Annual Journalism Conference Overshadowed by Hurricane Irma

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel 

It should come as no surprise that an annual conference for local TV and radio news managers is being overshadowed by actual news.

The RTDNA’s Excellence in Journalism conference in California this weekend has fallen smack in the middle of two major news events on the other side of the country – Hurricane Harvey’s recovery and Hurricane Irma’s approach.

We’re here in Anaheim for the annual conference which also includes the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). Journalists and students are on the ground meeting with recruiters and attending workshops and best-practices sessions.


We’re told attendance this year is higher than in past years but people some had to cancel at last because of their commitment to covering Irma.

“We actually applaud journalists who had to cancel attending to go or stay to Florida to help the public whether this monster storm. They are doing their duty that they signed up for. We very proud of them for choosing to service public rather than attending our conference,” said RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley.

While CNN has dispatched dozens of people to Florida, Jake Tapper, will receive the John Hogan award receive awards as part of EIJ.

Lester Holt, who had to divert to Miami to cover Irma, will receive the Paul White Award and give his acceptance speech via satellite.