Alumni Weekend | Columbia Journalism School

Alumni Weekend 2021

We enjoyed seeing you virtually at Alumni Weekend 2021! To receive access to recordings of the panels and ceremony below, please reach out to our Alumni team at

Panels - April 22 - May 6, 2021

Facts, Fake News and Public Trust - April 22, 2021 Noon - 1 p.m. EDT

In an era of disinformation and belief in fake news, public confidence in the press has taken a hit. What does fake news really mean?How did society become so polarized? How has fake news criticism hurt credibility overall? What are the best practices in covering stories so we can fight disinformation? As journalists and consumers of news, what could help us? How can public trust in our stories be rebuilt? Join this important discussion in a panel moderated by Dean Steve Coll.

Moderator: Dean Steve Coll

Panelists: Davey Alba, ‘13, a technology reporter at The New York Times; Prof. Michael Schudson, who writes about trends in public trust in media from a sociological perspective, and Pri Bengani, ‘17, of the Tow Center.

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Covering Protests Around the Globe During the Pandemic - April 29, 2021 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. EDT

Journalists are covering pro-democracy and other protests like Black Lives Matter demonstrations, facing additional challenges like operating within guidelines outlined for the pandemic. In 2015, journalists covering 15 protests worldwide were impeded by the police and security forces, according to a UNESCO report. By 2019, that number more than doubled to 32 and recent trends show further escalation. There is a growing threat to media freedom and in some protests, up to 500 separate violations occurred, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Moderator: Prof. Sheila Coronel
Panelists: Juanita Ceballos, '13, Producer — International Desk at VICE News; Katherine Jacobsen, '13, Researcher at Committee to Protect Journalists; Chris Livesay, '10, foreign correspondent for CBS News, and Andrea Sahouri, '19, reporter with the Des Moines Register. 

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Filling the Vacuum Left By Expanding News Deserts - May 6, 2021 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. EDT

With vast changes in the very landscape of journalism and newsrooms, covering news at the level required and building a loyal, engaged audience is among the toughest challenges. How can journalists operate in this environment and what are the most fruitful ways of running newsrooms to create impactful work? Join this panel to hear how reporters and newsroom managers are tackling these issues.

Moderator: Jake Heller, '12, Founder and editor-in-chief at ENEMY magazine
Panelists: Donna Ladd, '01, Co-founder, Mississippi Free Press; Editor-in-chief, Jackson Free Press; Kristin Roberts '98, Senior Vice President for news at McClatchy; Charles Sennott, '86, Founder & CEO, The GroundTruth Project, and Javier Castaño, '94, Director, Queens Latino

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Virtual Alumni Awards Ceremony - May 13, 2021, 5 p.m. EDT

headshots of 5 winners and text, "Virtual alumni awards"

On May 13th, our Virtual Alumni Awards Ceremony starts at 5 p.m. EDT. The honorees are Michelle Johnson '82, Donna Ladd '01, Natasha Lebedeva '94, Robert Fieseler '13 and Alexandra Bell '13. Read about them here.

Zoom Socials - May 13, 2021, 5:30 p.m. EDT

Right after the Awards ceremony, there will be three grouped Zoom socials. Check your inbox for details for your class!


Global Journalism Day - May 14, 2021

Global journalism day globe

Our Global Day of Journalism as part of our Alumni Weekend will be held on Friday, May 14. We are excited for you to connect virtually with alumni in four locations across the globe. The local time for each of these is between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. You can join one or more meet-ups to connect with J-Schoolers!

Find links to register for our New Delhi, London, San Francisco & Washington D.C. zoned meetings in your April 15th email.