A Journalism Symposium for Covering the Next Natural Disaster

March 09, 2023

  • 2023 |
  • Journalism Symposium |
  • knight-wallace |
  • Workshop |

9 AM – 5 PM | Thursday, March 9, 2023
Michigan League, University of Michigan

Followed by a reception and dinner at Wallace House

Free to registered participants

An Invitation for Specialized Training

As natural disasters become more frequent and devastating, how can newsrooms better prepare for the reporting and operations challenges posed by these emergencies?

Covering Natural Disasters is a one-day symposium developed by current Knight-Wallace Fellow María Arce to bring together journalists, extreme weather experts, and emergency managers in a small group to discuss best practices for covering disasters and solutions to working with limited resources amid the destruction and tragedy of these events.

This symposium is an opportunity for editors, staff reporters, and freelancers to learn, connect and be better prepared to cover the next natural disaster with new skills and trauma-informed practices.

Sessions and Speakers

Tools and resources to “weather the storm”: What can newsrooms expect in the future?
Perry Sampson, Professor, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan

The emotional and occupational stress of covering a natural disaster: What we can learn from journalists who covered Hurricane Harvey
Gretchen Hoak, Associate Professor, School of Media and Journalism, Kent State University

Keynote Lunch
Lessons from abroad: Disaster responses in South Asia

Peter Bodde, former U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Nepal and Malawi

The crucial role of HAM radio operators: How a strategic alliance and $400 radio can get your story out when the internet and power are down.
John Palmisano, co-station manager of W8UM at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building

Breakout Workshop
Plan now for extreme weather conditions: Develop operational and editorial continuity blueprints for disaster scenarios

Facilitated by Meg Martin, editor, project manager, researcher and producer on investigations, projects, podcasts and breaking news

Tour U-M’s Extreme Weather Simulator
Low Turbulence Wind Tunnel, North Campus

Reception and dinner at Wallace House
Hosted by Lynette Clemetson, Director, Wallace House Center for Journalists

About the Hosts

María Arce is a 2023 Knight-Wallace Fellow examining local newsrooms’ emergency plans to cover natural disasters and developing proposals to classify journalists as frontline workers during these disasters. An Argentinean journalist based in Puerto Rico, she most recently worked as multiplatform director of El Vocero newspaper. Before that, she worked at Univision as a digital director and at the Buenos Aires-based newspaper Clarín as an editorial coordinator. She has also worked for KUT, Marfa Public Radio, and EFE News Agency, and has covered a range of issues including natural disasters, tragedies, politics, and sports.

Lynette Clemetson is director of the Wallace House Center for Journalists at the University of Michigan, home of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists and the Livingston Awards.