Speaker Biographies

Ken Paulson, editor and senior vice president/News of USA TODAY and USATODAY.com
For the past 29 years, Ken has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states and as the executive director of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. Ken was also on the team of journalists who founded USA TODAY in 1982.

In 2007, Ken was named Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, "the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession." Ken was also the host of the Emmy-nominated television program Speaking Freely, seen in more than 60 PBS markets nationwide over five seasons, and the author of Freedom Sings, a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment that continues to tour the nation’s campuses.

He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Renée C. Byer, Senior Photojournalist, The Sacramento Bee

Renée C. Byer is a Senior Photojournalist with The Sacramento Bee, USA and the recipient of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for her project "A Mother’s Journey," an intimate portrayal of a single mother’s emotional and financial struggles as her son battled neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer.

The story was also awarded the World Understanding Award and second place multimedia feature picture story at Pictures of the Year International 2007, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for feature photography, and the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, second prize in the Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards and an honorable mention in the UNICEF Photo of the Year Award. Also a picture editor and designer Byer is represented by ZUMA Press photo agency.

Byer’s photos have been published in Newsweek Asia, Paris Match, Marie Claire, El Mundo, Days Japan, Rangefinder, Photo District News, Business Week and most recently in View magazine in Germany among others.

She has lectured at numerous professional gatherings including the Northern Short Course, Pictures of the Year International, the National Press Photographer’s Flying Short Course and multi media immersion programs and the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar. She has taught workshops at the Angkor Photography Festival in Siem Reap, Cambodia, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Chinatown in Tokyo and served as faculty at the Mountain Workshops for three years at Western Kentucky University.

Her work has been exhibited most recently in Madrid, Spain and at the Photographic Center in Palm Beach, FL, the Exposure Gallery in San Francisco, in Yokohama, Japan and as a projection show in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

In 2005 Byer’s photographs “Seeds of Doubt,” which documented issues regarding biotechnology, received the World Hunger’s Harry Chapin Media Award for Photojournalism. During that project Byer traveled to Africa, Europe, Mexico, Canada and the Midwest. The series was also awarded First place “Nature and Environment Picture Story” in the Best of Photojournalism contest sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association.

Byer was awarded the McClatchy President’s Award in 2005 for her photographs “Women at War” a series that examined the struggle of women in the U.S. military, from training to post traumatic stress syndrome in the Iraq War era. A photograph from the series is touring with “The American Soldier,” exhibit by curator Cyma Rubin.

In 2004 she won the Associated Press’s “Mark Twain Award” for excellence in news photography.

Previously she worked at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer where her photography was a finalist for a Dart Award for excellence in reporting on victims of violence while chronicling a father and son after the mom committed suicide from Post-partum depression.

Her numerous awards include honors from NPPA, POYi, AP, SND, Best of the West and regional contests in photography, picture editing and design.

Born in Yonkers, New York on June 11, 1958 Byer graduated cum laude from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois in 1980. She is married to Paul Kitagaki Jr., a Senior Photographer at The Sacramento Bee who shared in the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake while at the San Jose Mercury News. She has three grown stepdaughters Jessica, Naomi and Monica.

Randy Cox, Visuals & Productions Editor, The Oregonian
Randy Cox is the Visuals & Productions Editor at The Oregonian in Portland, where he has worked since 1997. He has also worked as a staff photographer and photo editor at verious newspapers from 1976 to 1984.

He also worked as Assistant Managing Editor/Photography and Graphics at The Hartford Courant from 1984 to 1993 and as a freelance design consultant from 1993 to 1996. He was a Professional in Residence at The Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada/Reno between 1995 and 1996.

He was also editor of the annual The Best of Photojournalism book five times between 1995 and 2000. He has earned many awards over the years from Pictures of the Year International competition and The Society for News Design competitions. He graduated in 1975 from the University of Missouri with a B.J. in Photojournalism.

Fabrice Florin, Executive Director & Founder, NewsTrust.net
Fabrice is executive director and founder of NewsTrust.net, where he manages creative and business development for this next-generation social news network. NewsTrust.net helps people find and share good journalism online, so they can make more informed decisions as citizens. Our non-profit organization offers an integrated web service, which includes a quality news filter, news literacy tools and a civic engagement network.

With a 25-year track record in new media and technology, Fabrice Florin has developed a wide range of leading-edge entertainment, education and software products. Fabrice’s previous wireless venture, Handtap, was a leading provider of multimedia content for mobile phones, sold through the top US carriers, as well as leading distributors worldwide. Handtap partnered with GoComics to offer a wide range of popular comics for your phone, featuring Garfield, Doonesbury, Bloom County and many more.

As Macromedia’s VP of online entertainment, Fabrice launched shockwave.com, a popular web site featuring games, cartoons, music and greetings. Fabrice led content and web teams at this major entertainment destination, publishing hundreds of top-rated titles, such as South Park, Dilbert and Frogger. Before joining Macromedia, Fabrice was president of Zenda Studio, an award-winning software and multiplayer game developer. There, he created innovative user interfaces and software environments for market leaders including Disney, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Philips and Sony. Prior to Zenda, Fabrice was executive producer at Apple Computer, where he produced widely acclaimed educational CD-ROM titles and interactive TV applications, honored with four US patents.

As founding member of Apple’s Multimedia Lab, he pioneered the use of multimedia and produced groundbreaking education titles with partners ranging from Lucasfilm and National Geographic to the BBC and Smithsonian. Before joining Apple, Fabrice was president of Videowest, an innovative TV production studio, where he created a new genre of video journalism, widely distributed on outlets ranging from ABC to MTV and public TV. Fabrice produced and directed many acclaimed TV specials, such as Hackers, a classic documentary about the midnight programmers that created the personal computer revolution.

Helio Fred Garcia, President, Logos Consulting Group
Helio Fred Garcia is the president and founder of the crisis management firm Logos Consulting Group, and is the executive director of the LOGOS INSTITUTE for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership. He is widely regarded as a leading expert in crisis management and crisis communication.

Fred is a coach, counselor, teacher, writer, and speaker. He advises and coaches leaders of some of the largest and best-known companies and organizations in the world. In addition to serving North American clients, Fred has had an active international practice, advising clients in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Australia.

Fred has 28 years of experience counseling securities firms, banks, insurance companies, specialized financial and professional service firms, corporations, not-for-profits, and governments. He has particular expertise in crisis management, corporate litigation support, struggles for corporate control, international financial transactions, securities offerings, corporate governance, and business ethics.

Fred has coached nearly 200 CEOs of major corporations, plus thousands of other high-profile people in other complex fields, including doctors, lawyers, financial executives, and military officers. These executives were in industries as diverse as pharmaceuticals, energy, heavy manufacturing, biotechnology, computer software, financial services, law firms, advertising agencies, religious denominations, universities, and not-for-profit advocacy groups.

Fred has an MA in philosophy from Columbia University, and studied classical Greek language and literature in the Greek Institute of the City University of New York Graduate Center. He has a BA with honors in politics and philosophy from New York University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Mount Saint Mary College.

Ira Gostin, MBA
After a highly successful photography career spanning 25 years, Ira Gostin followed his entrepreneurial spirit, doing something very few people do—he took a chance on himself and invested in his future.

Upon enrolling in graduate school to earn an MBA with an emphasis in marketing, Ira retired from photography. He has moved into the executive side of marketing, coordinating and strategizing B2B marketing for a Reno manufacturing company.

Ira’s photography career started with the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, covering world events and garnering a Pulitzer Prize nomination. He has been published in nearly every major newspaper and magazine in the world. Ira then formed Gostin Photography, and later Gostin Productions to create dynamic photography for the nation’s top companies. Ira’s unique style of visual storytelling, as well as an aggressive, enthusiastic and uniquely Western style, brought him nationwide acclaim, and many Fortune 500 clients.

Ira’s interests grew into the marketing process, pushing him to work on his MBA and move into other creative and collaborative avenues.

A sought after speaker and educator, he has lectured and delivered workshops across the United States about marketing, customer service, and photography. For five years, Ira was an adjunct professor teaching photojournalism at the Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno.

A graduate of California State University, Long Beach, studying journalism and vocational education, Ira has been recognized with numerous awards for his photography as well as an Eastman Kodak Fellowship and an Excellence in Commerce award from the Reno Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the American Marketing Association and the Business Marketing Association.

Michael Moran, executive editor, CFR.org
A writer and broadcaster on foreign and national security affairs and a former correspondent for the BBC, MSNBC and Radio Free Europe, Moran is now in charge of the editorial vision of the Council’s website, CFR.org, and contributes analysis to it and other publications.

Expertise: International news coverage, free expression and Internet policy abroad, U.S. media strategy and public diplomacy.

Experience: Senior correspondent, MSNBC.com (2003-05); senior producer, International News and Special Reports, MSNBC.com (1996-2003); U.S. affairs analyst, BBC World Service (1993-96); senior editor, Radio Free Europe (1990-93), reporter for The Associated Press, St. Petersburg Times, Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Mark Morris, Director of Photography, The Sacramento Bee
Mark Morris has been director of photography at The Sacramento Bee since 1991 and currently supervises a staff of 15 photographers, four picture editors and five lab technicians. He joined The Bee in 1988 as a picture editor and was later promoted to assistant director of photography in 1990.

During his tenure at The Sacramento Bee the photography staff has been recognized with photojournalism’s most prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for International Photojournalism, World Hunger’s Harry Chapin Award for International Photography and the Pictures of the Year’s Angus McDougal Award for Excellence, Picture Editor of the Year and the Team Picture Editing Award.

Born in Seattle, Morris is a 1979 graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Wa., where he received a BFA in Communication Arts. He began his professional career as a photographer with Valley Newspapers, a chain of suburban dailies near Seattle, Wa. In 1985 he became the photo editor of The Daily News, Longview, Wa.

The father of four, he lives in Sacramento with his wife Leigh Grogan who is The Bee’s fashion and beauty editor.

Marilyn Pittman, broadcast consultant, trainer, educator, and talent
With over 30 years in radio, she is a talk show host, a commentator, a writer, an engineer, and producer. A guest lecturer at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism and the leading talent coach to NPR stations nationally, she brings her experience as an actor, producer, and stand-up comic to her training workshops. You can find her at: 415-377-4815 and at marilyn@marilynpittman.com. Visit her Web site at http://marilynpittman.com/broadcast.html.

Patrick J. Sloyan, writer
Patrick Joseph Sloyan has covered national and international affairs since 1960 and has been awarded journalism most distinguished prizes for domestic and foreign reporting. He currently is working on a book about the seeds of the ten-year American war in Vietnam.

Sloyan became Washington Bureau Chief of Newsday, the Long Island Newspaper, in 1986.  He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his coverage of Desert Storm, the Persian Gulf War and its aftermath.  In the same year, he was also given the George Polk Award for War Reporting.  In 1996, he was given the Raymond Clapper Award for investigative reporting that revealed windfall payments by Clinton Administration to defense contractors.

Sloyan was a member of Newsday team that won 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting on the crash of TWA 800 off the coast of Long Island.

In 1997, one of Sloyan’s dispatches was selected for republication in the college textbook, “Masterpieces of Journalism: The Greatest Stories American Newspapers have ever produced.

His career has spanned nine presidents, 20 Congresses and 12 presidential campaigns. He was involved in the coverage of the 1962 Cuban missile crises that had the United States and the Soviet Union on the brink of nuclear warfare; the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy; the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights struggle and the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals involving Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

As a foreign correspondent based in London, he covered Europe, the Mideast during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon; the British invasion of the Falkland Islands and the transformation of the Soviet Union during the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev.

The American Society of Newspaper Editors awarded Sloyan the Deadline Writing prize for his coverage of the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Those dispatches were included in the college textbook, “Best Newspaper Writing-1982.”

Sloyan began his career in Washington in 1960 at United Press International.  He covered the U.S. Senate, the Pentagon and the White House. He was the first wire service reporter to reveal General Motors’ investigation of Ralph Nader and the debates leading to legislation for auto safety, air and water standards designed to improve public health.

At Hearst News Service, he covered the Nixon and Ford Administrations before joining Newsday in 1974 as White House correspondent and chief political reporter.

In addition to daily journalism, he has written extensively for a variety of publications including Rolling Stone, the New Republic, The Nation, the Washington Monthly, American Journalism Review, the Washington Post Outlook and the London Guardian.

Sloyan was chairman and is now a director of the Fund For Investigative Journalism which provides grants for reporters, photographers, authors, broadcasters and filmmakers involved in investigative journalism in more than a dozen countries. He was Secretary of the Standing Committee of Correspondents which deals with accreditation of Washington newspaper reporters. He is a member of the Gridiron Club.

He was graduated from Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, Ind., in 1954 and the University of Maryland in 1962. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955-57.  He began journalism in the Army and worked at the Albany (New York) Times Union and the Baltimore (Maryland) News Post before coming to Washington.

Sloyan was born in Stamford, Conn., in 1937. He is married to the former Phyllis Hampton. They have four children: Nora, Amy, Patrick and John, and nine grandchildren.

Steven A. Smith, Editor, The Spokesman-Review
Steven A. Smith is editor of The Spokesman-Review, a privately held newspaper in Spokane, Wash., with a daily circulation of 107,000 and a Sunday circulation of 133,000. As editor, Smith supervises all news and editorial operations and a staff of 130 that produces three daily editions. He was named editor in July 2002.

Prior to joining The Spokesman-Review, Smith was editor for two years of the Statesman Journal, a Gannett newspaper in Salem, Ore. Previously, he was editor and vice president of The Gazette, a Freedom Communications Inc. newspaper in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was named editor in October 1995 and vice president in 1997.

Before joining The Gazette, Smith served two years as assistant to the vice presidents/news for Knight-Ridder Inc. in Miami. He worked with Knight-Ridder’s 30 newspapers, developing training programs, producing critiques and assisting with strategic planning. He specialized in issues involving newsroom change and civic journalism.

Previously, he was managing editor at The Wichita Eagle and held a variety of positions at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Both are Knight-Ridder newspapers. He also worked at the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis and the Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore.

Smith was chairman of the American Society of Newspaper Editors “Change” committee in 1997-98 and was a member of ASNE’s Credibility Think Tank. He is active in the Society of Professional Journalists. He has been a frequent lecturer on civic journalism and newsroom change for the Pew Center on Civic Journalism, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the American Press Institute, and has lectured on newsroom training issues for the Freedom Forum. He serves on the advisory board for the Pew Center on the States and is a member of the University of Oregon Journalism Advancement Council.

He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Newspaper Management Center Advanced Executive Program.

He holds a master’s degree in communication from Ohio State University, where he was a Kiplinger fellow, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, where he serves on the Journalism Advancement Council of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Shirley K. Sneve, Executive Director, Native American Public Telecommunications
Shirley K. Sneve is the executive director of Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT), whose mission is to share Native stories with the world. She directs the television production fund, the AIROS Native Network (www.nativeradio.org), and the Native Radio Theater Project.

A member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, Shirley was a founder of Northern Plains Tribal Arts Juried Show and Market, the Oyate Trail cultural tourism byway, and the Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates in South Dakota. She has been the director of the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science Visual Arts Center in Sioux Falls, assistant director of the South Dakota Arts Council and minority affairs producer for South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Shirley has been adjunct professor in Native American Studies at Augustana College and the University of Sioux Falls, and a community cultural planning consultant. She is a graduate of South Dakota State University in journalism, with minors in music, Native American Studies and German. Graduate work at the Universities of South Dakota and Massachusetts focused on management, community building and the arts. Shirley serves on the board of The Association of American Cultures (TAAC), the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and the Arts Extension Institute (AES).

Federico Subervi Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Texas State University-San Marcos
Federico Subervi (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin) is a professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Texas State University-San Marcos. Since the early 1980s, he has been conducting research, publishing and teaching on a broad range of issues related to the mass media and ethnic minorities, especially Latinos in the United States.

His research also includes assessments of the images of Black in Brazilian television advertisements, and the media system of Puerto Rico, his country of origin. The book, The Mass Media and Latino Politics, for which he is editor and author, is scheduled for publication in summer 2007 (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.). This year (2006-2007), he has two research grants (one from the Ford Foundation, another from the Social Science Research Council) to assess the diversity of Latino-oriented media in Central Texas. With contracts from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, he directed studies that led to the publications of The Network Brownout 2005: The portrayal of Latinos in network television news, 2004, with a retrospect to 1995; and in 2004, the NAHJ Survey of News Professionals at Spanish-language Media in the U.S. In December 2005, he also completed a study for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication entitled Assessing policies related to the recruitment and retention of minority faculty & graduate students at accredited and non-accredited schools of journalism and mass communication. An article based on this study is forthcoming in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator.

Among his other activities from his home base in Austin, Dr. Subervi directs the Latinos and Media Project (www.latinosandmedia.org), a site dedicated to the dissemination of research and resources pertaining to Latinos and the media, and serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Latinitas, Inc., and organization and Web-based magazine for Latina adolescents and teens (www.latinitasmagazine.org). Dr. Subervi has held academic appointments at the University of California-Santa Barbara, and the University of Texas at Austin (where he was also the Graduate Advisor for the Department of Radio-TV-Film). He has been UNESCO professor at the Universidade Metodista de São Paulo, and visiting professor at the Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile, and the University of Amsterdam. He serves on the editorial boards for Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism & Communication Monographs, The Howard Journal of Communications, and Critical Studies in Mass Communication.

In addition to his academic work, Dr. Subervi is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, and a member of the Advisory Board for Scholastic Entertainment’s animated series The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel. He has volunteered extensively for the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program administered by the National Research Council, and been advisor or consultant to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Preview Forum, The Round Table Group, Spanish Broadcasting System, the and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Nickelodeon (for Dora the Explorer), and Fox Family Worldwide (for the Boyz & Girlz Channels). Dr. Subervi has been featured in Hispanic Trends, and been interviewed and quoted for stories in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, the Las Vegas Sun, the British Broadcasting Corporation, AP Wire Services, Hispanic Business, Hispanic Magazine, El Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico), Al Día (Dallas), Univisión.com, Latino USA, and Folha de São Paulo, among others.

Rachel L. Swarns, Washington Correspondent, The New York Times
Rachel L. Swarns became a Washington correspondent for The New York Times in March 2003. Previously she had been the chief of The Times bureau in Johannesburg since September 1999. She served on the metro desk covering social services, including welfare reform and foster care in New York City since February 1997.

She was a general assignment reporter covering courts, business, education, arts in the Bronx, the aftermath of the TWA Flight 800 crash and stints on the 1996 presidential campaign, from December 1995, when she joined the newspaper, until February 1997. She covered homelessness and health care in Russia in 1996 and the Pope’s visit to Cuba in 1997.

Before joining The Times, Ms. Swarns was a reporter at The Miami Herald from 1991 until 1995 covering immigration, housing, federal courts and general assignment. Before that she was with The St. Petersburg Times from 1989 until 1991 covering criminal courts. Born in Queens, N.Y., on July 10, 1967, Ms. Swarns received a B.A. degree in Spanish, graduating summa cum laude phi beta kappa, from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1989 and an M.A. degree, graduating with distinction in International Relations, from the University of Kent, Canterbury, England, in 1995.

Ms. Swarns is married to Henri Cauvin, a Times correspondent.


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