Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee


Who: You – a college journalism student or recent graduate

What: The 2022 TNG Student Media Conference AKA #MichMediaCon

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 (but it’s kinda like an open house)

Where: Zoom! Join us from anywhere and everywhere

Why: “Why not?” is really the question!

We designed this free, virtual event to introduce journalism students to working media professionals so students can learn the REAL DEAL about our industry.

An interactive panel discussion about diversity in media kicks off our event. Then, students will attend a session featuring managers from outlets across Michigan who share what they’re looking for when they hire.

What’s next? Whatever your journalism heart desires. From noon to 6 p.m., choose between a slate of 13 breakout sessions to get the scoop on anything and everything in the news business, including: news reporting, building a beat, sports reporting, finding internships, photography and more!

We’re pleased to welcome esteemed journalist Walter T. Middlebrook as our 2022 emcee!

Keynote Panel

All sessions take place Oct. 21, 2022

Diversity in the Media

10 a.m. to 10:55 a.m.  

Our decorated panel includes Felecia D. Henderson of The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education; James Hill, a Detroit Free Press executive editor; Vincent D. McCraw, a Report for America regional manager and president of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Detroit chapter, and Dorothy Hernandez, an assistant city editor at The Detroit News.

Moderated by Walter T. Middlebrook, Foster Professor of Practice at State College in Pennsylvania, our keynote speakers will spark an interactive discussion about media diversity with reflections from their combined 50-plus years of industry experience. Click here to learn more about our keynote speakers!

Managers’ Session

11 a.m. to 11:55 a.m.

Hiring managers from Automotive News, BridgeDetroit, ChalkBeat Detroit, Crain’s Detroit Business, Detroit Free Press, Fox 2 Detroit, Michigan Radio, Outlier Media, The Detroit News and WDIV* share what they look for in new hires.

Click here to learn more about our participating managers!

*Don’t miss out! Late sign-ups for news outlets stay open until 9 p.m. on Oct. 10. Just send an email to join!

Breakout Sessions

Select as many sessions as desired, but only one per time slot.

 Finding Internships 

Noon to 12:55 p.m.

Don’t miss your chance. Get tips for snagging great internship spots from Jewel Gopwani, senior editor of engagement and events at the Free Press.

Opinion and Feature Writing

Noon to 12:55 p.m.

Think the rules of journalism don’t apply to features and opinion pieces? Think again. Detroit Free Press columnist and editorial board member Nancy Kaffer joins longtime journalist and DNICK Media founder Darren A. Nichols to discuss the responsibility of writing opinion pieces while Detroit News restaurant critic Melody Baetens shares expertise on features writing.

News Reporting

1 to 1:55 p.m.

Journalists stay ready – especially on beats that never stop hustling. Detroit News City Hall and investigative reporter Sarah Rahal, Columbus Dispatch trending news reporter Micah Walker and Anna Liz Nichols, who covers Macomb County for the Detroit News, dish about reporting hard news in a fast-paced news cycle.

Web Editing and Social Media

1 to 1:55 p.m.

Should you post that? We found not one, but TWO Brians to help you decide. That’s right, we have Team Brian Squared, and they both work at the Detroit Free Press. Brian Manzullo is the social, search and audience editor there and Brian Todd works as a web editor at the daily.

Building a Beat

2 to 2:55 p.m.

What’s the plan for your beat? BridgeDetroit reporter Bryce Huffman, Detroit News environmental reporter Carol Thompson and Metro Times music writer Kahn Santori Davison share how they’ve approached the tall task of building their respective beats.

Surviving Freelance

2 to 2:55 p.m.

Freelance does not always equal freedom. It’s hard. Independent journalist Eleanore Catolico and freelance photographer Nic Antaya give their best tips for surviving the bumpy but exciting world of freelancing. 

Television Reporting

2 to 2:55 p.m.

Lights, camera, action and: Learn! WXYZ news producer Amanda Allie, WXYZ anchor Jennifer Schanz and Sarah Nicole Smith, owner/producer of Zmith Productions, tell you everything you need to know about the world of broadcast journalism – in front of and behind the camera.

Business Reporting

3 to 3:55 p.m.

It’s business time. Jason Davis, small business reporter at Crain’s Detroit, Detroit Free Press autos reporter Eric Lawrence and Jordyn Grzelewski, autos reporter at the Detroit News, chat with you about the ins and outs of covering Michigan’s bustling business beats.

Copy Editing and Design

3 to 3:55 p.m.

Can’t have one, without the other! Benita Mehta, chief editor of Industrial Safety, and veteran Detroit News designer Diana McNary, team up to give their best advice on getting hired in an era where many outlets require journalists to have both skill sets.

Investigative Reporting

4 to 4:55 p.m.

Let’s look into that. Louis Aguilar, Wayne County reporter for The Detroit News, and Detroit Free Press investigative reporters Christine MacDonald and M.L. Elrick join with Detroit News data reporter Hayley Harding to help uncover the necessary tools to discover truths that would otherwise stay untold.

Photography, Video and Podcasts

4 to 4:55 p.m.

Did you hear? Audio producer Cary Junior II, along with reporter and podcaster Darcie Moran, both of the Detroit Free Press, and Detroit News photographer Robin Buckson, give you the scoop on delivering the best shots and soundbites in the era of digital journalism. 

Resume Building

5 to 5:55 p.m.

Nobody likes writing resumes, even writers. We can help. Listen to Stephanie Steinberg, journalist and founder of The Detroit Writing Room, dole out her best takes on how to shape a flawless resume.

Sports Reporting

5 to 5:55 p.m.

Sports. What else do we need to say? A crowd favorite in 2021, come hear from the legendary Lynn Henning, longtime Detroit sports journalist, along with Detroit Free Press sports reporter Tony Garcia, Detroit News general assignment sports reporter Nolan Bianchi and Marissa McNees, sports reporter for The Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria, Ohio, join Detroit News columnist John Niyo to share their game plans for covering high school, college and professional sports teams and players.

Click here to learn more about our session leaders!

Working journalists, don’t hit the pillow with FOMO tonight. Wanna add your voice to a section? Late sign-ups for session leaders stay open until 9 p.m. on Oct. 10 or until space fills up. Send an email for more information.

Click here to sign up!

About the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and the conference

Inspired by newsroom trenches and contemporary social justice movements, the Detroit Newspaper Guild’s first-ever diversity, equity and inclusion committee formed in 2020.

Led by chairwoman Julie Walker and co-founder Stevie Blanchard, along with founding members Jordyn Grzelewski, Kalea Hall, Nancy Kaffer, Sarah Rahal, Chanel Stitt and Sally Tato, the committee hosted the inaugural TNG Student Media Conference in 2021.

We thank our returning members, as well as our event partners: the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, the Michigan chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association and Coaching Detroit Forward for their support.

We’re pleased to welcome NABET-CWA as a partner for this year’s event.

We don’t have strong enough words to share our gratitude for the time donated by our emcee, keynote speakers, managers and session leaders. 

And to the most important people at our event: The students. Thank you for participating. We can’t wait to see what you do!

With gratitude,

Stevie Blanchard, co-director

Jordyn Grzelewski, co-director

Kalea Hall, deputy director

Chanel Stitt, deputy director

Julie Walker, director