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Hashtag: #JournalismRedefined

 Logo for Hashtag: #JournalismRedefined workshop

THANK YOU to all of our participants (both live and online) for attending the Hashtag: #JournalismRedefined conference on Friday, Sept. 20. We had over 300 professional journalists, public information officers, public relations professionals, students and faculty join us for a day of discussions about the role of social media and its effect on journalism and strategic communication. We hope to have a video re-cap of the conference in place by the week of Sept. 30. We'll post the link on our News section.


Just as the peace sign became the symbolic representation of the 60s, the hashtag is quickly becoming the corporate logo for the social media age.

It's one symbol packed with potential. Not only does it help organize and sort information across multiple social media platforms, the hashtag also helps build brands, create awareness and inform the world of current events. Perhaps that's why journalists and communications professionals so quickly adopted the use of hashtags on Twitter and Facebook.

But among the over 800,000 social media posts every minute of the day, the hashtag also has the ability to wreak havoc on media, businesses, governments, organizations and individuals—just look at some of the recent examples in the news including the Boston Marathon bombing, Asiana plane crash and Paula Deen.

On Sept. 20, the University of Denver will bring together Denver-area journalists, communications professionals, academics and students to talk about the growing use of social media and sort through the ever-expanding opportunities and pitfalls of these emerging technologies.

Event Information

Date: Friday, Sept. 20, 2013

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location: University of Denver, Anderson Academic Commons

Cost: Free; advance registration required

Parking Information: Paid hourly parking (self-pay) lots are located at several locations at the University of Denver. Visit the parking map to find lots. Parking kiosks accept cash and credit cards.

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. Due to overwhelming response to the conference, we are unable to accept new attendees at this time. Please join us with the live stream telecast by tuning in here on Sept. 20.

Why attend?

On April 17, 2013, in the critical hours after the Boston Marathon Bombing, the world witnessed one of the biggest gaffes in news reporting to date. Cable news network CNN Tweeted that an arrest had been made in the case, yet no such suspect was in custody. Unfortunately, through the growing use of social media—and especially through Twitter—news outlets across the country disseminated the incorrect statement. In Colorado, several news organizations used social media to carry the same information while others waited for official verification. CNN and other prominent newspapers, TV and radio stations and news websites were forced to run corrections to the story. In the end, journalists—and the journalism profession—looked bad.

This is only one recent example of the opportunities and challenges that journalists, information specialists, and news organizations confront when using social media. Because consumers are increasingly using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr as a first stopping point for news, and because these platforms are fast and easy to update, such problems are likely to multiply in the future. Going forward, how can journalists, news and PR organizations, and others find the right balance between speed and accuracy, and between innovation and reputation?

This fall, the University of Denver Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies, along with the University's Division of Marketing & Communications, will bring together a cross section of professionals from Denver/local media and government/strategic communication organizations to facilitate a discussion on social media and its impact on journalism and the communications profession. The goal of the day is to share best practices among professionals and MFJS faculty for the benefit of future and present-day communication professionals as well as for PR and journalism educators.

Schedule of Events

8:15 - 9:00 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Social media journalism at the local level


  • Phil Tenser, Director of New Media, 7NEWS and
  • Daniel Petty, Denver Post
  • Kyle Clark, Anchor/Reporter, KUSA-TV/9News
  • Britt Moreno, Morning Anchor, CBS4 Denver
  • Adrienne Russell, Associate Professor in Media, Film & Journalism Studies (session moderator)

Social media is no longer an adjunct to news reporting—it is news reporting. These Denver-based journalists are trained in both traditional news reporting for print and television as well as for new media, including the web and social platforms. These professionals spend their day in a complex jungle of writing, reporting, researching, Tweeting, posting, blogging and delivering the news.

Panelists will discuss their own personal use of social media: favorite platforms, frequency of posting, building a personal "brand," as well as using social media as a conduit to communication professionals and public information officers.

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Social Media: Impacts on the Journalism Profession


  • Tim Wieland, News Director, CBS4 Denver
  • Patti Dennis, News Director/editor, KUSA-TV/9News
  • Jeff Harris, News Director, KMGH Channel 7
  • Jim Clarke, Bureau Chief for Colorado, Montana, Utah & Wyoming, The Associated Press
  • Lynn Clark, Professor, Media, Film & Journalism Studies and Director of the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media (session moderator)

Managing a newsroom is no easy task, just ask these top directors from Denver's leading media outlets. In addition to shaping the news of the day, these pros must also manage institutional and personal online "brands" as well as the reputations of journalists who work for them. They monitor the competition and adjust their own products as a result. More importantly, they set the tone and direction of their newsroom's social media presence. They make decisions and set policy on how and when reporters and editors use social media and must take responsibility for enforcing and monitoring those decisions.

In this panel, we'll investigate the broader implications of social media on journalism, both negative and positive. We'll look at how news consumption habits are changing and what local news organizations can do to do capitalize on those changes as well as identify pitfalls and opportunities with new media.

12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch & Saving Your Assets (Social Media Law 101)

Please note: As of Aug. 26, lunch is sold out. Attendees who were not able to register for lunch can find accommodations the Front Porch Cafe (located in the Anderson Academic Commons), Nagel Hall Food Court (steps away from the library) or at nearby restaurants.

Media and communication professionals are invited to stay for lunch (RSVP required) for networking and a chance to catch up on the latest in media law as it applies specifically to social media. Dr. Derigan Silver of the Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies will give practical and useful tips for journalists and strategic communication professionals alike.

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Crisis Communications: Journalists, PIOs & PR Professionals Working Together


  • Jacki Kelley, Public Information Director, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
  • Emily Williams, Communications & Marketing, Denver Public Works, City of Denver
  • Jared Harding, Manager, Interactive Media & Digital Strategy, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment
  • Kim DeVigil, Communications Director, Division of Marketing & Communications, University of Denver
  • Nathan Hunerwade,Deputy Sheriff, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
  • Mark Techmeyer, Public Information Officer, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
  • Doug Hoffacker, Assignment Editor, CBS4 Denver (session moderator)

Social media is quickly becoming the "go to" tool for communication professionals and public information officers. SM platforms allow for quick and easy-to-update information streams to multiple audiences. This session explores the use of social media in emergency/crisis situations as well as a communications and brand-building tool. Please note: We're splitting this session into two parts. The first will concentrate on social media as PR, marketing and information tools and the second half will be devoted to social media efforts specifically in response to this week's flooding and emergency response efforts.

Who Should Attend?

The broad implications of social media are of importance to anyone in communications and we specifically urge these professionals to join us:

  • Journalists (print, TV, online, radio)
  • Bloggers
  • Public Information Officers
  • Public Relations & Strategic Communication Professionals
  • Students 
Live Stream & Online Participation

The University of Denver will live stream the conference if you are unable to make it to campus. We'll post the link on this webpage as well as on the DU and Media, Film & Journalism Studies Facebook pages as well as our Twitter accounts.

We'll also have an active Twitter wall on stage to showcase comments and questions form the audience about the specific topics on hand. Have a question before the seminar? Tweet them with the hashtag #journalismredefined

For more information

For questions about the conference, please contact:

  • Chris Henning
    Communications Director
    Media, Film & Journalism Studies
    Twitter: @media_filmatDU
  • Theresa Mueller
    External Communications Specialist
    Division of Marketing & Communications
    Twitter: @uofdenver

This conference generously sponsored by:

University of Denver Division of Marketing & Communications

Divisions of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

University Libraries

Estlow International Center for Journalism & New Media

Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies

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