Here’s (Exactly) How We Organized One of the Largest Virtual U.S. Journalism Events to Date


The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University has hosted the Collaborative Journalism Summit every year since 2017.

The first two conferences took place in Montclair, N.J.; last year’s Summit was in Philadelphia. This year our plan was to host the Summit in Charlotte, N.C. on May 14–15.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of our colleague, Denise Shannon, we had already completed 75 percent of the planning for the 2020 conference by early March. Two of our staffers had flown down to Charlotte to tour the Queens University campus and Myers Park Baptist Church, where our sessions would be hosted. We had enthusiastic sponsors lined up, the venue booked, the food completely selected (down to the type of salad we’d serve at lunch), student workers recruited, and at least half of the speakers confirmed.

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