2018 Symposium

7-9 p.m., Friday Oct. 12


Advanced Technology Lab, Cal Poly Campus

Free and open to the public.



This year’s panel discussion - "Is Journalism Broken? - is focused on the challenges confronting journalism. Reporters and editors have been forced to adapt as news stories evolve instantly on social media and tech giants continue to dominate news distribution and ad revenues. As traditional media companies continue to struggle financially and compete to be heard amid the clutter of  “fake news,” polls show the public’s trust in journalists is eroding. What’s the future of journalism as we know it? Amid all that’s changing in a tweet-centric culture, how do we ensure the fundamentals of news gathering: investigative reporting, journalist integrity and giving a voice to the voiceless? 

The Jim Hayes Symposium is a forum where media leaders talk of courage, truth and enduring values. Its goal is to inspire a new generation of journalists, content providers and storytellers to act with integrity. It is named for a beloved Cal Poly journalism professor, chair of the journalism department and founding director of the Brock Center for Agricultural Communication, who was a staunch advocate for fact checking, integrity and ethics.

If the video above is not working, click here to view a livestream of the event starting Friday, October 12 at 7 p.m.

Symposium Speakers 2018

Cindy Carcamo

Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times

Cindy Carcamo covers immigration issues for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she was Arizona bureau chief and a national correspondent for the Times, focusing on border and immigration issues in the Southwest. A Los Angeles native, she has reported from Mexico, Central America and South America for the Times, Orange County Register and during her time as an Inter American Press Assn. scholar. Most recently, she reported from Honduras while covering the Central American exodus. She was part of a team of reporters who won an Overseas Press Club award for stories on the issue. She is also the recipient of the French-American Foundation's 2012 Immigration Journalism Award and was a finalist for the 2012 PEN Center USA Literary Award in Journalism and 2011 Livingston Award. In 2000, she graduated with a journalism degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. 

Martin G. Reynolds

Director of Reveal Investigative Fellowships

Martin G. Reynolds is director of Reveal Investigative Fellowships. He is also a senior fellow for strategic planning at the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Reynolds is co-founder of Oakland Voices, a community storytelling project that trains residents to serve as community correspondents. Prior to his fellowship, Reynolds was senior editor for community engagement and training for Bay Area News Group and served as editor-in-chief of The Oakland Tribune between 2008-2011. Reynolds was also a lead editor on the Chauncey Bailey Project, formed in 2007 to investigate the slaying of the former Oakland Post editor and Tribune reporter.

Jan Schaffer

Executive Director, J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism; Ombudsman, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Jan Schaffer has run two of the nation’s most successful incubators for news innovations and was recently appointed to a three-year term an ombudsman for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

A Pulitzer Prize winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Schaffer left daily journalism to lead pioneering initiatives in civic, interactive and entrepreneurial journalism. She teaches about those efforts at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism and American University’s School of Communication.

Schaffer launched J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism in 2002 to help newsrooms use digital technologies to engage people in public issues. It has funded more than 100 projects for local news startups and women and encore media entrepreneurs and engages in research and consulting. J-Lab was a spinoff of the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, a $14 million initiative that Schaffer led. The center funded more than 120 news experiments.

David Rothschild

Economist, Microsoft Research NYC

David M. Rothschild is an economist at Microsoft Research in New York City. He holds a Ph.D. in applied economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. His primary body of work is on forecasting, and understanding public interest and sentiment. His related work examines how the public absorbs information. He writes extensively, in both the academic and popular press, on polling, prediction markets, social media and online data, and predictions of upcoming events; most of his popular work has focused on predicting elections, an economist take on public policy, and choices in news generation and consumption. Since joining Microsoft in 2012, he has been building prediction and sentiment models and organizing novel/experimental polling and prediction games; this work has been utilized by Bing, MSN, Cortana, and Xbox. He is also a fellow at the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia and the Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies.

Lauren Williams

Editor-In-Chief, Vox

Lauren Williams is the editor-in-chief of Vox, where she was previously executive editor and managing editor.

She started her career as a local newspaper reporter for the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., and worked in a variety of journalism jobs — from tiny start-ups to massive internet companies to venerable print publications — over the years. Prior to joining Vox, she was most recently an editor at Mother Jones and deputy editor of The Root.

She lives outside of Washington, DC, with her husband and 2-year-old son.

Moderator: Kevin Riggs

Senior Vice President, Randle Communications

One of California’s top political journalists, Kevin Riggs is now senior vice president with Randle Communications in Sacramento. As a reporter and anchor for Sacramento’s KCRA-TV, he covered historic national events, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, 1999 Columbine shootings, and 2000 Florida presidential ballot standoff. He also worked for Fresno’s KFSN-TV and Santa Barbara’s KCOY-TV. He has been recognized with numerous awards for broadcast excellence, including the national 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for the KCRA team’s breaking news coverage of the Galleria fire. Today he serves on the Advisory Board for the Journalism Department at Cal Poly and provides regular political analysis for KCRA-TV.

Master of Ceremonies: Peter Hartlaub

Pop Culture Critic, San Francisco Chronicle

Peter Hartlaub is The San Francisco Chronicle’s pop culture critic and host of the podcast The Big Event. The Bay Area native has worked at The Chronicle since 2000, and was a Chronicle paperboy from 1982 to 1984. He reviews movies, television and comedy, covers entertainment, creates multimedia projects and writes the Our San Francisco local history column. The Big Event is recorded in The Chronicle’s basement archive. Hartlaub lives in Alameda.

Special Thanks to this Years Sponsors

Other Resources

Facebook: We Love Jim Hayes

A facebook page dedicated to Jim and his work.

Jim Hayes: See Me

A tribute to Jim Hayes, this book is a special collection of anecdotes, loving tributes and heartfelt notes inspired by the We Love Jim Hayes Facebook page.

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