Eighteen Daily Pennsylvanian alumni came together at Penn on a rainy late-September Sunday afternoon to lead the 33rd annual Steve A. Marquez Journalism Conference. This annual conference organized by the Daily Pennsylvanian Alumni Association brings DP alumni currently working in journalism to campus to speak with current Penn students in a low-key, interactive environment. The alumni offer hands-on tips and advice, to provide ideas, suggestions and inspiration.
Washington Post investigative reporter Beth Reinhard ’90 delivered this year’s keynote speech, entitled “Winning the Pulitzer Prize: Judge Roy Moore and the story that changed America’s political landscape.” Reinhard was part of the Post team which received the Pulitzer for their reporting on six women from Alabama who accused the U.S. Senate candidate and former state Supreme Court chief justice of sexual misconduct against them, and the failed effort to then discredit the Post by attempting to dupe the paper into reporting made-up information.
For the third consecutive year, Joel Siegel ’79 (Managing Editor, NY1) served as the coordinator for the DP, assembling speakers and panels touching on many of the editorial areas of the DP’s print and digital publishing operations.
The conference is named in memory of Steven A. Marquez ’79, a former DP Managing Editor who was a reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News when he died in 1987 at the age of only 29. Marquez, a native Philadelphian, was a strong supporter of the city’s local communities and was widely praised for his neighborhoods coverage while at the Daily News. He had maintained close contact with the DP, and had been elected to the DPAA Board of Directors just before his death.
Seven breakout sessions focused on various areas of editorial activity:
• “Reporting 101: Beat Reporting” was led by Rachel Baye ’11 (Politics Reporter, WYPR) and Lara Seligman ’11 (Pentagon Correspondent, Foreign Policy).
• “Enterprise Reporting: Going Beyond the Day-to-Day to Find and Report Stories that Make a Difference” was led by Amy Gardner ’90 (National Political Reporter, Washington Post), Caren Lissner ’93 (Novelist and Editor-in-Chief, Hudson Reporter ) and Beth Reinhard ’90 (Investigative Reporter, Washington Post).
• “Sportswriting: Covering the Game and the Team” was led by John Dellapina ’83 (Vice President/Communications, National Hockey League), Dan McQuade ’04 (Staff Editor, Deadspin) and Adam Rubin ’95 (Assistant Athletic Director, New York Institute of Technology).
• “Writing for 34th Street” was led by Steve Fried ’79 (author, former magazine editor, journalism professor), Frida Garza ’14 (Senior Writer, Jezebel) and David Murrell ’17 (Research Editor, Philadelphia Magazine) .
• “Getting the Story Online: Covering, Writing and Delivering Breaking News as It Unfolds” was led by Amy Gardner ’90 (National political reporter, Washington Post) and Chris George ’05 (Home Page Editor, Washington Post) .
• “Visual Journalism & Photography” was led by Amanda Suarez ’16 (freelance writer & photographer).
• “From Social Media to Podcasting, Engaging an Audience in New Ways” was led by Rebecca Greenfield ’10 (Reporter & Host, The Pay Check podcast, Bloomberg News), Deepa Lakshmin ’14 (Social Media Editor, The Daily Beast), Hillary Reinsberg ’11 (Editor-in-Chief, The Infatuation and Zagat) and Caroline Waxler ’93 (writer and conference and festival programmer).
At the end of the afternoon, many of the alumni and students gathered together for a panel discussion on careers in journalism and how to use the DP as a stepping-stone.