Jacqui Banaszynski is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who spent 30 years as a newspaper reporter and editor. She holds a Knight Chair professorship at the Missouri School of Journalism, is an editing fellow at the Poynter Institute and coaches student and professional journalists around the world. You can follow her on Twitter at @JacquiB.
Her series “AIDS in the Heartland” won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.
Lane DeGregory is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times feature writer who prefers writing about people in the shadows. She went to work with a 100-year-old man who still swept out a seafood warehouse, hung out beneath a bridge with a colony of sex offenders and followed a feral child who was adopted.
Mario is the CEO and founder of García Media, supervising the work of all projects.
Trained as a journalist, Mario is strongly committed to the idea that content is what determines the success of a brand; his work and teaching is based on his “WED” philosophy, of combining writing, editing and design as basic principles for effective communication of ideas.
Keith Woods is vice president of diversity in news and operations at NPR in Washington, D.C. He previously was dean of faculty at The Poynter Institute and a former sportswriter, news reporter, city editor, editorial writer and columnist at the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Michael LaForgia is a reporter on the investigations team at the Tampa Bay Times. In 2014, he and Times reporter Will Hobson won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for stories that revealed Hillsborough County was paying tax dollars to house the homeless in squalor. He joined the Times in 2012.
has been a columnist, a college professor, a radio producer and a lecturer for more than 35 years. He is a writer, author of one of the most popular newspaper columns in the country and of a series of critically-acclaimed books, including his latest, a novel called Freeman. And his lifelong devotion to the art and craft of words has yielded stellar results, chief among them the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
Thomas French, a Pulitzer prizewinning journalist who reported at the
St. Petersburg Times for almost three decades, is the author of three nonfiction books.
French now teaches writing at the Poynter Institute, at Indiana University’s journalism school, and at newsrooms and conferences around the world.
Eric Deggans is NPR's first full-time TV critic. He came to NPR in 2013 from the Tampa Bay Times, where he served a TV/media critic and in other roles for nearly 20 years. A journalist for more than 20 years, he is also the author of “Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation,” a look at how prejudice, racism and sexism fuels some elements of modern media. In August 2013, Deggans guest hosted CNN's media analysis show Reliable Sources, joining a select group of journalists and media critics filling in for departed host Howard Kurtz.
Ben Montgomery is an enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and founder of the narrative journalism website Gangrey.com. He is also the author of two books: the New York Times bestselling 'Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail,' winner of a National Outdoor Book Award for history/biography; and 'The Leper Spy: The Story of an Unlikely Hero of World War II.'
Montgomery grew up in Oklahoma and studied journalism at Arkansas Tech University, where he played defensive back for the football team, the Wonder Boys. He worked for the Courier in Russellville, Ark., the Standard-Times in San Angelo, Texas, the Times Herald-Record in New York's Hudson River Valley and the Tampa Tribune before joining the Times in 2006.
In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for a series called "For Their Own Good," about abuse at Florida's oldest reform school. He was a Livingston Award finalist for Spectacle: The Lynching of Claude Neal. He lives in Tampa with his wife, Jennifer, and three children.
Mindy Marqués is executive editor and vice president for news at The Miami Herald. Born in New York to Cuban immigrant parents, Marqués began her career as an intern at The Miami Herald and rose through the ranks to become the paper’s first Hispanic editor in 2010. She is only the second woman to hold the post. Her career has included assignments as a metro reporter, assistant city editor and deputy metro editor, directing The Miami Herald’s local, state and community news operations.
Howell Raines grew up in Alabama and knows the south. He is the author of two memoirs, about life and fishing, a novel called Whiskey Man, and an oral history of the Civil Rights movement, My Soul Is Rested. He won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing and during 9/11 was executive editor of the New York Times.
Diana K. Sugg
Diana K. Sugg is a veteran newspaper reporter who is now editing projects at The Baltimore Sun. She was a medical reporter at The Sun for 10 years, covering a range of breaking news, enterprise and features. She won the Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting in 2003 for a collection of stories that delved into the primitive nature of modern medicine. She has won several national awards for stories that included crime coverage at The Sacramento Bee and health care stories at The Baltimore Sun.