The Women in Journalism Workshop is an annual workshop that focuses on challenges, accomplishments and issues specific to women in the journalism industry today. We want to help build safer, more diverse and innovative newsrooms to serve our communities worldwide. This year's workshop will be May 1-3, 2020.

This year we will be diving into how to innovate the way we cover stories, the management of our newsrooms and the tools we use. Sessions include self-care, HEAT training, how to prepare for violent breaking news, machine learning & AI for journalism, secondary trauma, advocating for yourself, innovating in the newsroom, implicit bias training and more.





More session leaders will be added as they confirm! 



Sophie Ho is the newsroom audience analyst at The Washington Post. Prior to her current role, she was an operations editor and universal news desk engagement editor. She joined The Post in 2016 as an intern on the audience development team after graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in political science. She's from California, and proud of it.


 Leah Millis is a senior photographer with Reuters. Millis spent the previous four years at the San Francisco Chronicle. While there, she produced several photo stories, including the worst and longest-lasting drought in California's history, an investigation into the state's failing foster system, a story about a transgender child, and a look at the personal and familial cost of deportation. Millis has also covered Bay Area protests that often turned violent.


Nikki McGruder has served as Director of the Inclusive Impact Institute; Columbia’s first innovative institute strategically creating diverse and inclusive communities through collaboration, education and engagement. Prior to the creation of this new community endeavor, Nikki served the Columbia community as Regional Manager of the Columbia Branch of the Diversity Awareness Partnership.  In the spring of 2015, Columbia was the first branch that the Diversity Awareness Partnership had ventured out into over the course of its 18 years of service in the St. Louis community. 

Under Nikki's leadership in diversity and inclusion work in the Columbia community, more than 14,000 community members have been reached as well as several businesses and organizations through inclusive events, training, and community dialogues.  In partnership with several key business and community leaders within Boone County, Nikki leads a community-wide endeavor entitled Inclusive Excellence Boone County.  This endeavor was launched in 2018 to assist businesses with the implementation of the Inclusive Excellence Framework within their respective organizations and community members with the journey toward identifying and mitigating personal biases. 

Nikki’s professional experience includes working with leading recruitment process outsourcing firm, Cielo, in the recruiting and hiring of top candidates for technology, pharmaceutical and finance positions. Much of her professional experience was as an associate of Edward Jones Investments in St. Louis, MO, where Nikki served in various capacities over a 10 year time frame. Nikki received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Columbia College in Columbia, MO, and her Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Arts in Human Resources Development from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. 


Clàudia Pra
t is an innovator in the field of documentary, journalism and virtual reality. Based in New York City, she has produced immersive stories for the Associated Press, The New York Times, BBC, Al Jazeera and Univision. Currently she is working for the immersive-video team at TIME.



Cath Mossom served a full 22 year military career of which the last 12 years was serving within UK Special Forces (UKSF) in an operational worldwide role. She was one of a few female operators to serve in UKSF; and has operated with government agencies at times of national crisis, and worked in diplomatically sensitive training roles as tasked by the FCO.Since leaving the military in 2008 Cath has successfully adapted and transferred her unique range of skills and experience into the civilian market; working predominantly with people who work & travel in difficult, challenging areas; both in the field as a security advisor and as a senior trainer on HEAT courses. Cath still works in the field supporting journalists, and therefore has good knowledge of the challenges facing them whilst obtaining their stories. These experiences are then transferred back into the classroom learning environmen

Cath has been supporting IWMF for the last 2 years training freelance female journalists in Africa and Latin America; ACOS training in Asia; and is working on a project to support Rory Peck training in Cambodia. These courses include training for both international and local journalists.In addition to HEAT courses Cath also designs and delivers Investigative journalism courses, and specialist surveillance courses for journalists.

Cath was trained as a UKSF paramedic, where she gained valuable experience working within UK hospitals. She has continued to develop this knowledge; and regularly delivers remote trauma courses. She has a keen interest in Post Trauma Management; and has recently completed a 2 -day workshop on Trauma Risk Incident Management. She is a conflict management and dis-engagement skills trainer.


Marissa Lang

Marissa J. Lang is an award-winning journalist who has chased hurricanes, stalked wildfires and uncovered political corruption. Lang is a staff writer at the Washington Post focusing on local news, culture, protests and activism. A member of the Post's breaking news team, Lang also writes hard-to-find stories in the D.C. area that reflect the personality and people of the region. Lang came to the The Post in 2018 from the San Francisco Chronicle, where she covered the impact of technology and tech companies on the Bay Area. 

Previously, she was a staff writer for The Sacramento Bee, The Salt Lake Tribune, and the Tampa Bay Times. In 2017, Lang traveled to Rwanda to report on the country's technology sector and social issues, work that was supported by a fellowship from the International Women's Media Foundation. She is certified in Hostile Environment and First Aid Training, and is an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Maryland, an active member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a mentor to student journalists of color.


Leia Larsen is an award-winning journalist who has covered the environment, outdoors, public health, energy and state politics in the intermountain west. She has written extensively about waste and recycling issues and likes to joke that she’s a “garbage reporter.” One of her favorite projects was exploring the decline of saline lakes in the west, with a focus on the desiccated Great Salt Lake. Most of Leia’s professional career has been based in Utah, with stints in Colorado and Montana. She has undergraduate degrees from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder. 

Sessions will be added as they confirm! 

Friday May 1, 2020

First day of the workshop!

8:30 am



Grab a bagel, a pastry and coffee before we start!




Check in and get your swag bag

9:00 am

Ice Breaker


We will play a game to get to know each other a bit before we start our sessions for the day!


Advocate and Innovate

Marissa Lang, Washington Post


An inspiring discussion of how to stand up for yourself and push for what you want in a variety of circumstances — to your editor, to your sources, to your company. Discussion topics will include building sources in a male-dominated field, engaging communities of which you are not a part, managing up, negotiating pay and benefits, knowing the rules — and when to break them, finding mentors and more.


Session TBA




Grab a lunch and head outside to enjoy some fresh air


When Virtual Reality Enhances journalism

Clàudia Prat


In this session we will learn the potential of immersive technology for journalism and how to get started in this new frontier.


Grants for journalists


How to apply for grants to fund your journalism


*Private Reception*

To be revealed

Head to our private reception with hors d'oeuvres, drinks and a beautiful view of the sunset over the city while you socialize with fellow attendees, session leaders and special guests.

Saturday May 2, 2020

8:30 am


Grab a bagel, a pastry and coffee before we start!

9:00 am

Self-care for the Resilient Journalist

Stefanie Friedhoff, German-American journalist, educator and innovative storyteller

Smith Forum

Trauma is an occupational hazard for journalists. One doesn’t need to be on the frontlines of war or national tragedies to encounter stories of destruction, suffering and despair. Add the stressors of fast-paced news environments, and you’re no longer wondering why you are so exhausted at the end of the day. Let's explore some essentials about trauma and resilience that help us prepare for difficult assignments and taxing experiences — and discover self-care habits that help keep us sane in the long run.

11:00 am


Cath Mossom, Executive Security Awareness Training and Personal Security Training Specialist

Smith Forum

Understand sexual aggression as a spectrum from sexual harassment to sexual violence including the concept of consent and its importance. Learn to identify the impact, develop effective responses, learn how to engage your intuition, use security risk management and more.


Lunch w/ pups

Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Outside RJI

Come snuggle some pups after an intense morning of self defense and self care! These rescue pups are here to see you!


How to build a data-driven audience strategy

Sophie Ho, Washington Post

Smith Forum

Attendees will learn how to incorporate data to build an audience strategy from the ground-up. We’ll go over what questions to ask to frame your research and go over some helpful excel tricks.


Session TBA

Smith Forum

Sunday May 3, 2020

8:30 am


Grab a bagel, a pastry and coffee before we start!

9:00 am

Secondary Trauma

Leah Millis, Reuters

10:00 am

Ground Rules for Discussing Difficult Topics

Nikki McGruder, Inclusive Impact

How can we effectively cover difficult topics in a space where language is of the utmost importance? This session will help lay a foundation and practical application for the workplace so that we maintain an environment of inclusiveness and cultural competence.


Group Photo

Gather outside for a group photo!



1:00 pm

Confessions of an independent Journalist

Nikki Boliaux & Leia Larsen

Leaping into the world of contract work as an independent journalist has taught us many hard lessons. We are here to help you with some self-employment life hacks so you don’t make the same mistakes we did. From chasing down invoices to setting boundaries with clients to whether you should call yourself a "freelancer," we got you.

2:00 pm

Session TBA

4:00 pm

Session TBA

Room Blocks

The Tiger Hotel is located just a few blocks from the Reynolds Journalism Institute. We have a block of rooms there for $129-$179 (depending on days of the week) a night. Parking is available for $12 a night. Book by March 1, 2020 to get the room rate in the "Women in Journalism Workshop" room block. 

The Broadway 
The Broadway DoubleTree Hotel is just a few blocks from the Reynolds Journalism Institute. We have a block of rooms there for $179 a night. Book by March 20, 2020 to get the room rate in the "WIJ" room block

There are also plenty of unique local airbnbs in the downtown area that are an easy walk to the Reynolds Journalism Institute. 
Getting to Columbia
Columbia is located in the heart of Missouri between St. Louis and Kansas City, about two hours from each city. It can be accessed by Highway 63 from the north/south and Interstate 70 from the east/west.
Columbia Regional Airport 
Columbia Regional Airport is located about 20 minutes from downtown Columbia. Ground transportation options include taxis, lyfts, uber and car rental. It is advised to call and reserve a taxi when you get to your connecting airport (Taxi Terry's is a reliable option) if you prefer to use a taxi. 
St. Louis International Airport
St. Louis International Airport is about two hours away from Columbia. This airport offers more flight options than the other two. Ground transportation options include Columbia's MoX shuttle service (door-to-door service available), or car rental. 
Kansas City International Airport
Kansas City International Airport is about two and a half hours away from Columbia. This airport is a little smaller than the St. Louis airport. Ground transportation options include Columbia's MoX shuttle service (door-to-door service available, although there are less frequent shuttles to Kansas City than St. Louis), or car rental. 


The Tiger Hotel parking
Parking is available at the hotel for $12 a night. The Tiger Hotel is located just a few blocks from RJI.
Campus parking 
Parking is available at the Hitt St. Garage on campus for those who are not staying at The Tiger Hotel. You must request a parking permit if you need one, or contact Event Coordinator Katie Hays

About the area

The District
The Reynolds Journalism Institute is located at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in downtown Columbia, also known as The District. There is an abundance of restaurants, coffee shops, retails stores and more in downtown Columbia. To explore the area, visit

Cost: $50 for students, $75 for professionals 

What does registration include? Admission to the workshop, a private welcome reception, catered breakfast/lunch and swag surprises!

How to register: In an effort to ensure all attendees get the most out of the workshop experience, we are restricting our workshop to a limited number of people so that everyone can participate fully in the interactive aspects of the workshop. Please apply here and if you are accepted into the workshop we will notify you to give you further instructions. 

Travel Scholarships: Our sponsors help us provide a limited number of travel scholarships and student registration scholarships for those that need a little help to attend. Apply for one here


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