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 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, virtual reality for journalism, social media engagement, building your personal brand, unconscious bias training and more.

Stefanie Friedhoff

Stefanie Friedhoff

Stefanie Friedhoff reports on the issues of science, technology, migration, education, culture and trauma. She engages diverse communities on these subjects through writing, talks, events, consulting and leadership. Projects include trauma workshops for journalists, journalism startup support, journalism conferences and long-form storytelling. Her work has appeared in Time magazine; The Boston Globe; Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper; and other publications. Friedhoff, who was a 2001 Nieman Fellow, created and led Nieman’s Trauma Journalism Program from 2006 to 2012.


Carolina Hidalgo

Carolina Hidalgo

Carolina Hidalgo is a photojournalist and multimedia producer at St. Louis Public Radio, where she has covered immigration issues, school segregation and the movement for black lives. She also serves as a mentor and educator with NPR’s Next Generation Radio project. Previously, she worked as a staff photographer at the Naples Daily News and as a photo intern, online picture editor and video producer at the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, the Florida Society of News Editors and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Carolina is a New York City native and a proud member of Women Photograph


Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill is the CEO of StoryUP XR and an interactive media tech professional with 25 years building successful platforms. Her company, StoryUP, makes “Healium”, the world’s first mobile VR/AR product controlled by a brain-computer interface. Hill is a former interactive TV news anchor/Journalist for the NBC, ABC, & CBS affiliates in Missouri. A national Edward R. Murrow, NAB Service to America, National Sigma Delta Chi, and 12 time mid-America Emmy award-winning storyteller, she spent decades reporting about the world’s negativity and trauma in 5 continents. She started working with AR filters during live TV newscasts in 2011. Hill creates with a variety of XR inputs including BCI, heart rate variability, and respiration trackers. She’s passionate about the transition of storytelling to ‘story living’ and XR’s effect on wellbeing. An alum of the Missouri School of Journalism and former adjunct faculty, her reporting has taken her team around the globe capturing stories about the human spirit in the Amazon, UAE, Congo, Guatemala, Zambia, and China. StoryUP’s roots are in virtual travel for Veterans. In 2015, Hill’s team built a program called “Honor Everywhere”, that uses Virtual Reality to allow aging Veterans the opportunity to see their WWII, Vietnam, Korea, & Women’s Memorials.


Imaeyen Ibanga

Imaeyen Ibanga is a senior producer and presenter with AJ+. Her focus is producing long-form videos focused on contextualizing domestic and international news. In February 2018, she launched the show “Because Facts” on Facebook Watch and in February of 2019 the show debuted its first three-part documentary series. “Divide America” is a documentary series about the rise of far-right violence in the United States. Prior to AJ+, Imaeyen produced text stories, social media, and breaking news video stories during her tenures at NBC News, CNN, ABC News, and HLN. While at HLN she created the site’s digital video strategy and relaunched its YouTube channel.

Imaeyen is also on the Online News Association’s board of directors.

She is the owner of the world’s best pet, an adorable curious kitty cat named Lady Snuggles.


Marissa Lang 

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.


Leah Millis

Leah MillisLeah 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.

Cristina Mislán 

Leah Millis

Cristina Mislán is an assistant professor of journalism studies in the Missouri School of Journalism, where she teaches courses in cross-cultural journalism, gender and media, qualitative research methods, and critical theory.

Mislán’s research focuses on media activism, social movements and media representation. She draws on critical/cultural studies to examine the ways race, gender and class struggles shape alternative forms of media. Her research also takes a transnational approach to studying how activists have employed media (both past and contemporary) for advocating social and political causes. Some of her current work also examines media representation, particularly as it relates to race and gender identities.


Astrid M. Villamil

Tonya Mosley

Astrid M. Villamil, Ph.D. is the Associate Director of Professional Development for the division of Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity at University of Missouri-Columbia and the Senior Learning & Development Consultant for the University of Missouri System. Prior to her current appointment, Astrid was a faculty member for the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Astrid’s research considers non-dominant voices in organizational contexts and the way structural and organizational policies affect the experiences of individuals from underrepresented groups. Her research has been presented at regional and national conferences and has been published in various peer-reviewed communication journals.




Cath Mossom

Cath 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.

Helen Richardson

Helen H. Richardson is a photojournalist at the Denver Post. She has been lucky enough to have been sent all over the world during her long tenure at the paper to document many large breaking news stories. Some of these stories include the 2004 Christmas tsunmai in Indonesia and Thailand that left over 250,000 people dead, the terrorist bombings of the World Trade Center on 9/11, the life and death of Pope John Paul II, and more recently the protests at Standing Rock. Somehow she seems to have done a lot of sports photography and has been to two Olympic games: in Beijing and Turino. She is a passionate climber and thus has followed that passion in developing stories in this area. She won an national Edward Murrow award for a video she did on the first ascent of a well-known ice climb in Telluride, Colorado by a paraplegic climber who had only the use of his arms to complete the climb. She loves and is best at breaking news stories and has covered many wildfires all over the west, historic floods in Colorado, and way too many shootings. Her love for firefighting, which comes from being married to a firefighter, led to an Emmy award winning video, about the dangers of wildland fires and the worsening outlook for the west in terms of these destructive fires. She believes greatly in following one’s passion in photography which she says will help direct and empower young photographers on discovering their niche in the world of photography. She is a huge animal lover, environmentalist and is always trying to rid the world of single use plastics. She loves yoga, climbing, hiking with her dog Betty and always pushing oneself to be the best you can be every single day.


Rachel Schallom

Rachel Schallom is the managing editor at VICE. She is an award-winning newsroom leader and strategist with a passion for managing teams, developing and refining content strategies and growing audiences. She has previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, Fusion, the Sun Sentinel, the Los Angeles Times and the Huntsville Times. 

She writes Poynter’s biweekly newsletter, The Cohort, a newsletter tackling the issues facing women in digital leadership. She also curates a newsletter highlighting interesting things happening in digital journalism. She has been an adjunct professor teaching coding for journalism students and has spoken at national and international conferences. She was a member of the 2016 ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media class and is part of the initiative to provide free coaching for women in journalism. She has both her bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, originally hailing from St. Louis. She lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend. 


Elite Truong

Elite Truong
Elite Truong is the deputy editor of strategic initiatives at The Washington Post, where she works with technologists to tell stories in new ways using augmented and virtual reality, smart speakers, drone videography, voice and other fun emerging tech. In her free time, she’s learning how to fly commercial drones, ride motorcycles and pan-fry the perfect dumpling.


Sisi Wei

Sisi Wei

Sisi Wei became an assistant managing editor at ProPublica in August 2018. She joined ProPublica as a news applications developer in January 2013 and became the deputy editor for news applications in early 2017. In her role as AME, she is responsible for helping ProPublica’s teams work more collaboratively. In addition to continuing to edit ProPublica’s award-winning news apps team, Sisi is leading ProPublica’s efforts to improve work across departments and finding opportunities for our news apps, data, design, production, video, research and engagement teams, to tell stories that go far beyond the sum of their parts.

Schedule below

Friday May 3rd, 2019

2:00 pm


Palmer Room

Check in to get your name tag, swag bag and get settled before we start.

3:00 pm


Kat Duncan

The founder of the workshop welcomes everyone!

3:15 pm

Ice Breaker

Let's get to know each other a little before spending the weekend together

4:00 pm

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.


Welcome Reception

*by invitation only*

Head to our welcome reception! Enjoy an evening of food and drink as you mingle with other workshop attendees and session leaders.

Saturday May 4th, 2019

8:00 am

Breakfast Bar Opens


8:30 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.



Stretch, use the bathroom, get some water!


HEAT 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/ puppers

Pups from Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue will be visiting with us outside during our lunch break

Outside behind RJI

Dogs are proven to be stress relievers! So go get some puppy cuddles and fresh air while you enjoy your lunch.


Build your Brand

Rachel Schallom, Managing editor at VICE

Smith Forum

Learn about professional development, building your personal brand and how to shape your career to achieve your goals.


Games for News

Sisi Wei, Assistant Managing Editor ProPublica

Smith Forum

ProPublica builds news games like The Waiting Game, to engage readers and let them participate in the story, rather than just watch/read/see them. Wei will go through ProPublica's process of deciding what subject lends itself to a game, building one and examples of successful games built by news organizations.



Stretch, use the bathroom, get some water!


The struggle is real

Carolina Hidalgo of St. Louis Public Radio and Cristina Mislán of University of Missouri

Smith Forum

Often in news organizations, people of color are sought out to shoulder the weight of diversity efforts and the hard work of making a work culture more inclusive. Come ready to learn how to take an active role in changing and shaping whatever organization you came from.


Exploration and dinner

Explore downtown Columbia on your own for dinner!

Sunday May 5th, 2019

8:30 am

Breakfast Bar Opens


9:00 am

Implicit Bias in Journalism

Astrid M. Villamil, Ph.D.

Smith Forum

This session will unpack the neurological, social, and professional underpinnings of implicit bias and its effects on journalistic practices. Specifically, this session will describe the psychological process of implicit bias, the mechanisms in which it operates, and the micro and macro scale impact of implicit bias in different contexts, including journalism. Lastly, this session will provide strategies and tool to navigate implicit bias in our personal and professional lives.



Stretch, use the bathroom, get some water!

11:15 am

Covering Turmoil

Leah Millis of Reuters and Helen Richardson of the Denver Post

Smith Forum

Learn from female journalists who have covered violent protests, shootings, wildfires and other volatile situations in the course of their daily work. They will speak about their personal experiences and give advice on how to stay safe.




Lunch break! Get some air, drink some water while you enjoy your lunch.


Storytelling with Machines

Elite Truong, Deputy Editor of Strategic Initiatives at The Washington Post

Smith Forum

How can we harness machine learning and AI to scale our storytelling, reach the right people with our stories and involve people in our reporting? In this session, The Washington Post’s Elite Truong will talk about experimenting with machine learning and AI in the newsroom, how journalists can take advantage of these techniques, and learning more about our audiences.


Battling the Trolls

Imaeyen Ibanga, senior producer and presenter with AJ+

Smith Forum

A session on online safety, how to deal with harassment and attacks online, tips for wiping your personal information off of data collection sites and more.



Stretch, use the bathroom, get some water!


Virtual Reality for Journalism

Sarah Hill, StoryUp

Smith Forum

XR Storytelling with biometrics. How to use brain patterns and heart rate as an input in virtual and augmented reality stories.


End & Group Photo


Group photo of everyone before we end the workshop weekend!


The Broadway DoubleTree Hotel is just a few blocks from the Reynolds Journalism Institute. We have a block of rooms there for $169 a night. Book by April 2nd, 2019 to get the room rate in the "RJI" room block. 
The Tiger Hotel is located just a few blocks from the Reynolds Journalism Institute. We have a block of rooms there for $169 a night with a $129 a night discount for Sunday. Book by March 28th, 2019 to get the room rate in the "RJI Women's Workshop" block. Parking is available for $12 a night.
The Hampton Inn & Suites is near the southern end of the campus, a 1.2 mile walk or ride from Reynolds Journalism Institute.
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 has a few flights a day from Dallas and Chicago. It is located about 20 minutes from downtown Columbia. Ground transportation options include taxis 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).
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. 


Campus parking 
Parking is available at the Hitt St. Garage on campus for those who need it. You must request a parking permit when you register for the workshop so you do not get ticketed when you park there. 

About the area

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
If you love the outdoors, Columbia is a great city to take a hike on our over 81 miles of trails. In fact, this love of trails extends outside Columbia's borders - the state of Missouri was named the "Best Trails State" by American Trails, a national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of the nation's hiking, biking and riding trails. Columbia Parks and Recreation is proud to contribute to this designation.

Cost: $50 for students, $75 for professionals 

What's included: Admission to the workshop, catered welcome reception, catered breakfast & lunch, a swag bag full of goodies and more! 

Times and dates: The workshop starts Friday May 3rd at 2pm and ends Sunday May 5th at 5pm. 

How to register: In an effort to ensure all attendees get the most out of the workshop experience, we are restricting acceptance to a limited number of people so that everyone who attends can participate fully in the interactive aspects of the workshop.

Scholarships: Thanks to sponsors of the event we will be able to offer a limited number of registration scholarships for students and travel scholarships for out of state applicants. Apply for a scholarship here

Please apply through the form below and if you are accepted into the workshop we will notify you and give you further instructions for payment. 


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