, Norfolk
Justin Karp, WJLA, Washington D.C.
Ross Taylor, photojournalist, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk
Kathy Adams, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk

-How I nabbed my first job (Hint: It didn't start at the interview!) - Hampton Ballroom III
Reporters within their first five years on the job talk about what they did in school, internships and job interviews to nail down that critical first job. Presented by the SPJ Generation J Committee.
Panelists: Vanessa Remmers, The Progress-Index, Petersburg
Greg Linch, The Washington Post
Kaitlin Mayhew, The Daily News Record, Harrisonburg
Anne McNamara - WAVY TV, Norfolk
Sarah Hutchins - The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk

Noon- 1:30 p.m.
SPJ Mark of Excellence Award Luncheon - Hampton Ballroom V

-Welcome from SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter President Paul Fletcher

-Presentation of commendation from thh Virginia General Assembly to the family of the late John Couric by State. Sen. Ralph Northam

-Keynote speech by Mark Coatney, media evangelist at Tumblr

-Presentation of Mark of Excellence Awards by senior SPJ leadership

1:45- 3 p.m.
Breakout Sessions B

-Covering College: Watchdogs on Campus - Hampton Ballroom III
Should watchdogs be placing more attention on the boards that govern colleges? The University of Virginia's board of visitors essentially fired the university president through one-on-one phone calls that often misled board members. Protests later resulted in the president being reinstated and the college's accreditation being questioned because of its its actions. Other schools in the Mid-Atlantic have been up to hijinks, as well.

Moderator: Dick Hammerstrom, The Free Lance-Star
Panelists: Frank LoMonte, Student Press Law Center
Karin Kapsidelis, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond
Mechelle Hankerson, The Commonwealth Times at Virginia Commonwealth University
Jenna Johnson, The Washington Post

-The Military after Afghanistan - and the Hometown Stories You’re Missing - Hampton Ballroom VI
After Iraq and as Afghanistan draws to a close, stories of soldiers and veterans abound. Military reporters share their experience in finding the not-so-obvious stories your readers need to know.

Panelists: Kate Wiltrout, military editor, The Virginian-Pilot, and more to be announced

3:15-4:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions C - Hampton Ballrooms III and VI

Our final sessions of the day will focus on hands-on workshops, including some that will head out from the hotel (weather permitting).

1)"YouTube editing on the fly"
An increasing number of field reporters use smart phones for video or photo shoots. In the past, expensive and sometimes complicated video editing software was necessary, but YouTube has launched a powerful online video editor tool - perfect for quick editing needs.  This session will provide a hands-on demo of how to edit footage directly on YouTube.
Dr. Markus Pfeiffer, Regent University, Virginia Beach

2) “Codex Decoded: Understanding the WordPress Manual”
Matt Rosenburg, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond

3) "Census Data Workshop"
This workshop will include an overview of the website, with emphasis on three easy-to-use tools: QuickFacts, the Interactive Business and Demographics Map, and Easy Stats; an explanation of Census geographies and datasets (i.e. - Decennial Census vs. American Community Survey); and an introduction to American FactFinder, including a step-by-step guide for the Advanced Search function. Participants are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets to explore these tools!
Ally Burleson-Gibson, U.S. Census Bureau, Richmond

4) "FOIA Workshop"
Learn how the Freedom of Information Act can strengthen your reporting and uncover stories your competitors are missing.
Dick Hammerstrom, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg

5) "How the Ethics Code can be used as a weapon against you"
SPJ Ethics Committee member Paul Fletcher discusses how misguided public officials, flacks and hacks are turning SPJs Code of Ethics into a weapon against perceived slights and misdeeds by journalists.

6) "Beyond Mobile reporting"
Vrginian-Pilot photojournalist Hyunsoo Leo Kim shows us the latest in tech tips beyond mobile phone photography.

 7) " Synching DSLRs for breaking news"
Cell phone cameras are great for breaking news,but they have their limits. Adrin Snider of The Daily Press and Steve Early from The Virginian-Pilot will discuss synching iPads and iPhones with pro-level digital SLR cameras to move better quality photos quickly from breaking news scenes.



How do the tickets work?
We will release tickets in blocks, with special early bird discounts for those who register early. We would especially welcome school newspapers and student SPJ chapters to take advantage of the early bird discount rates. We are unable to process any refunds after April 12.

Have you co-hosted with VPA before?
Yes, Virginia Pro Chapter co-hosted the 2011 Region 2 Spring Conference with the Virginia Press Association.

Is there a special hotel rate?

You may request the Virginia Press Association room rate of $136 per night at the hotel through Thursday, March 28.

What area does Region 2 cover?

Region 2 covers Virginia, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Delaware and Maryland. For a list of chapters in that area, visit Non-SPJ members are welcome to attend the conference as well!

Will luncheon-only tickets be available for parents and supporters of the students?
Yes, luncheon-only tickets that will NOT include access to conference events are available for parents and supporters of our student Mark of Excellence Award winners.

 Where is Norfolk?

Norfolk is located in Hampton Roads on the Atlantic Ocean, and is home to the world's largest naval base. Norfolk is located about two hours from Richmond, four hours from Washington D.C. and about three hours from Raleigh. Amtrak has just started service to Norfolk within walking distance of our hotel. Learn more about Norfolk at 

Have questions about 2013 SPJ Region 2 Spring Conference? Contact Virginia Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists
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When & Where

Norfolk Waterside Marriott
235 E. Main St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM - Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM (EDT)

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Virginia Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists

About SPJ

The Society of Professional Journalists is a professional organization for journalists working in all types of media. The Virginia Pro Chapter welcomes members from print, online, broadcast, radio and freelance backgrounds, and strives to supply its members with useful tools and resources.

Learn more about the Virginia Pro Chapter on our blog at,follow us on Twitter @SPJVA, and join our Facebook group.

Find out more about the national organization at

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