Citizen Journalism As Activism: From Local to Global

The Weave News 10th Anniversary Conference

September 22-24, 2017

On September 22-24, 2017, Weave News will host a special conference on the campus of St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY) to mark the occasion of our 10th anniversary as a grassroots media organization. The conference will spotlight current work in investigative citizen journalism and critical media education and will also feature a series of hands-on workshops designed to help attendees develop key investigative and multimedia skills that are part of the citizen journalist toolbox. **NEW DEADLINE TO REGISTER: Now open through September 10! #WeaveNews10



11:00 am    Registration opens
Location: Sykes Formal Lounge (inside Sykes Residence Hall - interactive campus map here). Please note that registration will move to the foyer of Eben Holden Dining Center at 3:45 pm.

12:00-1:00 pm   Lunch
                   Location: Sykes Common Room (inside Sykes Residence Hall)

1:15 -2:00 pm      Conference opening
                   Location: Sykes Common Room(inside Sykes Residence Hall)

2:10-3:30 pm     Plenary panel
                   Location: Sykes Common Room (inside Sykes Residence Hall). Subsequent workshops will take place in Eben Holden Dining Center, and
                   registration will resume in the upstairs foyer.

10 Years of Citizen Journalism
Weave News staff members celebrate 10 years of shining a light on the world’s underreported stories and discuss their work as citizen journalists. Featuring: Jana Morgan, Erin Corbine, Christian Exoo, Savannah Crowley, Khady Hamid

3:45-5:00 pm    Workshops round 1
                   Location: Eben Holden Dining Center

Using the Camera to Create Change
Location: Eben Holden - Main Room
Filmmaker Quester Hannah introduces participants to documentary filmmaking as a medium to create change, as well as how the use of camera techniques and styles can influence and elevating film projects.

Online Investigation
Location: Eben Holden - Conference Room
Weave News editor, Christian Exoo, will lead participants through a series of exercises to show the value of digital investigations, imparting the skills necessary to conduct open source intelligence research.

5:10-5:30 pm     Day 1 close

5:30-6:45 pm    Dinner provided to all registered participants.
                  Location: Sykes Formal Lounge (inside Sykes Residence Hall)

7:00-8:30 pm    Presentation and discussion with filmmaker Quester Hannah: the making of Never Give Up, Never Keep Silent
Location: Winston Room (inside Sullivan Student Center)

Quester Hannah is a recent graduate of the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. While at NYU, his short film King of Guangzhou was screened at various national and international film festivals and has garnered many awards. His thesis film, Never Give Up, Never Keep Silent, is a documentary film about African asylum seekers struggling to gain status in Israel. Mr. Hannah will be on hand to show excerpts from the film and discuss the process of making it. Watch the trailer for Never Give Up, Never Keep Silent here. Mr Hannah's visit is supported by the Arts Collaborative at St. Lawrence University.


8:00 am    Registration re-opens
                   Location: Eben Holden - Upstairs foyer

9:00-10:15 am    Workshops round 2  

Big Data for Citizen Journalists
Location: Eben Holden - Conference Room
Weave News director, Jana Morgan, will present participants with the panoply of options to take their research and data to the next level by presenting it in interesting and interactive ways (e.g. maps, infographics, visualizations). Time will be provided for participants to experiment with these tools in the workshop. ***Please bring a laptop if you have one so that you can practice using data tools. Also, if you have a story or dataset you want to visualize, please bring the necessary info.***

Making Social Media Videos
Location: Eben Holden - Main Room
Want to make short videos to showcase your organization or artistry online? Artist and activists Taina Asili and Gaetano Vaccaro offer a hands-on, practical workshop for activists who want to create their own videos to engage people on social media. The workshop covers the practical skills of shooting, editing and uploading video, but also looks at how to do so cheaply and easily, and how to make your videos as part of an effective social media strategy. No video making experience required, just your creativity!

Students Voice and Problems of Journalism - designed for educators
Location: Eben Holden - South Room
Using a project-based-learning (PBL) approach, the Action Coalition for Media Education's Ben Boyington will engage educators in dialogue and tool-sharing for student-directed, team-based journalistic research and production. 

Public Relations for Activism
Location: Eben Holden - North Room
The Energy Justice Network's Sarita Farnelli teaches participants vital public relations skills such as how to create a press list, media advisories, press releases, and talking points for interviews.

10:30-11:45 am   Panel 2
                   Location: Eben Holden - North Room

Panel 2: Shaking the World from Within
How creative collaboration among citizen journalists and artists can help amplify and empower the voices of marginalized communities around the world, with a primary focus on Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel. Featuring: Osman (Kedy) Ali, Tzintzun Aguilar Izzo, John Collins, Quester Hannah, Lukasz Niparko (chair)

12:00-1:15 pm   Lunch provided to all registered participants.
                   Location: Eben Holden - Main Room

1:30-2:30 pm     Keynote speech by Dr. Bill Yousman
                   Location: Eben Holden - Main Room

"Clinging to Sanity:  The Urgent Need for Critical Media Literacy in the Post-Truth Society"
Bill Yousman earned his doctorate in Communication from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  He is the former Managing Director of the Media Education Foundation and the current Director of the Graduate Program in Media Literacy and Digital Culture at Sacred Heart University, where he is an assistant professor in the School of Communication and Media Arts. Bill’s research focuses on media literacy education and the construction of racial ideologies in media images and narratives.  He has published numerous essays in peer-reviewed journals and anthologies.  His first book, Prime Time Prisons on U.S. Television: Representation of Incarceration, was published in 2009.  His most recent book is The Spike Lee Enigma: Challenge and Incorporation in Media Culture (2014).

2:45-4:00 pm     Workshops round 3

Strategic Corporate Research and Institutional Divestment
Location: Eben Holden - North Room
Straight out of Frack University, Sarita Farnelli, will teach participants how to research corporations involved in shale gas development, including SEC documents, shareholder communication, and financing operation, and the ways in which your school, church, or union’s investments may be sustaining the industry with your money. This workshop culminates in designing a strategy to win a socially responsible investing campaign. Strategies/skills learned through this workshop can be applied to other campaigns.

News Analysis 101
Location: Eben Holden - South Room
In this interactive workshop, John Collins, Weave News founder and professor at St. Lawrence University, will train participants to identify ‘fact-free’ news coverage and to recognize bias in the media.

Connecting Citizens to the Story: Use and Application of Critical Media Literacy
Location: Eben Holden - Main Room
Allison Butler, professor at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, presents an interactive workshop that will lead participants through the basics of critical media literacy, as well as analyze mainstream and independent media, through an examination of the 2016 US presidential election.

Activist Sticker Making
Location: Richard F. Brush Art Gallery (Griffiths Arts Center)
Catherine Tedford, Weaving the Streets & People’s History Archive project co-director, will guide participants through an interactive workshop to make their own street art. You’ll view original examples of artistic and political stickers from several countries around the world and then make your own.  All materials will be provided.  You can read more about stickers and street art on her research blog Stickerkitty.

4:10-5:30 pm     Panels 3 & 4

Panel 3: Activism & Storytelling
Location: Eben Holden - North Room
How activists use media to tell powerful stories and create change in their communities. Featuring: Ben Boyington, Jessica Prody, Jon Rosales, Liz Regosin (chair)

Panel 4: Weaving the Streets & People's History Archive
Location: Eben Holden - South Room
Citizen journalists share their stories of reporting on street art, grassroots activism, and other forms of global street culture. Featuring: Wyatt Adams, John Collins, Ajok Deng, Raina K. Puels, Catherine Tedford, Jayantha Jayman (chair)

6:00-7:30 pm     Dinner reception with Weave News: Celebrating 10 Years
                    Location: Eben Holden - Main Room

8:00-9:30 pm     Musical performance by Taína Asili y la Banda Rebelde
                    Location: Launders Underground (inside Noble Center)

Taína Asili is a Puerto Rican activist, singer, songwriter and bandleader combining powerful vocals with an energetic fusion of Afro-Latin, reggae and rock. Her music offers a sound that spans continents, exuding strength of Spirit, inspiring audiences to dance to the rhythm of rebellion. Visit the band's website here. Ms. Asili's visit is supported by the ALCOA Foundation Cultural Affairs Program and the Arts Collaborative at St. Lawrence University.


9:30 am     Planning brunch with the Weave News team
                   Location: Faculty/Staff Room of Dana Dining Hall

11:00 am    Student Activism 101
Location: Carnegie Hall Room 018
Many student organizations have a hard time maintaining an effective organization, not to mention long-term, strategically organized campaigns. This workshop led by Sarita Farnelli will teach you how to get and keep members, break down apathy, win effective campaigns, build student power and more.

2:00 pm     Conference close

*Agenda is subject to change.


The registration portal is now open, and the registration deadline is September 10. We are charging a minimum registration fee of $20 for all participants, but if you wish to contribute more to help Weave News subsidize the participation of others, feel free to do so in the designated section of the online registration form.

Your registration will include:

  • Registration for the plenary panel, at least two topical panels, three workshops, and a keynote speaker
  • Film screening/Q&A with director Quester Hannah and live musical performance by Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde
  • Friday lunch, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, and a networking reception with beverages

If paying the registration fee will be a barrier for participation, please reach out to us at We are open to making decisions on a case by case basis to reduce or waive the fee.

The Weave News team is excited to welcome you on September 22! Keep this page bookmarked for announcements. #WeaveNews10

Weave News retreat, July 2016 from left to right: Michelle, Steve P., Jana, Nicole, John, Tsewang, Tzintzun, and Steve B.