Alana Rocha is an award-winning journalist who joined the Tribune staff as the multimedia reporter after working eight years in television and radio news. She's covered politics for stations in Florida, Kansas and most recently in Austin as YNN's lead political reporter. Her work at the cable news outlet took her around the country reporting from the presidential campaign trail. A native of Tampa, Florida, Alana received bachelor's degrees in Journalism and Spanish from the University of Florida.
Sarah A. Miller is an award-winning photojournalist based in East Texas. Miller is the chief photographer at the Tyler Morning Telegraph newspaper in Tyler, Texas where she has been employed since 2011. She is a 2009 graduate of Central Michigan University and was chosen to attend the Eddie Adams workshop in 2010. She is an NPPA member. Sarah's recent accomplishments include five awards from Texas Associated Press Managing Editors for work published in 2016. Sarah has three cats, enjoys catching Pokemon while taking long walks and her favorite dinner is any gluten free pizza. Follow her on Instagram @killasmilla
Julia Robinson is a freelance community photojournalist, educator, and native Austinite. She has worked for large metropolitan dailies and small-town newspapers across the US and honored with recognition from Pictures of the Year International, NPPA's Best of Photojournalism, the Missouri Press Association, the Associated Press, and anyone who ever put her photo on their fridge. Julia is an advocate for building photo community and hosts monthly photo nights in Austin.
Clients include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USAToday, Wired, the Dallas Morning News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Texas Highways Magazine, Reuters, The Texas Observer, and the University of Texas.
Ama Arthur-Asmah is an award-winning photojournalist who works at KUSA in Denver, Colorado. She got her start in photojournalism working in beautiful Burlington, Vermont. After surviving one New England winter, she moved south to Richmond, Virginia. At CBS 6 she learned how to be a better storyteller. While in Richmond, she worked on special projects covering the pitfalls of mental health care to the making of the Broadway hit, "The Lion King". In Richmond, Ama shot her most memorable story on a man named Thomas Haynesworth, who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. After years of missing Colorado’s blue skies, she moved back to Denver where she worked at KDVR before hoping across to street to KUSA. Ama is happy to be back in Denver where she is learning more about her hometown through storytelling. When she is not working, she enjoys hiking around the state with her Canon, or checking out Denver’s ever changing food scene!
Anne Herbst is the senior multi-skilled journalist at KUSA in Denver, and she swears that’s not a fake job title. It mainly means she’s twice the age of most MMJs. It also means Anne does a little bit of everything—she shoots, writes, and edits mostly human interest stories for KUSA. She’s won some big awards for her work—and is still unsure of where to put them in her house. She mentors folks in and outside of her newsroom as well, teaching them the ins and outs of storytelling and shooting, and also how to eat soup while driving to your story. All useful skills in the MMJ life. When she’s not travelling the state telling stories, Anne and her husband Steve are hiking really long distances (something her friends refer to as “death marches), skiing, or drinking Colorado craft beer. Her favorite word is rad, and she’s determined to bring it back.
Carolyn Van Houten is a staff photographer at the San Antonio Express-News and a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After growing up on a farm in rural North Carolina, she found her way to photojournalism through majoring in astrophysics. Since then, she has interned at The Chicago Tribune, The Tampa Bay Times, The Herald (Jasper, IN), The White House, and National Geographic. Her work has been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, NPPA's Best of Photojournalism, College Photographer of the Year, PDN's 30, among others. However, she would much rather talk about her horse named Spike, her love of Texas, and the many people who have been kind enough to allow her to tell their stories.
Blair Shiff is an award-winning multimedia journalist who is currently the senior video producer for ABC News Digital in New York City. She started her journalism career in Texas at the Austin American-Statesman. Then, she went from newspapers to television as she became a web desk editor at KXAN Austin News, where she covered many major news events, including the Fort Hood mass shooting. After a stint as the new media executive producer at KRQE News 13 in Albuquerque, Mexico, she moved to Denver, Colorado, to work for KUSA as a digital producer and reported on various significant breaking news events such as the Aurora theater shooting, historic flooding and devastating wildfires. In 2016, she packed her bags and moved her fiancé, Andy, and their dog, Milo, to the Upper West Side of New York City. A native Texan, Blair received her Bachelor in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. Hook ‘em Horns!
Melina Mara is a veteran and award winning photojournalist, who is presently a staff photographer covering primarily politics and political issues for the Washington Post. The daughter of a CBS cameraman and an inspirational Italian mother, Mara was born in Englewood, New Jersey. She studied political science at Sarah Lawrence College, and after being disillusioned with law aspirations became a teacher. Refocusing her career on photojournalism, Mara attended University of Missouri School of Journalism as a graduate student. She has worked for newspapers and magazines around the country, in the role of both staff member and contractor. Now working at the Washington Post as the senior national political photojournalist, Melina pursues stories in the halls of power on Capitol Hill and The White House, general assignment work in DC, as well as issue stories across the country. For the past 3 years she’s been reporting on the 2016 Presidential cycle. Particularly Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President as a member of the Clinton press pool. Now Mara is documenting the first 100 days and beyond of the Trump administration - in the nation’s Capitol and throughout America. In 2003 Melina completed a project on women’s political power in America, entitled Changing the Face of Power: Women in the US Senate. The project became a book, and an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.
Reshma Kirpalani is an Emmy-award winning multimedia journalist who specializes in enterprise reporting. Her work has been recognized by the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism and she is also the recipient of a regional Edward R. Murrow award.
Reshma has worked at the Austin American-Statesman for five years. Before that she worked at the NPR affiliate in Austin where she produced a radio documentary about the most destructive wildfire in Texas history, and prior to that, she spent a summer at ABCNews.com in New York City while getting her master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Texas. Recently, Reshma spearheaded a multimedia project called “The Talk,” which examined the relationship between the African American community and the police force in Austin. “The Talk” led to a live-streamed community forum that aired on KLRU, the local PBS affiliate. The forum was attended by the the mayor, the chief of police, and local Black Lives Matter activists, sparking a dialogue about race relations in Austin. It is exactly this type of impact that Reshma loves about her work as a journalist.
Hema Mullur is an Emmy Award-winning anchor and reporter at CBS Austin News (KEYE-TV) in Austin, TX. Hema attended the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in Plan II Honors and Broadcast Journalism. Her career has taken her to KWES in Midland, TX, KFOX in El Paso, TX, and KDVR/KWGN in Denver, CO. Hema is passionate about writing and telling a great story, and loves working with aspiring journalists as they move through their careers.
Sarah-Blake Morgan is a one-woman-storyteller at WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 2016, she reported on the police shooting death of Keith Scott and walked dozens of miles with protesters during the Charlotte unrest. She also reported solo from Ecuador, Haiti and most recently Cuba in the days following Fidel Castro’s death.
Sarah-Blake is passionate about inspiring other young woman to embrace and succeed on both sides of the camera. In 2016, she created MMJane to challenge and encourage her female colleagues to #ShootBetterTheBoys
Ilana Panich-Linsman (b. 1984) is a visual journalist based in Austin, Texas. Her clients include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Audubon Magazine, Al Jazeera America, and CNN.
In 2014, she was named one Magnum Photo's 30 under 30. Ilana's work has been recognized by the Lucie Foundation; and the Oso Bay Biennial XVIII; in 2010 she was awarded the Multimedia Award at the Lumix Festival in Hannover, Germany. She was an 'honorable mention' for the UNICEF photo of the year in 2014. Her work appeared in the AI-AP American Photo 30 and Fotografia Magazine.
Ilana is a graduate of the International Center of Photography’s photojournalism program (New York, New York) where she was awarded a Director’s Fellowship. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Scripps College (Claremont, Calif.), completed the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2009, and graduated in 2014 from the University of the Arts, London, with a Master of Arts degree in photojournalism and documentary photography.
Alicia Calzada is an associate in the Media and Entertainment Practice Group in the San Antonio and Austin offices of Haynes and Boone, LLP. She has experience in general litigation with an emphasis on matters involving defamation, First Amendment, commercial practices, social media counseling and Texas' new anti-SLAPP law, as well as intellectual property matters pertaining to copyright and trademark infringement claims. Prior to becoming an attorney, Alicia was a photojournalist for more than 20 years and is a past president of the NPPA, serves as an attorney for NPPA and is the founder and chair of that group's advocacy committee. Her photography has been published in a variety of national magazines and newspapers, in addition to several books.
Jasmine DeFoore is a photo editor and visual content strategist based in Austin, Texas. Her career started in the editorial world, working with the award-winning team behind SFGate.com, one of the early leaders in online journalism. She was the senior photo agent at Redux Pictures, creating visual journalism with an exclusive group of storytellers for worldwide clients including The New York Times, Fortune, TIME, Wired, Dwell, Travel & Leisure, Gourmet, Texas Monthly, GEO, L'Espresso, Paris Match, Stern and many others.
Her consulting business serves photographers and companies through strategic creation of engaging visual storytelling content. She specializes in story development, photo and video editing, art production, agency management, and visual research and licensing.
I was telling stories long before I remember doing it. When my sister and I cleared out the attic of our childhood home years ago, we found a portfolio filled with school artwork and “reporter” notebooks -- actual reporter notebooks -- just like the ones I carry around today (I'm old school). The pages had notes and stories about our neighborhood and friends, all written in a child’s unsteady handwriting -- mine. I was either going to grow up to be your nosey neighbor, or a news reporter.
I didn’t always know that was my path. I went to Texas Christian University on a Pre-Med scholarship, certain I was going to be a pediatric surgeon. Along with the required Calculous, Microbiology, and Chemistry classes, I took electives in TV and Journalism. I took a leap of faith, switched majors, and never looked back.
My career started at KMIZ-TV in Columbia, Missouri. They hired me as a weekend weather anchor and reporter. I told the news director, “The only thing I know about weather is if there are clouds, it might rain.” It was good practice for the ad lib live shots I do today. Now I leave weather forecasting to the professionals. This nomadic career has taken me to Santa Barbara, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and now Dallas.
I feel fortunate to have picked up a few Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, Associated Press, and Gracie awards for writing and reporting along the way. You don’t see them on air, but the photographers I work with are a big part of those awards, and a big part of why I love my job so much. Storytelling is a team effort.
If I'm not working I'm running, dancing, or baking...until I figure out a way to be able to go surfing in Dallas.
Melissa Lyttle is an award-winning storyteller based in Los Angeles. She has an ability to disarm people, establish trust, and build relationships quickly. That's allowed her to witness some pretty incredible moments — 1/250th of a second at a time.
She earned a journalism degree from the University of Florida and began her career in newspapers, where she worked for nearly 15 years. Now, she is an independent visual journalist who works for a host of clients who appreciate a strong narrative.
She loves documentary projects, sports culture, and allowing people's personality to come out in portraiture. Her primary focus in her personal projects has been on social issues, including poverty, immigration, and how people are affected by the criminal justice system.
As a two-time International Women's Media Foundation fellow, Lyttle has worked on the US-Mexico border in both Ciudad Juárez and Nogales, Sonora. Her work has been recognized by UNICEF, POYi, NPPA's Best of Photojournalism, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, the Southern Short Course, the Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism, and the Alexia Foundation student grant.
In February 2017, she was appointed to serve a second term as president of the National Press Photographers Association. She's an alumna of the Eddie Adams Workshop (Barnstorm XIV) and has volunteered for 14 of the last 16 years as a member of the faculty.
Lyttle is also the founder of the online photo community called APhotoADay, which started in 2001 with only two members and grew to over 2,500 worldwide. APhotoADay has an annual photography conference (lovingly called GeekFest) and distribute the Backyard Storytelling Grant to photojournalists working on stories close to home.
Seema Mathur is a multi-award winning journalist who has earned a National Edward R. Murrow, Lone Star Emmy, several Associated Press and medical journalism awards for her reporting on issues ranging from human rights to healthcare. Seema worked for news affiliates and national networks for most of her career until launching the production company Global Voice Productions in 2009. This month Global Voice Productions released the award winning documentary Camp 72 about a quest for justice and healing after war in Liberia. She continues to cover news on a freelance basis. Most recently covering Hurricane Harvey for CBS News and the Weather Channel Digital.