Management Track: Rebuilding the muscle in local news

  • Event: 2019 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Chris Cobler of The Victoria Advocate; Charles Sennott of Report for America; Marilyn Thompson of ProPublica; Ken Ward Jr. of Charleston Gazette-Mail
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 14 at 2:30pm
  • Location: Texas C
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

This session will assess enterprise and investigative reporting in local communities where news organizations have suffered financial woes and deep staffing cutbacks. How partnerships with non-profits are playing a key role in restoring accountability reporting, and a candid look at both the opportunities and the challenges of partnering. 

Speaker Bios

  • Chris Cobler is the editor and publisher of the Victoria (Texas) Advocate. A native of Topeka, Kan., he was the first Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellow in community journalism at Harvard University. His newspapers have received the Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership and the Local Media Association award as the nation's best newspaper of its size. He is past president of the board of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. @chriscobler

  • Charles Sennott is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Editor of The GroundTruth Project. He is an award-winning correspondent, best-selling author and editor with 30 years of experience in international, national and local journalism. A leading social entrepreneur in new media, Sennott started GroundTruth in 2014 and in 2017 launched the non-profit organization's new, local reporting initiative, Report for America. @cmsennott

  • Marilyn worked for years at The Washington Post. She was editor and Vice President of The Lexington Herald Leader and recently joined ProPublica to run a project on state governments.

  • Ken Ward Jr. of the Charleston Gazette-Mail has been an investigative reporter in his home state of West Virginia for nearly three decades. A MacArthur Fellow, he's currently working on a state government project as part of ProPublica's Local Reporting Network. Last year, as part of the first LRN class, he produced a series on West Virginia's natural gas industry.  He is a three-time winner of the Scripps Howard Foundation's Meeman Award for Environmental Journalism.

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