Journalism under Fire 2019

Journalism under Fire returns to Santa Fe, 14-15 November, 2019. This year we’ve invited leading journalists to answer, “How does technology shape the truth?” We’ll explore the intersection between social media and fake news; the ways in which artificial intelligence (e.g. through deep and shallow fakes) is increasingly influencing the public domain; how China’s use of technology will have massive ramifications for the U.S.; and how digital forensics have opened up a new line of investigation, using crowd-sourced video and Big Data to reconstruct truth.

The Conference Program is Available Here

Presented in partnership with the Committee to Protect Journalists and made possible in part with support from the New Mexico Humanities Council, we will once again welcome a large contingent of international journalists through our partnership with the U.S. Department of State. This time, they will be 26 journalists from across sub-Saharan Africa. JUF is generously sponsored by New Mexico Bank & Trust, Hotel Santa Fe, the Santa Fe New Mexican, and theCity of Santa Fe. National sponsors include the World Affairs Councils of America and Global Ties US.

Conference partners include:The Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter, Albuquerque Weekly Alibi, Searchlight NM, New Mexico InDepth, True Kids 1, and KSFR.

Speakers this year include: Dana Priest (Washington Post), Malachy Browne and Matt Rosenberg (both NYT), John Carlin (author and former chief of staff for Robert Mueller), Hannah Allam (NPR), Rick Stengel (former editor of TIME), Tamerra Griffin (Buzzfeed – Nairobi), Suzanne Kelly (the Cipher Brief), Rana Ayyub (India), Sam Gregory (the WITNESS project), Alexa Koenig (UCBerkeley), Ron Haviv (photojournalist), Ivan Kolpakov (editor-in-chief of and many more… For a full list of speakers, click here.



Event One. On November 14th, Journalism under Fire begins at 8:45 at La Fonda on the Plaza for a number of presentations and panel discussions. See the speaking agenda here and speaker bios here.

Event Two. On November 14th, our Grand Opening Event begins at 6pm at La Fonda on the Plaza. Join us for another extravaganza! Details here!

Event Three. On November 15th, the conference resumes at the Roundhouse (the State Capitol Building) at 8:45am.

Event Four. On November 15th, the conference concludes with a Celebratory Closing Dinner at Hotel Santa Fe at 6:30pm.

Big Questions

  • How might “deep” or “shallow” fakes – where a person’s voice or image is deliberately and often maliciously manipulated – influence an electoral process?
  • How do social media platforms assist the “weaponized narrative” by disseminating nonfactual or hate-driven messages? Particularly in developing countries, how has this misinformation contributed to persecution and even undermined democratic institutions?
  • How can digital forensics or open source investigations use big data – from cell phones, satellites, and crowd-sourced content – to uncover the truth?
  • What is – and should be – the role of social media platforms in regulating free speech? Can we use technology to better differentiate truth from falsehood?


Journalism under Fire: 2018 in Review

At the 2018 Journalism under Fire event, we created The Santa Fe Statement on Journalism under Fire, a record of the event’s themes and recommended actions. Alongside these are the opening Remarks from the Mayor of Santa Fe, Alan Webber. The City of Santa Fe was an invaluable partner throughout.

Over 4-7 December 2018, Journalism under Fire explored the essential connections between journalism and democracy through 79 speakers, 51 visiting international journalists (48 through the US Department of State and 3 from Arizona State University), political cartoon and border photograph exhibits, the New Mexico Peace Choira Student Newsroom, and a virtual reality simulation. With the incomparable Santa Fe as backdrop, 2018’s Journalism Under Fire created unique learning and networking opportunities among extraordinary journalists, thought leaders, students, and the engaged public.

Sandy, CIR's ED, addressing the Opening Night crowd, with the NM Peace Choir just behind.
Jason Rezaian speaking during the Opening Night panel, with Jenni Monet, Hannah Allam, and Courtney Radsch
The Mayor of Santa Fe, Alan Webber, leads a moment of silence for slain and persecuted journalists.
The Opening Night reception
The New Mexico Peace Choir
Olga Yurkova of
The virtual reality simulation, Blindfold, where you become an interrogated journalist in Iran's most notorious prison.
Arbana Xharra, from Kosovo, and Sandy during the Security, Persecution, and Exile panel.
CIR High School Fellow Neha Sadasivan.
International journalists from West Africa on Misinformation in the Media.
International journalists from Europe on Misinformation in the Media.
Dana Priest and Valerie Plame in conversation - The Media and the Intelligence Community
Balint Szalai, Olga Yukova, and David Bodney on the Global Fake News Epidemic
Nikahang Kowsar - exiled Iranian political cartoonist.
KAL (the Economist), Ann Telnaes (WaPo), and Nik Kowsar - on Political Cartoons as the Litmus of a Free Press.

Journalism under Fire 2018: By the Numbers


Opening Night – December 4: 585
Day 1 – December 5: 368
Day 2 – December 6: 310
Day 3 – December 7: 316
Total Student, NM Journalist, Teacher Attendance: 168

Print Media Coverage

JUF earned significant coverage in the print media:

  • December 1st in the Santa Fe New Mexican. “Journalists under Fire set to speak in Santa Fe.” Steve Terrell.
  • December 3rd in the Santa Fe New Mexican [editorial]. “Taking journalists out of the line of fire.” Editorial board.
  • December 5th in the Santa Fe New Mexican. “At Santa Fe conference, journalists describe working while under threat.” Steve Terrell.
  • December 6th in The Washington Post [both online and in print version]. “Journalism under fire: Here, there and everywhere.” Jason Rezaian.
  • December 10th in the Santa Fe New Mexican. Reprint of Rezaian’s article [print only].
  • December 12th in the Gallup Independent. “Despite threats, insults, news people still have a job to do.” Sherry Robinson
  • December 22nd. Full page of photographs from VIP Reception on December 5th. Santa Fe New Mexican.


All photos are in our Facebook account:

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