The Women in Journalism Workshop at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute 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, data analysis, machine learning and AI for journalism, immersive storytelling, secondary trauma, advocating for yourself, applying for grants and more.


Application Deadline: Dec 15, 2019

Acceptances and scholarships notified: January 2020



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.


Hannah Wise is a social strategy editor at The New York Times where she focuses on building relationships between Times journalists and the communities they cover. She is most passionate about building communities in digital spaces and thinking about the future of sharing news. Hannah was named to Editor & Publisher’s 2019 “25 under 35” list of the next generation of leaders in newspapers. She is the stitching maven behind behind the viral Instagram account @sewmanycomments where she doesn't read the comments, but sews them. She is a graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Kansas where she studied journalism and Germanic languages and literature. Hannah holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas, where she was a Mayborn Scholar. Her thesis work focused on applying human-centered design theory to improve the relationships between journalists and the communities they serve.


Susan Smith Richardson is the chief executive officer for the Center for Public Integrity. She was previously the editorial director of Newsroom Practice Change at Solutions Journalism Network, a New York-based nonprofit that seeks to increase civic engagement and strengthen democracy. Prior to that, she was editor and publisher at The Chicago Reporter, a nonprofit investigative newsroom that focuses on race, poverty and income inequality, and managing editor at the Texas Observer, a venerable voice for independent journalism in the state. She has been an editor at the Chicago Tribune and the Sacramento Bee, where she led a team that reported on grassroots efforts to rebuild South Central Los Angeles after the 1992 unrest. She has appeared multiple times on the list of most powerful women in Chicago media.



 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. 


Stefanie Friedhoff is a German-American journalist and content strategist with 25+ years of experience in international media and higher education. As senior editor at the Harvard Global Health Institute, she experiments with innovative approaches to telling global health stories and engages broad audiences in critical conversations about global topics such as the impact of migration, climate change, or misinformation on people's lives and wellbeing. Friedhoff is also a nonprofit newsroom consultant and trauma journalism trainer. She has worked as a foreign correspondent, feature writer, editor and photographer on three continents. Her stories have been published in TIME, The Boston Globe, Nieman Reports, Geo, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and many other publications. From 2006 to 2014, she directed a variety of programs at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, including Nieman’s Trauma Journalism Program. A 2001 Nieman Fellow, Friedhoff is also a senior advisor to the Trust for Trauma Journalism and a board member.


Viktorya Vilk is manager of special projects at PEN America, where she leads initiatives on a range of free expression issues, including developing tools and strategies to empower writers and journalists to defend against online abuse and conducting research and raising awareness about the local news crisis. She has over a decade of experience working in nonprofits to expand access to the arts and defend freedom of expression. She graduated summa cum laude with a BA from Boston University and pursued her graduate degrees on a Marshall Scholarship at the University of London.


Nikki Boliaux is an independent video journalist and contractor based in New York City. She was raised by the Tulsa World, NPR Music, Deseret News, San Francisco Chronicle and the Courier Journal in Louisville, Ky. She left her full-time staff job as a video journalist in June 2019 to pursue her dream of freelancing in New York City. Since, she’s worked on projects large and small, including editing a documentary about land thievery in the Brazilian Amazon and editing political ads for a large super pac. In her spare time she loves to embroider and paint with water colors while watching documentaries in her tiny Crown Heights apartment. 


Madelyn Webb
is a research reporter with First Draft News, covering online misinformation. Previously she worked as a reproductive health opposition researcher with Media Matters for America, where she monitored the spread of narratives about abortion and access to reproductive care on social media. She has participated in a number of research endeavors, including studying oyster aquaculturists, organizing focus groups of women experiencing intimate partner violence, and interviewing rural farmers in Bhutan. 

Sessions will be added / filled out as they confirm. Questions?

Friday May 1, 2020

8:30 am

Breakfast & Check-in


Grab a bagel, a pastry and coffee before we start. Check in and get your swag bag, name tag and find a seat!

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.


Cultivating Your Community

Hannah Wise, New York Times


Communities large and small are all around us. This session will give you the tools to identify a community that you want to serve, give tactics to engage members in your reporting and tips on how to close the feedback loop by giving the members a stake in your work and the community at large. We will draw from social science, philosophy, political science and the engagement journalism community of practice to inform this interactive session. Be prepared to move and talk to your neighbors!



Grab a lunch box 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 journalism

Jackie Calderon, Pulitzer Center


How to apply for (and get!) grants to fund your journalism



Susan Smith Richardson, CEO for the Center for Public Integrity








Group Photo

outside RJI

Head outside for a group photo on the grass!


*Private Reception*

To be revealed

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

Hostile Environment Awareness Training

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

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


Online Harassment Self-Defense: Preparation, Response, Support, & Self-Care

Viktorya Vilk, Free Expression - PEN America

Smith Forum

Writers and journalists are facing unprecedented levels of hate and harassment online. Building on PEN America’s Online Harassment Field Manual, this training session equips writers and journalists, as well as their allies and employers, with practical tools and strategies to defend against online abuse, including: preparation, response, self-care, and best practices for offering support. While there are no easy answers, open conversations about the impact of online abuse and how to fight back can empower writers and journalists to stay online and continue exercising their free expression rights.

Sunday May 3, 2020

8:30 am


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

9:00 am

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.

10:00 am

Fighting misinformation

Maddy Webb and Aimee Rinehart, First Draft News

Smith Forum




Grab a lunch box and head outside to enjoy some fresh air

1:00 pm

Secondary Trauma

Leah Millis, Reuters

Smith Forum

Journalists frequently bear witness to human suffering, whether covering mass disasters or individual atrocities. We will discuss how secondary trauma from our work can affect our health and methods of addressing it.

2:00 pm

Confessions of an independent Journalist

Nikki Boliaux & Leia Larsen

Smith Forum

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.

3:00 pm

Ground Rules for Discussing Difficult Topics

Nikki McGruder, Inclusive Impact

Smith Forum

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.

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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