Covering Hate: When the KKK and Neo-Nazis are the Story

Who would have ever thought that we’d be covering demonstrations with neo-Nazis chanting “blood and soil” in 2017? In the wake of Charlottesville, U.S. journalists are brushing up on their knowledge of such groups. As journalists, how do we ensure even-handed coverage of clashes between white nationalist and antifa groups? And how does our love of the First Amendment guide us in covering public incidents where speech may be repressed? Where does speech end and violence begin?

Read: “The Club tackled the thorny issue of covering hate”

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and The Deadline Club, which is the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, will co-host a panel about covering hate groups on Monday, Oct. 23. There will be a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the panel from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The following experts will explain the long history of these conflicts in American society, and why it matters today.

RSVP: Although this is a free event, space is limited, so reserve  your spot today.

Panelists: Sandeep Junnarkar (@sandeep_NYC), Director of Interactive Journalism, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; Marc Lacey (@marclacey), National News Editor, The New York Times; Ryan Lenz (@LenzSPLC), Senior Investigative Reporter, Southern Poverty Law Center; Lee Rowland (@berkitron), Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU; Jessica Schulberg (@jessicaschulb), Foreign Affairs Reporter, Huffington Post.

Moderator: J. Alex Tarquinio (@alextarquinio), President-Elect, Society of Professional Journalists


Sandeep Junnarkar is Director of Interactive Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Within weeks after the 2016 presidential election, he co-founded The Hate Index, a website that compiles post-election incidents of intolerance. Users can filter the hate incidents by who, where and how the hate occurred. Sandeep began his career by helping build the earliest digital editions of The New York Times as a breaking news editor, writer, and Web producer. 

Marc Lacey is National News Editor of The New York Times, responsible for a dozen bureaus and a team of New York-based correspondents who cover the country. He also leads Race/Related, The Times’s coverage of racial issues. Previously, he was a foreign correspondent in Africa and Latin America. 

Ryan Lenz is Senior Investigative Writer at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. For the past seven years, he has traveled the country covering the rise of hate and extremism as it has moved from the margins to the mainstream of American life. Before joining the SPLC in 2010, Lenz was a regional correspondent for the Associated Press and an Iraq war correspondent for the wire service from 2005 to 2008. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Lee Rowland is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. Lee has extensive experience as a litigator, lobbyist, and public speaker. She has served as lead counsel in federal First Amendment cases involving public employee speech rights, the First Amendment rights of community advocates, government regulation of digital speech, and state secrecy surrounding the lethal injection process. She also authors amicus briefs and blogs on topics including the intersection of speech and privacy, student and public employee speech, obscenity, and the Communications Decency Act. 

Jessica Schulberg is a reporter covering foreign policy and national security for HuffPost. Previously, she was a reporter-researcher at The New Republic. She holds a master’s degree in international politics from American University. 

Moderator: J. Alex Tarquinio is President-Elect of the Society of Professional Journalists, a board member of the society’s educational foundation and the SPJ representative to the planning committee for the 2018 Excellence in Journalism national convention. She has worked as an editor at Time Inc., The Real Deal and Forbes and as a writer at The Wall Street Journal. Her work has been published in The New York TimesThe International Herald TribuneThe San Francisco Chronicle, Barron’s and Reader’s Digest. She is a German Marshall Fund fellowship recipient.

At a Glance

What: Covering Hate panel
When: Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Reception: 6 p.m. Panel: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, 219 W 40th St, New York, NY

RSVP: Although this is a free event, space is limited, so reserve  your spot today.

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