June 3, 2023

Former U.S. Rep. Bustos, awards, educational sessions to highlight INBA Spring Convention

Former U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos will be the keynote speaker for the INBA Spring Convention in Springfield. (facebook.com/RepCheri)

A jam-packed weekend full of education, celebration and networking is planned for the INBA’s Spring Convention, April 28-30, in Springfield.

(Ticket sales to the event ended April 20.)

The convention will be headlined by a conversation on Saturday evening with former U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, who will talk about her past careers as a journalist and lawmaker and her new role with a public strategy firm.

The INBA also will honor several student journalists on Saturday night, with the annual scholarship presentations and the SINBA Awards.

The convention kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, April 28 with the traditional Opening Reception, sponsored by the University of Illinois Springfield’s College of Public Affairs and Education, at Buzz Bomb Brewing, 406 E. Adams St., just a five-minute walk from the Wyndham. INBA has booked the upper floor of the popular downtown brewery. If you’re rolling into town Friday, please join us!

Meanwhile, the schedule for the event’s educational sessions is set. Journalists, professors and other experts will teach on emerging and important topics in journalism, including the use of artificial intelligence, education in Illinois, reporter safety in the field and fostering an inclusive newsroom.

More Convention News.

Here is the schedule for our weekend in Springfield.


Noon: INBA Board Meeting, Innovate Springfield, 15 S. Old State Capitol Plaza

7-9 p.m.: Opening Reception. Join us for drinks and conversation at Buzz Bomb Brewing Co., 406 E. Adams St., in downtown Springfield just three blocks from the hotel.


All events at Wyndham City Centre, 700 E. Adams St.

9:15 a.m.: Opening remarks

9:30 to 10:45 a.m.: Knowing your First Amendment rights and exercising them safely. Learn best practices for maintaining situational awareness in field reporting. Panelists: Matt Topic, Loevy and Loevy; Colin Pereira, Committee to Protect Journalists; Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Moderator: Jennifer Fuller, WSIU.

11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: The State of Education in Illinois. Teachers’ Lounge podcast host Peter Medlin from WNIJ will moderate a panel discussing hot topics in education policy in Illinois. Panelists: Samantha Smylie, Chalkbeat; Drs. Paul Bruno and Cara Gutzmer, University of Illinois College of Education.

12:15 to 1:45 p.m.: Lunch (choice of turkey and ham club or grilled portabella) and business meeting.

2 to 3:15 p.m. GPT-3/AI and News. Don’t fear the robots! One of the developers behind the YESEO app will walk through how it can help newsrooms better apply SEO best practices. The app was developed as part of the Reynolds Journalism Institute fellowship program with the ability to analyze published stories as well as unpublished stories. It features GPT-3 generated data for use in your workflows. In addition, a U of I professor will join the conversation to talk about the ethics of AI technology. Panelists: Margaret Yee Man Ng, University of Illinois; Ryan Restivo, Newsday. Moderator: Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio.

3:15 p.m.: Student critique session. Students, bring your reel and portfolio work to be looked at by a professional for feedback.

3:30 to 4 p.m.: Illinois Public Radio breakout meeting

4-4:30 p.m.: INBA Foundation breakout meeting

6 p.m.: Cocktail reception

6:30 p.m.: Dinner (chicken bruschetta and buffet)

6:50 p.m.: Scholarship presentations

7 p.m.: A conversation with former U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos

8 p.m.: SINBA awards presentation


9:30 a.m.: Breakfast (horseshoe buffet)

10 to 11 a.m.: Creating an inclusive newsroom. A discussion about how newsrooms can incorporate best practices that allow every team member to be empowered to do their jobs in a respectful and safe environment. Panelists: Brandon Pope, president of National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter; Garry Moore, retired journalists from WEEK-TV in Peoria; Redrick Terry, KWQC-TV in the Quad Cities.

11:15 to 11:45 a.m.: Capitol News Illinois broadcast expansion update with Jeff Rogers, executive director of the Illinois Press Foundation.

Noon: Final resolution and farewell.

Nora Baldner

The support INBA gives to student journalists is vitally important as we all discover how technology is changing news dissemination, INBA monitors and actively encourages truth, transparency and accountability from students and their universities.

Mike Miletich

Joining the INBA was one of my best life decisions. I met some of the best broadcast journalists while I was still a college student. Plus, I ended up getting a job through the connections I made!

Jennifer Fuller

INBA is not only a great networking tool, it also provides advocacy and support for journalists in an ever-changing world.

Brian O'Keefe

One of the greatest benefits for me has been getting to see and know other parts of the state. I’m not from Illinois and traveling to spring and fall conventions over the years has transformed dots on a map to memories of places that enhance my story telling process.

Michelle Eccles McLaughlin

INBA is an organization that really caters to continuing education for professionals. It offers a relatively inexpensive way to learn new things, reinforce best practices and network.

Alexis McAdams

INBA played a huge part in preparing me for my broadcasting career. The INBA conventions connect students with on-air talent and news directors who give feedback on now to improve your work. Through relationships I made at those conventions, I was able to obtain my first on air reporting job.

Andrew Tanielian

INBA taught me how to network in a meaningful way. The scholarship process taught me how to endure a hard job interview and thrive.

Ryan Denham

I recently attended my first INBA conference—and it won’t be my last. The combination of professional and student journalists learning together is electric. Everyone learns from each other and walks away with new friends (and LinkedIn connections). I know I did.

Aaron Eades

As a student, it's often difficult to picture what working in the real world will be like. For me, the INBA bridged that gap by giving me the chance to talk to professionals who used to be in the same shoes I'm in now.

Jeff Bossert

When I was working in radio for the first time, I had no idea whether I could truly handle the demands. But INBA made me curious and want to improve. Even now, when I’ve maybe worked a lot of hours or planned some stories that didn’t come together for one reason or another, what I learn from an INBA conference gets me re-invigorated about the business.

Molly Jirasek

One of my top goals in my career was to get to Chicago. Thanks to INBA I met Margaret Larkin. She remembered our great conversations about Chicago and first alerted me to a job opening in the city I might be interested in. Lo and behold, I got that job! INBA helped me reach my dream.

Bob Roberts

INBA is as much about friendship and as it is about achieving common goals. It provides two things individual newsrooms cannot: in-service training, and the ability to speak out on issues affecting the profession. But most of all, it brings newspeople together.

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