Come to ‘Career Survival 101’

Aimed at both seasoned journalists and those just starting out, “Career Survival 101” will help journalists adapt to an ever-changing media landscape by encouraging them diversify and pick up new skills. It’s a panel not only about following new trends and training on new tools, but also advice on how to spot developing trends. On the panel, we have:

Robert K. Elder is a journalist, author and the new managing editor of DNAinfo Chicago. After a decade at the Chicago Tribune, Elder founded his own production company, Odd Hours Media, before jumping to AOL Huffington Post Media Group’s Patch.com for two years. He recently was hired to build a staff of journalists to cover Chicago’s neighborhoods. He is the author of Last Words of the Executed and The Film That Changed My Life, among other books. His digital coordinates are @robertkelder and www.robertkelder.com.

Amy Guth is social media and SEO manager for Chicago Tribune Media Group, where she co-writes the “So Social” column and is co-host of  “30 Second Social” instructional series. Previously, Guth served as digital news editor for the Chicago Tribune’s books section and blog, Printers Row. She is author of the novel Three Fallen Women (2006) and founder of Pilcrow Lit Fest, a small press literary festival. Find her on Twitter as @amyguth on Google+ as http://plus.to/aguth. Or, subscribe at Facebook.com/amyguth.

Scott Smith is an account director with Social@Ogilvy, a social media-focused team at Ogilvy & Mather, an advertising, marketing and public relations agency. Prior to this position, he was Director of Digital Strategy and Development at Chicago magazine. He’s also written and edited for a variety of publications including Time Out ChicagoChicagoist and Playboy.com. He is active on Twitter via @ourmaninchicago and blogs at ourmaninchicago.net.

Mike Schmiedeler is VP of Development/Executive Producer for Towers Productions, responsible for television program origination and oversight.  Prior to his current role Mike served as the Vice President of Production for Towers Productions, managing the company’s production operations and staff’s work on series and specials for A&E, History, Discovery, National Geographic Channel, among other outlets. In 2001, he received a grant from The Center for Religion & the News Media and studied at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism as a visiting scholar. www.towersproductions.com

Where: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 West Adams Street, Room 305, Chicago, IL 60661
When: Thursday, Oct. 11, 7-8 p.m.
Admission: FREE
Sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club

More details:

Robert K. Elder is a journalist, author and the managing editor of DNAinfo Chicago.

Pulitzer-winner Studs Terkel calls Elder “a journalist in the noblest tradition” in his introduction to Elder’s book, Last Words of the Executed. Dead Man Walking author Sister Helen Prejean called it, “a dangerous book.” Last Words of the Executed received rave reviews in The Economist, Harper’s Magazine, and The New York Review of Books, among many other outlets. The New Yorker called it, “-A harrowing portrait of our justice system.”

Praise for Elder’s 2011 book The Film That Changed My Life came from the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips, who called the book, “A great and provocative read-it’s addictive.” Film critic Leonard Maltin also said, “You’ll have a hard time putting this book down.”

Elder’s work has appeared in The New York Times, MSNBC.com, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Salon.com, The Oregonian and many other publications. For more than a decade, he served as a staff writer at the Chicago Tribune and from 2010 to 2012, he worked as a regional editor for the AOL Huffington Post Media Group’s hyperlocal news initiative, Patch.com.

In June of 2009, Elder founded the Web 2.0 company Odd Hours Media LLC, which launched the user-generated sites ItWasOverWhen.com: Tales of Romantic Dead Ends and ItWasLoveWhen.com: Tales from the Beginning of Love. Both sites went viral very quickly, attracting more than 1 million hits within a few months. In late 2009, Sourcebooks signed the sites to a two-book deal.

Elder is also the editor of “John Woo: Interviews,” the first authoritative chronicle of the filmmaker’s life, legacy and career. He has also contributed to books on poker, comic books and film design. A former member of the Chicago Film Critics Association, Elder has taught film classes at Facets Film School.

He teaches journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School and Columbia College.

A Montana native and graduate of the University of Oregon, Elder lives and writes in Chicagoland.

Mike Schmiedeler is VP of Development/Executive Producer for Towers Productions, responsible for television program origination and oversight.  Prior to his current role Mike served as the Vice President of Production for Towers Productions, managing the company’s production operations and staff’s work on series and specials for A&E, History, Discovery, National Geographic Channel, Travel Channel, Animal Planet, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CourtTV, The Weather Channel, Bio, DIY, TV One, ID: Investigation Discovery, and WEtv.  

Before moving into his management role in 2003, Mike wrote and produced numerous documentaries for Tower’s clients including History, A&E and The Weather Channel.  Mike was also a co-creator and Show Runner for Sports Action Team, the sports comedy series syndicated by MGM Worldwide Television.  Before joining Towers Productions in 1999, Mike produced “Today’s Life Choices,” a documentary series that aired nationally on PBS. He received a Gabriel Award (1995), Worldfest Charleston Award (1997), and two New Festivals Awards (1995, 1999) for his work on that series.  Mike earned a B.A. in Communications & Theater and Marketing from the University of Notre Dame in 1994. In 2001, he received a grant from The Center for Religion & the News Media and studied at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism as a visiting scholar.

Scott Smith is an account director with Social@Ogilvy, a social media-focused team at Ogilvy & Mather, an advertising, marketing and public relations agency. Prior to this position, he was Director of Digital Strategy and Development at Chicago magazine. He’s also written and edited for a variety of publications including Time Out ChicagoChicagoist and Playboy.com

In addition, Scott has been a guest commentator on WBEZ, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight and WGN Radio 720. He’s also a semi-regular conference and classroom speaker on the topic of digital media.

Scott lives on the South Side in Beverly with his wife, Erin, and daughter, Abigail. He is active on Twitter via @ourmaninchicago and blogs at ourmaninchicago.net.
 

Amy Guth is social media and SEO manager for Chicago Tribune Media Group, where she co-writes the “So Social” column and is co-host of “30 Second Social” instructional series.

She is author of the novel “Three Fallen Women” (2006) and a forthcoming novel from the Chicago Center of Literature and Photography. In 2011, she was listed among Chicago Magazine’s 50 most beautiful Chicagoans, which will make perfect sense by viewing this photo. Her work is included in the anthologies “What Happened to us These Last Couple of Years?” and “6S, Vol. 2.” Her short fiction, “Feet In Socks” was named among StorySouth’s notable stories and was a Million Writers Award nominee. She is also co-host of the Chicago reading series RUI: Reading Under The Influence, now in its eighth year.

As a speaker, Guth has addressed groups at Columbia College Chicago, Social Media Club Chicago, Orlando Sentinel, Daily Press, Independent Writers of Chicago, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival, the (Downtown) Omaha Lit Fest and The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. Presently, through 435 Digital and Trib U, Guth often speaks and teaches in Chicago about SEO and social media.

In 2007, Guth founded Pilcrow Lit Fest, a small press literary festival.

Previously, Guth served as digital news editor for the Chicago Tribune’s books section and blog, Printers Row. On WGN Radio, Guth was co-host of ChicagoNow Radio, and later WGN Weekend. She founded the literary blog, Chicago Subtext, for the Tribune’s Chicago Now blog network, where she also served as founding Life and Style community manager. Before all that, Guth served as managing editor for the (now-defunct) journal, The Complete Meal and co-wrote several sketch productions at Second City’s training center and other improv venues, including “Uterine Wailing Wall” as well as “Anton Chekhov’s Bastard Child” which was performed in Chicago from 2002-4. Guth was also assistant fiction editor at 42 Opus, and founded and hosted Chicago’s Fixx Reading Series.

Before all that, she held just about every job possible in restaurants, including sass-mouth bartender, chef garde-manger, caterer and executive pastry chef.

Find her on Twitter as @amyguth on Google+ as http://plus.to/aguth. Or, subscribe at Facebook.com/amyguth.

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