Meet Your Media: A Celebration of World Press Freedom Day

In honor of World Press Freedom Day (May 3, 2023), PEN Arizona put on a panel discussion between journalists from Arizona news outlets and USA Today.

Representatives from print, radio, and television described their processes and criteria for determining quality journalism. The panelists also answered questions from the audience and moderator Danielle Williams, a long-time Valley radio and TV journalist.

Attendees met some faces behind “the media” and learned more about the news industry during this insightful exchange.

Professional journalists, editors, and fact-based news organizations provide credible reporting and promote informed civic engagement. They stand as a bulwark against the onslaught of disinformation being injected into public discourse. Now, more than ever, trust in our news institutions is vital to informing an increasingly distrustful country.

Meet Your Media: A Celebration of World Press Freedom Day

About the Moderator

Stage-four lung cancer warrior Danielle Williams is a media consultant, owner of Diva Strong Media, and the creator of Community Link AZ, a YouTube channel that highlights nonprofits and the positive contributions they are making in her community.



About the Panelists

Kris Pickel is a 10-time EMMY award-winning journalist, leader, and change-maker whose work has led to policy changes on local and national levels. Her unwavering dedication to improving communities is demonstrated through a decades-long career in journalism and extensive volunteer work. With a positive approach and the ability to quickly identify valuable information and emerging trends, she is a skilled interviewer. She is as comfortable in a studio anchoring a newscast as she is out in the field, covering live events ranging from sports and entertainment to riots and politics.


Jodie Lau is a planning manager at USA Today. 





Elvia Díaz is the editorial page editor for The Arizona Republic. She was born and raised in Michoacán, México. She and her family settled in northern California, where she began her journalism career as a Spanish-language radio newscaster. She worked for the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., and the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico. She joined The Republic in 1999 and has held various reporting and editing positions.



Richard Ruelas is a veteran news reporter at the Arizona Republic.





Lindsey Collom Riley is the assistant news director at KJZZ. She joined the team as a senior editor in June 2022 after over two decades of reporting and editing for print/digital news in metro Phoenix. Riley spent most of her journalism career with the Arizona Republic and was a go-to editor for breaking news in Gannett’s western region. As a staff writer, she won several awards for government reporting. Riley enjoys live music, hiking, and exploring her home state of Arizona. 


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