The agenda is packed with a variety of experts in the field including award-winning journalists, authors, researchers, officials, and people in recovery. Several award-winning journalists who have been leaders in covering these topics in Appalachia and adjoining areas are among the speakers:
- Beth Macy, award-winning author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, recently released in paperback. She will appear via Skype.
- Terry DeMio and Cara Owsley, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists from the Cincinnati Enquirer; DeMio has been the newspaper’s opioid beat reporter for five years, and Owsley is photography director; they worked on the Pulitzer-winning series, "Seven Days of Heroin."
- Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette-Mail, who won a Pulitzer in 2017 for revealing county-by-county patterns of opioid distribution in West Virginia.
- Sharon Burton, editor and publisher of the Adair County Community Voice in Columbia, Ky., a national leader in substance-abuse coverage by small newspapers and winner of the 2016 Al Smith Award for public service through community journalism in Kentucky.
- Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley, who is a former legislator, attorney and television journalist.
- Understand the depth and breadth of the problem and how it affects local communities
- Know how to get reliable data and other local information for reporting
- Develop local, state, regional and national sources for stories and story ideas
- Hear reporters explain how they cover the problem and the people affected by it
- Appreciate the role of local news media in reducing the stigma that inhibit local action