2023 Reimagining Philadelphia Journalism Summit

Nov. 13-14 • Philadelphia, PA

Join us on Monday November 13 and Tuesday November 14, 2023 for The Lenfest Institute’s third annual Reimagining Philadelphia Journalism Summit, where we’ll have candid, transparent conversations on building a more equitable future for journalism.

Day 1

9:30 a.m. – The local news ecosystem: Insights into the national landscape

Communities across the country are actively addressing the challenges posed by the local news and information crisis. In this discussion, we will hear from leaders in the field who are spearheading efforts to ensure their communities have access to the information required for an engaged and informed citizenry.

  • Rob Collins, Executive Director, Oklahoma Media Center
  • Silvia Rivera, Business Strategist, The Listening Post Collective
  • Lauren Williams, CEO & Co-founder, Capital B
  • Fiona Morgan, Independent Consultant, Branchhead Consulting

11 a.m. – Philly’s news source melting pot

Philadelphia’s local news ecosystem boasts a melting pot of news sources. Let’s talk to them about the opportunities and challenges in meeting the needs of this community.

  • Larry Platt, Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, The Philadelphia Citizen
  • Ashanti Martin, General Manager, WURD Radio
  • Kristal Sotomayor, Editor-in-Chief of the cinéSPEAK Journal
  • Matt Dennis, Assistant News Director, NBC10
  • Irving Randolph, Managing Editor, The Philadelphia Tribune
  • Shawn Mooring, Head of Philadelphia Programs, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism

1:15 p.m. – Local news research roundtable

Structured as a fishbowl discussion, this session will begin with short presentations on two significant local news research reports: The Architects of Necessity, conducted by The Pivot Fund, and Inclusion Index Report: Assessing the Pittsburgh news ecosystem’s commitment to DEIB by Letrell Crittenden. Following the presentations, we’ll transition into brief discussions with identified discussants and then open up the floor for deeper exploration and engagement with the audience.

  • Tracie Powell, Founder, The Pivot Fund
  • Letrell Crittenden, Director of Inclusion and Audience Engagement, American Press Institute
  • Charles Gregory, Host, We Talk Weekly
  • AmyJo Brown, Consulting Editor, War Streets Media

2:30 p.m. – Civic engagement as a news catalyst

We’ll look at how the Every Voice, Every Vote initiative spurred local journalism and civic engagement partnerships and the impact the partners have had on building trust within communities for a more informed and engaged citizenry.

  • Allie Vanyur, Program Manager, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism / Every Voice, Every Vote
  • Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, Executive Director, Resolve Philly
  • Patricia Wilson-Aden, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
  • Julia Terruso, Political reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

3:30 p.m. – Building toward a multiracial democracy in the U.S.

We’ll hear about the Center for Public Integrity’s new Local Reporting Toolkit, which is designed to help reporters address the issue of unequal access to democracy in the U.S. It provides an in-depth guide for newsrooms to investigate how inequality manifests in policies around absentee voting, drop boxes, “ballot curing”, signature match requirements, early voting, polling place locations, voter ID, and more.

  • Matt Derienzo, Editor-in-Chief, Center for Public Integrity
  • Portia Fullard, Community Engagement Consultant, Every Voice, Every Vote / The Lenfest Institute for Journalism

4:10 p.m. – Empathy and story: Creating new capacities for change

Trust in the news is low. As of 2022, 38% of Americans have no trust at all in newspapers, TV and radio (combined). In a 2022 op-ed, journalist Amanda Ripley shares a possible reason why: our journalism has lost its humanity – and moreso, its empathy. We are bombarded with difficult news, at a rate and magnitude that renders us hopeless and avoidant.

To reconnect our journalism with our humanity, Ripely compels us to invest in “low-ego, high curiosity journalism” that fosters hope, agency, and dignity. Storytellers that work to cultivate and embed empathy have seen lasting impact by listening and adapting to the ways that their communities gather around information. This session will consider new ways to build capacity through story, with an opportunity to envision new empathetic outcomes.

  • David Chivers, Founder, Digital Acceleration Partners
  • Jos Duncan Asé, Founder, Executive Producer and Publisher, Love Now Media
  • Sabrina Vourvoulias, Senior Editor, Community & Engagement, The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Jasmine Sudarkasa, former Executive Director, The Curve Foundation

Day 2

9:15 a.m. – Entrepreneurial journalism: Lightning talks

Learn about several entrepreneurial journalism efforts happening in Philadelphia.

Special Guest Speakers:

  • Cherri Gregg, Radio Journalist and Lawyer, WHYY/Create Genius Media
  • Sheila Quintana Aguilar, Communications Consultant & Multimedia Producer
  • Alex Lewis, Co-Founder, Rowhome Productions
  • Introduced by Gwyneth Gaul, Associate Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Community Impact, Comcast NBCUniversal

10 a.m. – Supporting creators for a thriving ecosystem

If you are creating media, art, or culture, there is space, educational opportunities, and community here in Philly that’ll provide the support you need to succeed. Let’s hear about this model space built for creators.

  • Will Toms, Co-founder & Visionary, Rec Philly

11 a.m. – Fireside chat: News and information that is rooted in community

Led by Resolve Philly’s Derrick Cain, join us for a fireside chat with Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr., Founder and CEO of Esperanza, a community organization that addresses the unmet needs of Philadelphia’s Latino community on issues of economic and workforce development, housing, immigration, and education. We’ll hear about the organization’s robust media center that is home to news and information rooted in the community.

  • Derrick Cain, Director of Community Engagement, Resolve Philadelphia
  • Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr., Founder and CEO, Esperanza

12 p.m. – Every story matters, every voice counts

We’ll hear from keynote speaker Sandra Clark, CEO of StoryCorps, on how her organization is committed to the idea that everyone has an important story to tell and they all matter.

Local News Solutions

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