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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 10th 2020 with the star-studded Grand Opening Event, and concluding on December 3rd 2020. Conference dialogue featured:
- The many ways journalism has covered crisis – and how these crises have, in turn, shaped journalism. Specific topics included: 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 afforded New Mexico students interactive access to conference speakers. This year, CIR created 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.
Journalism under Fire 2019: A Review
At the second JUF event, we asked, “How does technology shape the truth?” We explored 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.
Presented in partnership with the Committee to Protect Journalists and made possible in part with support from the New Mexico Humanities Council, we once again welcomed a large contingent of international journalists through our partnership with the U.S. Department of State. Conference partners included The Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter, Albuquerque Weekly Alibi, Searchlight NM, New Mexico InDepth, True Kids 1, and KSFR.
Speakers for 2019 included: 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 News – Nairobi), Suzanne Kelly (the Cipher Brief), Rana Ayyub (Washington Post), Sam Gregory (the WITNESS project), Alexa Koenig (UCBerkeley), Ron Haviv (photojournalist), Ivan Kolpakov (editor-in-chief of Meduza.io) and many more… For a full list of speakers, click here.
Journalism under Fire 2019: By the Numbers
Total tickets sold: non-unique (i.e. counts people potentially four times as an attendee of the all four below events): 1,626
November 14 Day Sessions – at La Fonda on the Plaza: 523
November 14 Opening Night – at La Fonda on the Plaza: 567. Attended the VIP Reception: 96
November 15 Day Sessions – at the New Mexico State Capitol: 427
November 15 Closing Dinner – at Hotel Santa Fe: 109
Total Student Participation
Total number of students on November 14 (day): 252
Total number of student on November 14 (Opening Night): 56
Total number of November 15: 158
Total number of unique students attending some or all of JUF: 411
Total Number of Unique Journalists: 65
JUF 2019 Selected Press Coverage:
- November 15, 2019: Former Mueller chief of staff speaks in Santa Fe
- November 13, 2019: Journalism under Fire conference examines how technology shapes facts
- November 9, 2019: Technology shapes the truth — but how?
Journalism under Fire 2018: A 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 asked “Are we free without a free press?” and 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 Choir, a 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.
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
2018 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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