Utah Headliners Panels: 2021 Region 9 Virtual Conference (Free)

Protecting the Press

Friday, April 9, 12 p.m. MDT

It’s been a turbulent and dangerous time for journalists, from a summer of protests to an insurrection at the nation’s capital. Join our panel of reporters and photographers discussing how things have changed and how newsrooms have adapted to keep journalists safe as they cover the moments that make history.



  • Trent Nelson, chief photographer at The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Madison Lauterbach, editor and founder of Ms. Mayhem, a Denver-based online news outlet
  • Spenser Heaps, deputy director of photography at the Deseret News in Salt Lake City
  • John Wilson, chief photographer at KSL-5 TV in Salt Lake City

Innovative Journalism Nonprofits

Saturday, April 10, 9:30 a.m. MDT

More and more newsrooms are embracing the nonprofit model, reaching out directly to the public to be partners and stakeholders in their vital mission. In the west, a variety of outlets have been pioneering in this field from more veteran organizations like New Mexico In Depth to the Salt Lake Tribune, which made history as the first newsroom to switch from for-profit to nonprofit status.



  • Lauren Gustus, Salt Lake Tribune executive editor
  • Trip Jennings, New Mexico In Depth’s executive director
  • Marcie Young Cancio, Amplify Utah founding executive director and assistant professor at Salt Lake Community College
  • Charlotte Fife-Jepperson, co-founder of West View Media and managing editor of The West View
  • Erica Walz, owner and publisher of The Wayne & Garfield County Insider


  • Eric Peterson, founder of The Utah Investigative Journalism Project and board president of the Utah Headliners Chapter for the Society of Professional Journalists

2021 Region 9 Virtual Conference (Free)

Don’t miss the Society of Professional Journalists’ Virtual Regional Conferences — happening Saturday! Registration is FREE for all members and non-members.

All regions will feature two one-hour sessions coordinated by SPJ. Regional and conference coordinators will host their region’s Mark of Excellence Award ceremonies with their own unique Zoom links to be sent out once you register.

Register by 3 p.m. MDT Thursday to ensure you receive your invite to both the main event and your region’s Mark of Excellence Awards ceremony.

Programming will begin at 11 a.m. MDT with “How We Got the Story,” a two-part session about collaborating with professional and university partners, moderated by Kathy Best from the University of Maryland. Bob Little from NPR and Sandy Banisky and Sean Mussenden from the University of Maryland will discuss the Code Red Project and the impact of climate change on poor, urban neighborhoods. Then, Cheryl Phillips from Stanford University, Rob Wells from the University of Arkansas and Deborah Nelson from the University of Maryland will discuss how collaboration worked during an investigative project that involved several universities on the criminalization of homelessness.

Work to invest in your own mental health with Dr. Tammy McCoy-Arballo, a licensed clinical forensic psychologist, during the 12 p.m. MDT session “Prioritize Yourself: Invest in Your Own Mental Health.” Moderated by SPJ At-Large Board Member Jerry McCormick, this session will help you identify the warning signs that you’re beyond stressed and overworked. Learn to recognize the red flags and take steps to take care of yourself.