Journalism under Fire 2020



Our new conference website is now live: www.journalismunderfire.org

The Santa Fe Council on International Relations (CIR) hosted its third Journalism under Fire conference from November 10 to December 3, 2020. All digital for the first time, this year’s theme was Covering Crisis and featured leading journalists, photojournalists, political cartoonists, academics and activists. Together, they addressed, dissected, and illustrated how journalism is covering today’s overlapping crises – all on the heels of the U.S. elections.

There was at least four remote sessions per week, beginning on November 10, 2020 with the star-studded Grand Opening Event, and concluding on December 3,2020. Conference dialogue featured:

  • The many ways journalism has covered crisis – and how these crises have, in turn, shaped journalism. Specific topics include: Covering up Crisis? Conservative Media and the Coronavirus. Discovering Crisis: Digital Forensics and Social Protest. A Covert Crisis: The Fuel of Disinformation. The Forgotten Crisis? Photojournalists and Climate Change.
  • Journalists from around the world discussing the effects of coronavirus, and how autocrats have used the crisis to crack down on journalism.
  • Student Learning Labs affording New Mexico students interactive access to conference speakers. This year, CIR is creating five News Literacy Modules for classroom use, each offering a vibrant view on major journalism principles and issues – e.g. on disinformation, on separating fact from opinion – alongside a compendium of resources written by conference speakers.

Once again, we partnered with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), and received funding support from the New Mexico Humanities Council. We engaged speakers from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other major national and global media outlets.

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Session Recordings

You can view all recordings from complete Journalism under Fire 2020 sessions below and also on CIR’s YouTube channel.



Tuesday, November 10, 2020: Journalism Under Fire Opening Event – Nicholas Kristof/Sheryl WuDunn/Dana Priest. Watch the talk here.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020: Journalists in Crisis: Missing Not Forgotten – Clarissa Ward (CNN), David Rohde, (The New Yorker), Ignacio Delgado Culebras (CPJ). Watch the talk here.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020: Discovering Crisis: Russian Bombs in Syria – Malachy Browne (The New York TimesWatch the talk here.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020: Covering Electoral Crisis – EJ Dionne Jr (The Washington PostWatch the talk here.


Thursday, November 12, 2020: The Determinants of Crisis – Hannah Allam (NPR News), DeNeen Brown (The Washington Post), Ben Felder (The Frontier – Oklahoma City), Timothy Phillips (Beyond Conflict)  Watch the talk here.



Thursday, November 12, 2020: Covering Social Crisis – Wesley Lowery (CBS News, 60 Minutes), Astead Herndon (The New York Times), and moderator Russell Contreras (The Associated PressWatch the talk here.



Thursday, November 12, 2020: Satirizing Crisis, Part One – Jack Ohman (The Sacramento Bee) and Matt Wuerker (Politico), with moderator Dana Priest Watch the talk here.



Friday, November 13, 2020: Conference Interactive Discussion Session – Dana Priest (The Washington PostWatch the talk here.



Saturday, November 14, 2020: Special Student Session: What in the world is a journalist? Watch the talk here.



Monday, November 16, 2020: A Thousand Cuts: Q&A Session – Maria Ressa Watch the talk here.



Tuesday, November 17, 2020: Covering Crisis: Resistance vs. Independence – Ivan Kolpakov (www.meduza.io) and Ben Smith (The New York Times), moderated by Janet Steele (George Washington UniversityWatch the talk here.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020: Crisis at the US-Mexico Border: The Coronavirus Disruption – Alfredo Corchado (The Dallas Morning News), Angela Kocherga (The Albuquerque Journal), Dudley Althaus (Mexico City-based freelance) with moderator Yuriria Morales (Global Ties Albuquerque) Watch the talk here.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020: Fact Checking our Disinformation? – Cindy Otis (author: True Or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News), Yvonne Rolzhausen (The Atlantic’s Research Chief) with moderator Julie Posetti (International Center for Journalists) Watch the talk here.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020: The New Newsroom: Collaborations that Strengthen Storytelling and Impact– Dr. Alexa Koenig (University of California, Berkeley), Andrea LamprosGisela Pérez de AchaHaley Willis (The New York Times), and Sarah Cahlan (The Washington Post
Watch the talk here.


Thursday, November 19, 2020: Press Freedoms in Hungary – Veronika Munk (formerly with index.hu), Szabolcs Panyi (Direkt36), and Agnes Urban (chair of the Infocommunications Department at the Corvinus University of Budapest) Watch the talk here.


Thursday, November 19, 2020: Creating, Weaponizing, and Detecting Deep Fakes – Dr. Hany Farid (University of California, BerkeleyWatch the talk here.


Friday, November 20, 2020: Covering Crisis in China – Julie McCarthy (NPR), Lingling Wei (The Wall Street Journal), Bob Davis (The Wall Street Journal) with moderator Bill Clifford (World Affairs Councils of AmericaWatch the talk here.


Friday, November 20, 2020: Conference Interactive Discussion Session – with Dr. Todd Greentree and Sandy Campbell Watch the talk here.


Saturday, November 21, 2020: Special Student Session: Fake News – Cindy Otis (author: True Or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake NewsWatch the talk here.



Monday, November 23, 2020: Our Public Health Crisis: Journalism and Science Respond to COVID-19 – Dr. David Scrase (New Mexico’s Secretary of Health and Human Services), Prof. Sam Scarpino (Northeastern University), Sara Del Valle (Los Alamos National Laboratory), with moderator Julia Goldberg (Santa Fe ReporterWatch the talk here.



Monday, November 23, 2020: Photographing Social Crisis Today – Lauren Walsh (NYU) Watch the talk here.



Monday, November 23, 2020: Covering Climate Change from the ‘Heart of Darkness’ – Laura Paskus (New Mexico PBSWatch the talk here.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020: How COVID-19 is Reshaping African Journalism – Mike Okwoche (Senior Anchor at Television Continental in Lagos, Nigeria), Ntibinyane Ntibinyane (co-founder of INK Centre for Investigative Journalism in Botswana), Mercy Kandie-Tanui (@BBC Kenya), with moderator Anya Schiffrin (Columbia Journalism School). Introduced by Sana Abed-Kotob (U.S. Department of State) Watch the talk here.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020: Covering Crisis in Indian Country, New Mexico – Shaun Griswold (Reporter, New Mexico In Depth)Arlyssa Becenti (Diné journalist, Navajo Times), Sharon Chischilly (freelance photojournalist), with moderator Conroy Chino Watch the talk here.



Tuesday, December 1, 2020: The Newsroom and Crisis – Tina Susman (TIME Magazine), Jennifer Ludden (NPR News), and Pervaiz Shallwani (CNNWatch the talk here.



Tuesday, December 1, 2020: Satirizing Crisis, Part Two – Ann Telnaes (The Washington Post), Kevin KAL Kallaugher (The Economist, The Baltimore Sun), with moderator David Folkenflik (NPR) Watch the talk here.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020: Covering Environmental Crises through Innovation and Collaboration – Eliza Barclay (Vox.com), Juliana Mori (InfoAmazonia), Fredrick Mugira (Water Journalists Africa), moderated by the Pulitzer Center’s Nora Moraga-Lewy Watch the talk here.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020: Disinformation, Trolls, and Harassment: Reflections from Brazil – Patricia Campos Mello (Folha de São Paulo) and Dr. Courtney Radsch (The Committee to Protect JournalistsWatch the talk here.


Thursday, December 3, 2020: Journalism under Fire: Closing Ceremony – with Bob Woodward in conversation with Dana PriestPeter Baker (NY Times) and Susan Glasser (The New Yorker), Joel Simon, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists Watch the talk here.



Friday, December 4, 2020: Conference Interactive Discussion Session: Wrap Up  – with Dana Priest (The Washington Post) and Sandy Campbell (CIR). Watch the talk here.