Cal Poly Journalism Department Prepares for Upcoming Jim Hayes Symposium

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA— Is journalism broken? It’s the question a panel of news media experts will tackle at the Cal Poly Journalism Department’s third biennial Jim Hayes Symposium on October 12.


Moderator Kevin Riggs, vice president of Randle Communications, Emmy-winning journalist and political analyst for KCRA-TV in Sacramento, will lead the panel in a discussion of current conditions that threaten journalism’s foundations -- eroding public trust, audience fragmentation, the rise of “fake news,” and disruption in the business model for news.

The symposium will take place 7-9 p.m. in the Advanced Technology Laboratory (Building 07) on the Cal Poly campus. It is free and open to the public. Tickets are highly recommended.

Riggs will be joined by a national panel of media leaders:

  • Cindy Cacarmo, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times
  • Martin G. Reynolds, director of investigative fellowships for Reveal, the Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Jan Schaffer, ombudsman for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • David Rothschild, economist for Microsoft Research NYC
  • Lauren Williams, editor-in-chief for Vox

Peter Hartlaub, pop culture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, will be master of ceremonies for the event.

“Since the 2016 election, Americans have been focused on so-called “fake news,” and, unchallenged, this phenomenon is nothing less than a threat to our democracy,” said Journalism Department Chair Mary Glick. “But the challenges to journalism today are part of a larger, high-stakes battle that pits journalistic values against the need to drive audiences and profits -- all within a highly partisan political arena operating within a rapidly changing media landscape. We hope the symposium will explore these important issues in context.”

The Jim Hayes Symposium was founded in 2014 as a forum where media leaders talk of courage, truth and enduring values. Its goal is to inspire new generations of journalists and storytellers to act with integrity. The symposium is named for a beloved Cal Poly journalism professor and writing coach, former chair of the journalism department and founding director of the Brock Center for Agricultural Communication, Jim Hayes, who was a staunch advocate for fact checking, integrity and journalistic ethics.

Tickets for the Jim Hayes Symposium are free. Reserved parking in a campus lot near Building 07 is available for $15. Tickets and reserved parking are available until October 3 at:

Non-reserved, on-campus parking may be purchased at campus parking kiosks or through Cal Poly Parking Services.

The Jim Hayes Symposium is sponsored by SAGE Publishing, the Journalism Endowment, CSU Entertainment Alliance, Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts, Cal Poly Career Services Diversity Funding Committee, Cal Poly Political Science Department, The San Luis Obispo Tribune and New Times.

More information about the Jim Hayes Symposium is available at the official event page:


For more information, contact:

Name: Mary Glick

Title: Journalism Department Chair

Phone: 805-756-2508


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