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Protecting Journalists Conference October 23

Increasingly, journalists find themselves and their profession under attack, both figuratively and literally.  Join MDDC for lively panels on how journalists can gather information in this current climate, and how newsrooms can assess threats and safety to their reporters.


Highlights of the program:

10:00 am - Registration
10:30 am - Welcome
10:45 am - Panel: Public records requests in the current political climate

Increasingly, journalists are having more difficulty breaking through the indifference of public officials to get information that is covered under public records laws.  Hear from experts on how to break through.

  • Cheryl W. Thompson, Washington Post & George Washington University, moderator
  • Rick Blum, News Media for Open Government
  • John Flaherty, Delaware Coalition for Open Government
  • Lisa Kershner, Maryland PIA Ombudsman Office



12:15 pm - Buffet lunch with keynote speakers

  • Andy Green, opinions editor of the Baltimore Sun, will speak about how newsrooms can continue to produce important news stories while in crisis, drawing from his recent experience in helping to coordinate resources for coverage in the aftermath of the shootings at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.
  • Magnus Forsberg, project director of SAFE, a program of IREX, will speak about trauma that journalists encounter while reporting, both in the U.S. and globally. 




1:30 pm -   Panel: Assessing newsroom and individual threats

Angry readers send letters and threats to newsrooms and journalists on a regular basis.  How can newsrooms assess these threats and protect themselves and their journalists?  When reporters are in the field, how can they protect themselves, and how should they handle interference by citizens and others?  Experts in the field will share their tips and insight.

  • Jacqueline Jones, Morgan State University
  • Magnus Forsberg, IREX
  • Rick Landsman, Wolf Security
  • Det. Steve Jackson, Baltimore County Police, Threat Management Team

2:45 pm -   Closing

Optional tour of Morgan State University's School of Global Journalism

A portion of the proceeds for this event will be donated to the Capital Gazette Memorial Internship Fund.

This special fund has been established in response to the tragic shooting in the Capital Gazette offices that killed editors Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, and John McNamara, and sales assistant Rebecca Smith and shook the entire community. This fund supports interns in the MDDC internship program.

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