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Press Release

Cal Poly Journalism Department to Host Festival of Journalism from Oct. 26-27

Contact: Brady Teufel

Event will include film, panel discussions on trust in the media and critical local and state issues, and induction of new Mustang Media Hall of Fame members.

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Tickets are available for the Cal Poly Journalism Department’s Festival of Journalism, set for Oct. 26-27, at venues throughout San Luis Obispo.

The two-day event will feature a documentary screening and reception, the Jim Hayes Symposium, and a partnership with the nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization CalMatters.

Admission to the CalMatters event and Jim Hayes Symposium are free and open to the public.

“As someone who grew up in San Luis Obispo, I’m excited to be able to provide a forum for locals, students, academics and professionals to come together and discuss some of the challenges surrounding the topic of housing in our community,” Journalism Department Chair Brady Teufel said. “And, as someone who recognizes the importance of journalism to the health and well-being of our society, I’m looking forward to hearing from such prominent thought leaders as they discuss ideas for restoring faith in honest, fair and accurate reporting.”

The festival will kick off Thursday, Oct. 26, with a screening of “Breaking the News” — a documentary about the honest discussions at The 19th, a nonprofit digital news startup that reports on gender, politics and policy. It will be followed by a reception and conversation about the film at the Palm Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo, where attendees can network with Kate Sosin, LGBTQ+ reporter at The 19th, and Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters.

On Friday, Oct. 27, CalMatters journalists will sit down with local thought leaders at the Advanced Technology Laboratories building (No. 7) on Cal Poly’s campus to discuss how San Luis Obispo can tackle the dual housing crises of a being a high-cost city and a California college town.

Following the panel, former ABC News correspondent and Cal Poly alumnus David Kerley (Journalism, ’79) will moderate the Jim Hayes Symposium, a discussion on trust in news — how to establish it, contributing factors, how well media organizations are doing, and the impacts on democracy. Panelists include Sosin and Chase as well as San Francisco Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Emilio Garzia-Ruiz; Google Public Sector Head of Public Affairs Carolyn McGourty Supple; and Pew Research Center Director of News and Information Katerina Eva Matsa.

Events will conclude that evening with the Mustang Media Hall of Fame Gala and dinner, honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the department’s student media organizations.

This year’s inductees include: Melissa Figueroa Chechourka, (Journalism, ’02) chief of strategic communications, California High-Speed Rail Authority; Jim Hayes, former Cal Poly professor and symposium namesake; David Kerley, (Journalism, ’79) owner, Full Throttle newsletter; former ABC News correspondent; David Kraft, (Journalism, ’86) vice president of news at ESPN; Mark Looker, (Journalism, ’76) owner, Looker Communications Consulting; Conan Nolan, chief political reporter at KNBC-TV and host of “News Conference”; Tracey Ozmina, (Journalism, ’92) president and global COO of SAGE Publishing; and Lauren Rabaino, (Journalism, ’09) chief operating officer, Vox Media.

Register for events and learn more about the festival at

About Cal Poly Journalism
Cal Poly’s Journalism Department is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. It offers a professional program to prepare students for real-world careers. Beginning with core courses that establish a strong foundation in the field, journalism majors then focus on media specializations of their choice. Students acquire practical experience by working for the department’s converged media center, newspaper, campus radio and TV station, or the student public relations agency. Visit