Want to learn the latest media tech? We’ll teach you everything under the sun.

SPJ Florida, SPJ Region 3, the South Florida chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the South Florida Black Journalists Association have teamed up for an intense one-day conference in Miami.

On Saturday, Aug. 15, for as little as $30 for professionals and $15 for students, you can learn how to shoot broadcast-quality video from your smartphone, dazzle an employer with a digital resume, and quickly do data journalism. Oh, and you can fly a drone — see the printed schedule.

Your price of admission includes a boxed lunch in the cozy Koubek Center and a drink before the Sunshine State Awards ceremony — where winners of Florida’s premier media contest will be announced, certificates will be bestowed, and selected first-place recipients will share their secrets for assembling award-winning journalism. The full schedule is here.


Forging the Future happens inside the Koubek Center, 2705 Southwest Third Street in Little Havana. It’s a mansion that was converted into an educational center when Cuban refugees fled Castro in the 1960s.

Cuban doctors, engineers, and lawyers studied there to take their U.S. board exams so they could contribute to their adopted country’s society. Later, the Koubek Center became an arts center, adding a main theater, a couple blackbox theaters, and an art gallery.


SPJ Florida, NAHJ South Florida, and SPJ Region 3 present four rooms of simultaneous sessions. See the printed schedule.

Never Drone Alone

Drone journalism is a hot topic these days. But seriously, when are you really going to get your hands on one? You can at this session. SPJ Florida bought the latest model (a Phantom 3) and will show you how it works — and let you take it for a spin. If you like what you fly, learn about SPJ Florida’s Loan-A-Drone Program that comes complete with drone, camera, and even pilot if you need one.

Brandon Ballenger, SPJ Florida president and drone director

Career Fair

Looking for a new job? Part time work? Freelance? Well here’s your chance to meet and mingle with editors and producers from media outlets all over South Florida including UPI, Rise Miami News, South Florida Gay News, Ocean Drive, Gulfstream Publications, Fort Lauderdale magazine, Bauer Media, Modern Luxury, Visit Florida, South Florida Business Journal, New Times Palm/Broward, and Eater Miami. Check back as more outlets will be added. Also hear from a certified public accountant who will offer ways to save on taxes – a unique problem for freelancers. Finally, commiserate with your fellow job hunters and freelancers and share advice and war stories.

Jason Parsley, South Florida Gay News editor

SEO When You’re SOL

If you run your own news site or blog, you know Search Engine Optimization is crucial for finding new readers. But SEO is also a career unto itself – and not the one you want. How can busy journalists optimize both their SEO and their time? What other efficient shortcuts can you take to promote your site? If all you know about SEO and web promotion is what you’ve Googled, here are proven techniques specifically for journalists.

Michele Boyet, The Breakers Palm Beach social media manager

Shooting in the RED

Video cameras are nothing new in journalism, but what about one that doubles for photography? Used on the big screen and TV (think “Magic Mike XXL,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “House of Cards”) as well as shooting Vogue magazine covers, RED Digital Cinema does double duty on the set. Get the chance to see these cameras up close with a pro.

Freddy Rodriguez, RED Digital Cinema team

Covering Cuba

Panel discussion: Journalists who cover Cuba will give insight on how things work on the island with regards to the media, discuss challenges for the U.S. and what to watch for.

Is Podcasting for Me?

Go over the basic elements of a good podcast (character, regularity, niche audience/topic), the differences between this and broadcast and show examples of different formats produced with different levels of resources. This is a very basic intro workshop to explain the burgeoning world of podcasting and give some guidance as to where to start. This will be more about form and development than technical skills and equipment.

Maria Murriel, Digital Editor, WLRN Public Media

How to Create a Compelling Brand Image

After transitioning from practicing law as a criminal prosecutor to a successful career as a full-time freelance writer, Kara Franker breaks down how to carve out a unique personal brand that will separate you from the crowd. She’ll cover how to use social media to your advantage, why your website needs to be more than just your portfolio of work and how to expand your reach through multiple media outlets.

Kara Franker, Freelance Writer

Get LinkedIn

When it comes to getting your name out there, you at least need to have a LinkedIn page for prospective employers to find. As an *independent LinkedIn® specialist, Debbie Wemyss has coached professionals in 20 countries in one-on-one sessions and workshops to help them better their visibility using the online tool. Before founding DW Consulting in 2011, she worked in the nonprofit industry for 20 years, including the Palm Beach Zoo, Ballet Florida, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Debbie Wemyss, Independent LinkedIn Specialist
*Not with, affiliated or endorsed by the LinkedIn© Corporation

Resume and Career Counseling Workshop

Meet one-on-one with career coach and resume writer Linda Hamburger of On Call Resumes and owner of On Call PR for a resume review and pointers on how to jump start your career in journalism, PR, and marketing communications. Your resume needs to stand out in order to get noticed! Bring a “hard copy” of your resume and sign up for a 5-7 minute session from 1 to 4 p.m.

Linda Hamburger, Owner of On Call PR & On Call Resumes and President of the South Florida Public Relations Network


For more than half a decade, the Sunshine State Awards have been Florida’s most prominent journalist showcase. Join us at the end of Forging the Future for a free drink and appetizers, as we recognize the best talent in the state — and hear briefly from select winners on how they assembled their award-winning entries.

Food and drink: 4-5 p.m.
Presentation: 5-6:30 p.m.


AirPlay: The Great GamerGate Debate

Forbes has called GamerGate “a consumer movement.” The Washington Post has called it a “misdirected lynchmob.” GamerGate proponents argue it’s really about ethical breaches in video-game journalism, while their opponents say that’s a smokescreen for harassing women who want to assert themselves in gaming culture. If you’ve never heard of Gamergate, hear what both sides say about this yearlong war that has made “journalism ethics” a battle cry.

This three-part debate will be live-streamed nationally, and attendance for the public is free. Learn more here.

Michael Koretzky, SPJ Region 3 director

Questions? Email SPJ Region 3 director Michael Koretzky.