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. Registration is now open through September 1! #WeaveNews10

conference agenda*


11:00 am     Registration opens
12:00 pm    Lunch
1:15 pm      Conference opening
2:10 pm      Plenary panel
3:45 pm     Workshops round 1
5:10 pm      Day 1 close
5:30 pm      Dinner on your own
7:00 pm      Film screening and Q&A with with filmmaker Quester Hannah


8:00 am     Registration re-opens
9:00 am     Workshops round 2  
10:30 am    Panel 2
12:00 pm    Lunch
1:30 pm      Keynote speech by Dr. Bill Yousman
2:45 pm     Workshops round 3
4:10 pm      Panels 3 & 4
6:00 pm     Dinner reception with Weave News: Celebrating 10 Years
8:00 pm     Musical performance by Taína Asili y la Banda Rebelde in Launders Underground


9:30 am     Planning brunch with the Weave News team
11:00 am    Workshops round 4
2:00 pm     Conference close

*Agenda is subject to change.

special guests

  • Keynote speaker: Dr. Bill Yousman
    "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).
  • Film screening and Q&A: Quester Hannah
    Watch the trailer for Never Give Up, Never Keep Silent here.
    Sudanese refugees fight for asylum in Israel after escaping genocide in their home country. Mr Hannah's visit is supported by the Arts Collaborative at St. Lawrence University.


  • Musical guest: Taína Asili y la Banda Rebelde
    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.



  • Plenary Panel: 10 Years of Citizen Journalism
    Weave News bloggers celebrate 10 years of shining a light on the world’s underreported stories and discuss their work as citizen journalists.
  • 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.
  • Activism & Storytelling
    How activists use media to tell powerful stories and create change in their communities.
  • Weaving the Streets & People's History Archive
    Citizen journalists share their stories of reporting on street art, grassroots activism, and other forms of global street culture.



  • News Analysis 101
    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.
  • Online Investigation
    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.
  • Connecting Citizens to the Story: Use and Application of Critical Media Literacy
    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.
  • Critical Media in the Classroom - designed for educators
    Using a projected-based learning (PBL) approach, the Action Coalition for Media Education’s Ben Boyington will take educators through a workshop that will equip them with the tools to engage/train their students in critical media analysis.
  • Using the Camera to Create Change (workshop with filmmaker Quester Hannah)
    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.
  • Big Data for Citizen Journalists 101
    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.
  • Making Social Media Videos (workshop with musical guests Gaetano Vaccaro and Taína Asili)
    Want to make short videos to showcase your organization or artistry online? Artist and activist, Taina Asili, and filmmaker 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!
  • Activist Sticker Making
    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.
  • Strategic Corporate Research and Institutional Divestment
    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.
  • Public Relations for Activism
    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.
  • Student Activism 101
    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.

    *Additional workshops and presenter details to be announced! Content is subject to change.

Conference Fees and Details

The registration portal is now open, and the registration deadline is September 1. 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.