SEJ's 21st Annual Conference Agenda — Wednesday






Agenda Coverage Registration Lodging/Transportation Español About Miami


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

SEJ’s 2011 annual conference officially begins Wednesday afternoon, October 19, with our opening reception, followed by dinner and special welcomes.

Before the opening events, we offer two workshops concurrently on Wednesday, as well as an afternoon meet-and-greet session with European and Latin American journalists.

All sessions, as well as registration, exhibits and breaks, will be at the InterContinental Miami Hotel,
100 Chopin Plaza, unless otherwise indicated.


All-Day Workshop 1: Video Training

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Join a team of University of Miami and SEJ instructors for hands-on video training. Our day will begin with a discussion of audio and visual storytelling and an overview of camera techniques and video-gathering tips. Then head out to the University of Miami campus to try your hand at shooting interviews and collecting b-roll. After lunch, we’ll reconvene in small groups in a UM computer lab where instructors will walk participants through the editing process using Final Cut Pro. It’s the perfect introduction to expand your repertoire and begin honing your video journalism skills. You’ll need your own camera — a Flip camera or digital camera with video capability will work, but not a cell phone. Pre-registration and $60 fee required. Lunch included. SEJ members only.

NOTE: This workshop is full.

Cassandra Brooks, News Director, The Last Ocean Project
Trevor Green, Video Editor and Operations Assistant, Knight Center for International Media, School of Communication, University of Miami
Dale Willman, Executive Editor, Field Notes Productions, and 2010-2011 Fulbright Recipient
Mike Zimmer, Executive Producer, "The Florida Insider Fishing Report" and "Sportsman's Adventures"; and CEO of Mike Zimmer Productions

Location: University of Miami School of Communication. Pre-registered attendees will meet at 7:30am.m in the InterContinental lobby for travel together via Metro with pre-paid tickets.  


All-Day Workshop 2: Covering the Green Economy

8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Sandringham/Windsor



Join veteran journalists and other experts for a daylong exploration of tracking the business dealings and the money behind sustainability efforts. In these sessions, sponsored by The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, you’ll find methods for spotting greenwashing, tips for dissecting the market for new product labeling, and tactics for finding the mega-government grants awarded to projects that foster alternative energy. You’ll also learn how to interpret financial information behind some of the top green companies, common financial terminology used in the green sector and tips for avoiding common mistakes when reporting on clean energy companies. The series of sessions will equip reporters with valuable expertise in one of the hottest coverage topics around. Pre-registration and $60 fee required. Continental breakfast and lunch included. Space is limited. Speaker bios.
Location: Sandringham, Intercontinental Hotel

Workshop 2 Agenda:

7:30-8:00 a.m. — Continental breakfast and registration

8:00-8:15 a.m. — Introduction and welcome

Speaker: Kelly Carr, Senior Online Producer, Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism

8:15-9:15 a.m. — An introduction to covering the green economy: Influential FORTUNE 500 companies including GE, Walmart and IBM proclaim their support for sustainable business practices. How deep and meaningful are their commitments? While there's no doubt that companies are curbing waste, becoming more efficient and investing in clean energy, is the progress that's being made commensurate with the scale and seriousness of the environmental problems facing the U.S. and the planet? Reporters will learn what questions to ask when talking to companies about their sustainability practices. By separating the hype from the reality, they'll be able to deliver the truth about green business to their audience.

Moderator: Marc Gunther, Contributing Editor, FORTUNE magazine; Senior Writer,; and Lead Blogger, The Energy Collective

Speaker: Kara Hurst, Vice President, BSR

9:15-10:15 a.m. — The green money flow: A large number of companies, including some of the most economically powerful and the highest greenhouse gas emitters, are preparing for a lower carbon, more resource-efficient future. They are disclosing their emissions voluntarily, reporting on how they plan to manage carbon reductions and investing in cleaner sources of energy. In this session we will examine the flow of money that serves as a mechanism to sustainability. Discussion will include, among other topics, comparing investments in energy innovation and technologies (private and government), how energy efficiency motivates corporate action, and how the economic costs of adaptation to climate change factor into business decisions.

Moderator: Lisa Palmer, Freelance Reporter and Editor (specializing in business and environmental coverage)

Speaker: Greg Neichin, Vice President, Research & Advisory, Cleantech Group

10:15-10:30 a.m. — Break

10:30-11:30 a.m. — The financials of sustainability: Within the green economy, financial maneuvers, sustainability reporting and tracking the numbers behind investments can be challenging to quantify. Tom Konrad, a financial analyst, portfolio manager, and freelance writer specializing in renewable energy and energy-efficiency investing, will introduce journalists to common financial terminology used in the green sector. He’ll also offer tips on tracking clean energy economics and for avoiding common mistakes when reporting on clean energy companies.

Speaker: Tom Konrad, Editor,

11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Over boxed lunch, we’ll chat with Nicolas Ibarguen, publisher of PODER, a Latin America business magazine committed to operating sustainably and covering key worldwide issues inside the emerging green economy. Ibarguen will be joined by several of PODER’s reporters who will share insights into the publication’s environmental coverage.

Speaker: Nicolas Ibarguen, Publisher, PODER

12:45-2:00 p.m. Green products, from the inside out: As the founder and "chief greenskeeper" of Method, Adam Lowry has guided an upstart company with admirable environmental credentials to marketplace success. He'll explain the decision-making, and the real life trade-offs, that shaped Method's home-care products, as well as the reasons why the company chose not to market itself as a seller of green products. Ido Leffler, co-founder of Yes to Inc., has watched his natural beauty line blossom into a brand offered in 29 countries and 28,000 stores in just four years. He’ll share insights from his journey growing a top natural company and the methodology behind creating a sustainable brand. Urvashi Rangan, a PhD and director of technical policy for Consumers Union, will take reporters behind the scenes of CU's, which was created to address the lack of credible, in-depth information on green products, services, and lifestyles. She'll also talk about the strengths and weaknesses of other green labels and certifications.

Moderator: Marc Gunther, Contributing Editor, FORTUNE magazine; Senior Writer,; and Lead Blogger, The Energy Collective

Ido Leffler, Co-founder, Yes to Inc.
Adam Lowry, Co-founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products, Inc.
Urvashi Rangan, Director, Technical Policy, Consumers Union; and Project Director, Consumer Reports’

2:00–2:15 p.m. — Break

2:15-3:30 p.m. — The sustainable supply chain: Companies are under pressure to make sweeping changes in their business practices to embrace sustainability. From reducing energy emissions to creating environmentally friendly products to cutting down waste, executives are faced with finding new solutions that fit within an ever-greening economy. A panel of company executives and sustainability experts will discuss the challenges of implementing sustainable practices into a business model. Journalists will gain insight into the overall investment in sustainability and how a company pursues it.

Moderator: Heather King, Producer, Writer, Strategist and Executive-in-Residence,

James Hall, Principal and Co-founder, GTI Institute for Sustainability and former Managing Director, Waste Management
Bob Langert, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, McDonald’s
Veena Ramani, Manager in Ceres’ Corporate Programs

Location: Sandringham/Windsor



2:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Sign up for Beat Dinners and Mini-Tours at the nearby SEJ table. If you didn’t sign up ahead of time for the Thursday tours, Saturday evening party, or Sunday morning breakfast, there may still be room – please check with registration.

Location: Outside the Grand Ballroom (near elevators)


SEJ Information Table

Sign up here for Beat Dinners and Mini-Tours. Find information about membership and services, pick up copies of SEJournal, TipSheet, FOI WatchDog, and other publications.

Location: Outside the Grand Ballroom (near elevators)


Books and Books

3:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Visit Books and Books, Miami’s independent, locally owned bookstore, on site in SEJ’s exhibit area, where you will find a variety of books for sale, written by SEJ members, invited speakers and University of Miami professors.

Location: Ballroom Foyer in front of the Oxford room


Afternoon Meet-and-Greet

International Environmental Reporting: Fertile Field or Fallow Ground?

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

As U.S. media outlets shutter foreign bureaus and zero out travel budgets, the importance of global environmental reporting has never been greater. What are U.S. and international organizations doing to support international reporting? And how can U.S. and overseas journalists work better together? Snacks and cash bar provided.

This session is sponsored and organized by the Woodrow Wilson Center, with additional support from the Transatlantic Media Network of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the International Reporting Project, and the Americas Business Council, abc* Foundation, whose Environmental Fellowships Program, directed by Nicolas Ibarguen, publisher of PODER Magazine, is bringing a group of well-known journalists to the conference from 8 Latin American countries.

Moderator: Peter Thomson, Environment Editor, PRI's The World

Nathalie Applewhite, Managing Director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Geoffrey Dabelko, Director, Environmental Change and Security Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Reginald Dale, Director, Transatlantic Media Network; and Senior Fellow, Europe Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies
James Fahn, Executive Director, Earth Journalism Network, Internews
John Schidlovsky, Director, International Reporting Project

Location: Chopin Ballroom


Opening Reception and Dinner at the InterContinental Miami

5:00 - 9:00 p.m.


Pre-registration and $25 fee required.

Kick off the conference in style in the InterContinental’s luxurious Grand Ballroom. Beginning at 5:00 p.m., we’ll mix and mingle for cocktails and then settle down to an only-in-Miami mix of seafood and Cuban cuisine at about 6:00 p.m. But the night isn’t just about the gourmet meal – SEJ has pulled out all the stops and assembled an all-star lineup worthy of the glitz and glamor of our host city. Coverage.




Ken Salazar
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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
With the House of Representatives threatening deep cuts to conservation budgets, Secretary Salazar will discuss what is at stake for America’s economy and environment, and make the case for why now is the time for smart investments in landscape-scale conservation, from the Florida Everglades to Montana’s Crown of the Continent. Coverage.

Moderator: Michael Grunwald, Senior Correspondent, TIME Magazine




Donna Shalala
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University of Miami President Donna Shalala
The former Clinton cabinet secretary may be the only university president who eschewed a grandiose mansion for an all-new, LEED-certified president's home. "The celebrity president" will tell us why she's taken a personal interest in welcoming SEJ.





Carl Hiaasen
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Carl Hiaasen
Expect to be in stitches. The funny and thoughtful environmental writer, author and Miami Herald columnist is sure to poke fun at our host state of Florida and its myriad environmental foibles that he has turned into best-selling books including Hoot, Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, and Strip Tease. Hiaasen is a true Florida treasure. Coverage.





Palmer Research Station
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Hal Wanless
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Live from Antarctica
Talk about primary sourcing. Miami is perhaps the most vulnerable American city to sea-level rise. So we'll have a live video chat with Palmer Research Station at the Antarctic Peninsula to discuss in compelling fashion the latest climate science. Chair of the University of Miami's geological sciences Harold Wanless will preview South Florida's fate. Coverage.


The Entire Cousteau Clan
Never before have all five members of the legendary Cousteau family appeared together. But on Wednesday evening, Oct. 19, 2011, SEJ will host Jean-Michel, Fabien, Céline, Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau to discuss their father and grandfather Jacques Yves Cousteau and the powerful legacy they continue today. Coverage.


Jean-Michel Cousteau
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Fabien Cousteau
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Céline Cousteau
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Philippe Cousteau
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Alexandra Cousteau
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Location: Grand Ballroom


Board Meeting

9:00 - 10:00 p.m.

All SEJ members are welcome to attend the meeting of SEJ's board of directors.

Location: Raphael Room


The New Communicators

9:00 - 10:30 p.m.

As society’s media landscape continues its dramatic diffusion, environmental journalists find themselves in a very crowded field of communicators of environmental information. Non-journalists who have a great deal of passion for environmental issues now have extraordinary access to consumers of information. These “new communicators” include artists, philanthropists, scientists, filmmakers, and more. But what happens to journalism’s dedication to accuracy and impartiality? We have assembled a most incredible panel of these new communicators to show us what they’re telling the world, and how they’re telling it.

Moderator: Peter Dykstra, Publisher, Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate

Xavier Cortada, Artist
Jean-Michel Cousteau, Ocean Futures Society
Michael Fishbach, Co-director, Great Whale Conservancy
Ron Magill, Zoo Miami
Jim Toomey, Cartoonist, "Sherman's Lagoon"

Location: Theater


Thursday, October 20
Friday, October 21
Saturday, October 22
Sunday, October 23