The Next 125 Years Conference speakers and sessions!

The Daily Tar Heel’s 125th birthday celebration Feb. 23-25 is more than just a reunion: we’ve assembled some of the smartest communicators and thinkers in media today to lead two days of discussion and debate at our conference, dubbed The Next 125 Years.

We’re just under six weeks from the big weekend. Today, we’re releasing the lineup of panels and speakers for the conference at the UNC School of Media and Journalism. You can buy tickets and see the full line-up of events, which includes happy hour and storytelling night on Friday and dinner at the Carolina Inn on Saturday, through the General Alumni Association.

Monday is the early-bird ticket deadline! Early-bird tickets allow you to reserve tables and preferential seating at the Carolina Inn. Tickets sold after Monday will have general seating for dinner. (Before or after you buy your ticket, watch this 125 video animation by DTH/1893 Brand Studio student communicator Lex Coelho.)

Carroll Hall, UNC School of Media and Journalism
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
Fuel up for the day with bagels and coffee in Carroll Hall.

9 a.m. Leading Newsroom Change
In 2018, newsrooms cannot be stagnant. Daily Tar Heel General Manager Erica Beshears Perel leads a conversation with Robyn Tomlin, who has overseen many newsrooms, including Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, the Dallas Morning News, and now, the News & Observer and other regional McClatchy publications, and Melanie Sill, who has held leadership roles at the Sacramento Bee, the News & Observer, and Southern California Public Radio/KPCC about the hard work of reinventing a legacy newsroom. Come prepared with questions and insights to share in this engaging session.

10 a.m. Breakout Panels

Beyond the DTH: How Skills in Journalism Translate to Other Careers
The Daily Tar Heel is a breeding ground for journalists—but not just journalists. This panel will cover the transition out of journalism, and how the skills learned at a news organization can be valuable in other careers. Panelists include Peter Roybal, who oversees video product management at LinkedIn, David Minton, the managing partner of DesignHammer, and Emily Schifter, a labor & employment associate attorney. DTH Managing Editor Jessica Swanson will moderate.

Pop! Goes the Culture: Q&A on Writing and Editing
Dan Kois, the culture editor at Slate, and Jennifer Abella, the copy chief for the Washington Post Magazine, are both pop culture aficionados. DTH Arts & Culture Editor Karyn Hladik-Brown will lead a conversation about how they’ve transformed their love of movies, TV, and books into a career, how to write well about culture, and what they’re reading and watching.

So You Want to Be a Foreign Correspondent?
Nahal “Halley” Toosi has reported from and/or served as an editor in Islamabad, Kabul, London, Iraq, Egypt, Thailand, and Germany. She was one of the first foreign correspondents to reach Abbottabad, Pakistan, after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Now a foreign affairs correspondent at POLITICO, Halley will share her career trajectory from the DTH to South Asia and the Middle East, how the field of foreign affairs reporting has changed over the years, and what stories aspiring foreign correspondents need to be paying attention to. DTH University Editor Leah Asmelash will moderate the conversation.

Giving Back to the DTH
The Daily Tar Heel has given so much to all of us. Now, newsroom leaders will share ways that you can give back. This session will cover how to include the DTH in estate planning, monthly giving, and more.

11 a.m. Breakout Panels

So You Want to Start a Podcast?

Everybody loves podcasts. But how do you make a show that’s unique, relevant, and meaningful? Nick Andersen, a podcast producer for WGBH’s MASTERPIECE and senior podcast producer for the Ministry of Ideas, Dan Kois, who was previously on Slate’s podcasts “Culture Gabfest” and “Mom and Dad Are Fighting,” and Sam Sabin, the creator and host of the autobiographical podcast “Good Grief,” will share insights to starting, producing, and hosting a podcast. Cole del Charco, the Daily Tar Heel’s audio desk editor, will moderate.

‘Boring’ Subject. Killer Story.
Three hard-hitting journalists—Michelle Jarboe, the real estate reporter at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Janet Roberts, the data journalism editor at Reuters, and Kaarin Tisue, an investigations editor at the Chicago Tribune—will discuss how to dig into the unsexy subjects and turn out compelling, groundbreaking stories. Eric Garcia, a reporter with Roll Call, will moderate.

How to Write About Data When You’re Not a Data Journalist
Every reporter needs to know how to incorporate data into their stories, no matter their title. Data-savvy journalists—including Billy Ball, the education reporter at N.C. Policy Watch and Lindsay Carbonell, a reporter and web developer at Education N.C.—will share tips and tricks to finding and reporting on datasets. Ryan Thornburg, a data journalism professor at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, will moderate.

Giving Back to the DTH
The Daily Tar Heel has given so much to all of us. Now, newsroom leaders will share ways that you can give back. This session will cover how to include the DTH in estate planning, monthly giving, and more.

12 p.m. Lunch

We’ll take a break and head to the Student Union for lunch.

1:30 p.m. Breaking Silence and Holding Those in Power Accountable
The past year saw powerful reporting dismantle silence and bring down the careers of several high-profile people, from Hollywood to Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Investigative journalists will discuss how to best hold those in power accountable to the public. Panelists include Ian Gordon, the managing editor of Mother Jones; Alia Smith, a media lawyer who defended Gawker, along with other news outlets; Sarah Frier, who covers social media companies for Bloomberg and Businessweek; Emily Steel, a media reporter for the New York Times; and Tarini Parti, who has covered Capitol Hill and now covers the White House for Buzzfeed News. DTH Director of Enterprise Corey Risinger will moderate.

3 p.m. A Conversation With Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni, a Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist (and a DTH alum!), will discuss President Donald Trump, the political landscape, and the rest of the news of the day with John Drescher, the opinion and solutions editor of the News & Observer.

Carroll Hall UNC School of Media and Journalism
9:30 a.m. Breakfast
Fuel up for the day with bagels and coffee at Carroll Hall.

10 a.m. The Last 125 Years: A DTH Retrospective
The Daily Tar Heel has been witness to countless pivotal moments of history, both at UNC and outside of the university. Current editor-in-chief Tyler Fleming will lead a conversation looking back among alumni who span several generations.

11 a.m. The Next 125 Years: Update on the DTH Today
The Daily Tar Heel is struggling financially. General Manager Erica Beshears Perel and Board President Matthew Queen will update alumni on the current state of the DTH and ask for their ideas on ways forward. This will be an active session of brainstorming where alumni and DTH leaders will tackle some of the challenges facing the beloved student newspaper.

12 p.m. Mentors Meet With Mentees
Mentors will have an opportunity to talk with their mentees over lunch. Mentees, bring your resumes and any clips you’d like to discuss.

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