WVPA Sharing

WVU’s Reporter Safety in Violent and Virulent Times virtual panel set for Sept. 30

Event co-sponsored by Reed College of Media, Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series

MORGANTOWN, W.VA. — As essential workers and first responders, journalists face growing threats and risks online and in real life as they cover natural disasters, mass shootings, the COVID-19 pandemic, violent protests and increased civil unrest in an election year. In addition, journalists experience trauma themselves in the course of covering difficult news for the public.

Co-sponsored by the Reed College of Media and Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series, this virtual panel — and limited availability workshops to follow — will provide background, context, training and resources for local journalists and journalism students to actively respond to the risks and new realities they face.

The event will focus on helping local journalists and journalism students actively respond to the risks and new realities that they face. As essential workers and first responders, journalists face growing threats and risks online and in real life as they cover natural disasters, mass shootings, the COVID-19 pandemic, violent protests and increased civil unrest in an election year.

The virtual zoom panel is set for Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Click this link to Find more information on the virtual panel and link to register: REGISTER ONLINE

The virtual panelists include:

DR. MICHELLE FERRIER is the founder of troll-busters.com, a just-in-time service that helps journalists fight online abuse and has advocated on behalf of journalists worldwide at the United Nations, SXSW, the Online News Association and the European Commission. She is a digital content architect with more than 30 years of experience in new media technologies, digital identity and media entrepreneurship. She is the executive director of the Media Innovation Collaboratory and a professor of journalism at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.

Named in 2017 by MediaShift as one of the top 10 journalism innovation educators to watch, Michelle has infused digital curricula and new narrative practices into her classroom and in her work. Michelle is a scholar and communications consultant around community-based participatory research and media entrepreneurship. Her research interests include digital identity and reputation management and online communities.

In 2017, she received an Online News Association Challenge Grant for reaching media deserts in Southeast Ohio communities. She and her students have won top Online News Association and Society of Professional Journalists honors around election vote abuse monitoring work in the 2016 election. And her service work with TrollBusters has won her accolades from South by Southwest founders, who honored Michelle in 2017 with their top community service award.

Michelle is the former associate dean of innovation, research and international programs at Ohio University and was an associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She recently completed her 2016 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow examining media entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education around the world. Following that work, she launched an open textbook project, which resulted in the publication of Media Innovation & Entrepreneurship, published with the Rebus Foundation, and available to students for free.

Michelle is the former president of Journalism That Matters and the creator of the Create or Die series of startup gatherings for media innovation in underserved and underrepresented communities. She is the principal investigator for the Media Deserts Project ( www.mediadeserts.com) that uses geographic information system technologies to examine places in the United States where fresh news and information are lacking.

Michelle holds a Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida in Texts and Technologies where she developed online communities, online learning and new media storytelling technologies; a master’s degree from the University of Memphis in journalism; and a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

DIANE FOLEY is from the James Foley Foundation. This organization has developed James W. Foley journalist safety curricula for both graduate and undergraduate university journalism programs and conducts work to increase access to safety training, medical insurance and security information for freelance journalists through A Culture of Safety (ACOS) Alliance and other journalism and press freedom partnerships, including annual safety training grants.

Diane M. Foley is the mother of five children, including American freelance conflict journalist James W. Foley. She founded the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation in September 2014, less than a month after his public execution. Diane is currently serving as the President and Executive Director of JWFLF.

Since 2014, she has led JWFLF efforts to fund the start of Hostage US and the international Alliance for a Culture of Safety, ACOS. In 2015, she actively participated in the National Counterterrorism Center hostage review which culminated in the Presidential Policy Directive-30. This directive re-organized US efforts on behalf of Americans taken hostage abroad into an interagency Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs and a White Hostage Response Group.

Previously, Diane worked first as a community health nurse and then as a family nurse practitioner for 18 years. She received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH.

SALLY STAPLETON launched a newly formed department as global religion editor at The Associated Press in July 2019.

She was managing editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2017 until April 2019. The staff of the Post-Gazette received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of the Tree of Life synagogue hate-crime massacre.

Stapleton served on the board of directors for the Associated Press Media Editors organization for three years during her time in Pittsburgh. She previously was managing editor of The Day in New London, Connecticut, where she oversaw website and mobile transformations.

From 1990 to 2004, Stapleton worked in a variety of photo leadership positions for the AP, including deputy executive photo editor, overseeing all aspects of AP’s photo operation.

During that time, she oversaw two photography teams that were recognized with Pulitzer Prizes. One involved Rwanda genocide coverage in 1995, the other the simultaneous U.S. embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1999. Before joining the AP, Stapleton held photo and news graphics. editor positions at The Boston Globe, the Miami Herald and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

David ShribmanDAVID M. SHRIBMAN, executive editor of the Post-Gazette from 2003 to 2019, writes a nationally syndicated column in the United States; prepares a separate column on American affairs for the Globe and Mail, the national newspaper of Canada; is scholar in residence at Carnegie Mellon University; and in the 2019-2020 academic year is teaching at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at Montreal’s McGill University. He went to Pittsburgh from The Boston Globe where he was assistant managing editor, columnist and Washington bureau chief.

He graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a degree in history and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He did graduate work in European and African history at Cambridge University, England, as a Reynolds Scholar.

He served as national political correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, covered Congress and national politics for The New York Times and was a member of the national staff of The Washington Star. A native of Salem, Massachusetts, he began his career at The Buffalo Evening News, where he worked on the city staff before being assigned to the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mr. Shribman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for his writing on Washington and the American political scene. He led the coverage of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre that won the Pulitzer Prize a quarter-century later.

Mr. Shribman was a regular panelist on the PBS show “Washington Week,” has appeared on both “Face the Nation” and “Meet the Press,” and is a frequent analyst for the BBC and CBC. His “I Remember My Teacher,” a tribute to the nation’s great educators, was published in 2002. He has lectured at universities and colleges around the country and taught courses at Notre Dame, Brandeis, Virginia Commonwealth University and Gettysburg College. He was a Poynter Fellow at Yale and delivered the Lyndon Baines Johnson Distinguished Lecture at Southwest Texas State University and the Charles Hall Dillon Lecture at the University of South Dakota.

Mr. Shribman is an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College and of the Board of Visitors of Dartmouth’s Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences. He is a former member of the selection committee for the Profiles in Courage Award at the John F. Kennedy Library and served as chairman of the selection committee of the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award given by Colby College. He also sits on the national board of the Calvin Coolidge Foundation and holds four honorary degrees.

He has been married to Cindy Skrzycki, a University of Pittsburgh professor, for more than 40 years, and they have two grown daughters, Elizabeth and Natalie.


Training workshops will be held immediately following the virtual panel discussion. Capacity is limited; interested participants should contact Shannon Cunningham at [email protected] or 304-293-3078.

  1. Journalism in the Time of COVID: Ethics, Safety and Self-Care
    Led by: Tom Durkin from the James Foley Foundation
    Tom Durkin, James W. Foley Legacy Foundation education program director and long-time friend of James Foley, will examine the role of journalism during the pandemic. Durkin will discuss James Foley’s motivations, including Jim’s view on moral courage, when pursuing stories that highlighted underrepresented voices. Connecting this pursuit to our current environment, Durkin will also emphasize the importance of safety and self-care. This presentation will be followed by a Q&A.
  2. Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts: Protecting Yourself Online as a Journalist
    Led by: Dr. Michelle Ferrier from TrollBusters

    By the end of this lesson, you will:
    • Understand current strategies and online attacks of journalists on social media platforms.
    • Understand how journalists and the news enterprise are affected by online harassment.
    • Be able to define your own personal risk model.
    • Be able to discuss specific tactics to preserving your digital identity and reputation online and off.
  3. The Manager’s Guide: Strategies for a Safer, Sounder Newsroom
    Led by: Sally Stapleton from The Associated Press

    Newsrooms and journalists worldwide are increasingly the targets of cyber attacks, social media, email and physical attacks. However, we, as managers, aren’t indefensible. We’ll discuss small, medium and large strategies managers can put in place to prepare and respond. This discussion draws on recommendations suggested by a regional director of the Department of Homeland Security and a former deputy director of the Secret Service.

Comments are closed.

West Virginia Press Newspaper Network " "

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address