Instructor

Jillian Banner

Jillian Banner is assistant editor for video strategy at Poynter, based in Washington, D.C. In this role, she works with local newsrooms to create video content tailored to younger audiences. Her previous experience includes working on documentaries for The Atlantic, editing a weekly YouTube series, and producing videos for a national nonprofit. She has also directed her own short nonfiction films, which have screened at various film festivals. Jillian is originally from California and graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Cinema & Media Studies.

Kristyn Wellesley

Kristyn Wellesley is the Editorial Director of the MediaWise project, which aims to teach teenagers media literacy skills and how to be critical media consumers in this age of misinformation.

Prior to joining Poynter in January 2020, Kristyn was an editor with the USA TODAY Network in various roles, including Regional Breaking News Editor for the USA TODAY Network-Southwest Florida, and Politics NOW Editor and Content Strategy Analyst for USA TODAY. She has led teams covering major breaking news events, including Hurricane Irma and the shootings at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and worked with the USA TODAY Washington, D.C. bureau on coverage of the recent impeachment hearings. She has previously been a digital editor with the Palm Beach Post and the Cincinnati Enquirer, and digital director for FOX19-WXIX in Cincinnati.

Kristyn holds a master’s degree in International Journalism from City, University of London and a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, and is a proud 2018 graduate of Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Media.

Ahsante Bean

Ahsante is Editor & Program Manager, Video Strategy at Poynter, where she’s focusing on developing innovative digital content with local newsrooms to reach younger audiences.

Prior to joining Poynter, Ahsante was an Associate Director of Programming at PBS Digital Studios. There, she worked on editorial and content development for a slate of 20 educational online video series including It’s Okay to be Smart, Physics Girl, and The Art Assignment. She also created and executive produced Say It Loud, a PBS digital series celebrating Black history, culture, and achievement. Prior to PBS, she worked in Children’s Programming at WGBH, and as a Multimedia Storyteller at the global design firm IDEO.

Ahsante has a background in video production and currently creates videos on her personal YouTube channel as “Ahsante the Artist”. There, she makes videos on personal development and social awareness that inspire her audience to move consciously and creatively through life. Ahsante has been a featured creator at VidCon, the largest international conference for online video, and is a 2018 YouTube NextUp winner. She has produced content for Microsoft, WNET, and VSPINK, among others. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, MSNBC, The Root, and in the Museum of the Moving Image.

Ahsante holds a B.A. in Visual and Environmental Studies: Film/Video from Harvard University. She is currently based in Washington, D.C.

Alexa Volland

Alexa Volland is a multimedia reporter with the MediaWise project. Before joining Poynter, she was the web editor for the Tampa Bay Times’ high school newspaper, tb-two*. She then went on to join the Times’ features department as a copy editor and designer. Prior to that, she was a journalism teacher in Pinellas County. She graduated from the University of Florida, where she studied journalism and education.

Alex Mahadevan

Alex Mahadevan is senior multimedia reporter with the MediaWise project.

He most recently worked as a data journalist at the personal finance startup The Penny Hoarder. Prior to that, Mahadevan served as the news innovation editor at Observer Media Group. He has covered politics, real estate and development and breaking news.

Cristina Tardáguila, Assistant Director of the International Fact-checking Network

Cristina Tardáguila

Cristina Tardáguila is the International Fact-Checking Network’s Associate Director. She was born in May 1980, in Brazil, and has lived in Rio de Janeiro for most of her life. Since 2014, Tardáguila has dedicated her professional life to verification. She is the founder of Agência Lupa, the first fact-checking initiative in her country, and also responsible for LupaEducação, its educational branch.

Tardáguila studied Journalism at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and got her master’s degree, also in Journalism, from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, in Madrid (Spain). In 2017, she added to her resumé an MBA on Digital Marketing, from Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV-Rio de Janeiro), and is now considered one of the strongest media entrepreneurs in her country.

As a reporter and/or an editor, Tardáguila has worked in some of the most important media outlets in Brazil: O Globo, Folha de S.Paulo, Globo.com and revista piauí. She has also published two books: “A Arte do Descaso” (in 2016), about the biggest art heist in Brazil – still an unsolved crime. And “Você foi Enganado” (2018), about presidential false claims heard in Brazilian politics since 1920.

Her interest in dis/misinformation combat has taken her to TEDx’s red carpet twice and has turned her into elPeriodico’s best journalist of 2018. This award is annually given by Grupo Zeta, in Spain, to the most impressive journalist of the year. Tardaguila has also been nominated for Premio Gabriel García Marquez, in Colombia, and Prêmio Comunique-se, in Brazil. Both in their innovation categories.

Tardáguila is married, has a daughter and is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish.

Roy Peter Clark

Roy Peter Clark is a writer, editor and teacher of writing who has become a writing coach to an international community of students, journalists and writers of many sorts. He is former vice president of The Poynter Institute and founded the National Writers Workshop. Clark has appeared frequently on media on the topics of ethics in journalism and other writing issues. He is author or editor of 19 books on writing, language, journalism and grammar, including “Writing Tools,” “The Glamour of Grammar” and “How to Write Short.”

Heaven Taylor-Wynn

Heaven Taylor-Wynn is a recent graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, where she majored in telecommunication with a specialization in news. She previously interned at PolitiFact and returns to Poynter as a multimedia reporter with the MediaWise project.

Baybars Örsek

Baybars Örsek is the director of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute, the premier global coalition of fact-checking organizations.  He launched some internationally recognized initiatives on fact-checking and open data and had acted as a board member of the IFCN since December of 2016. In that capacity, he took an active part in overseeing the fact-checking project’s applications to join the network as verified signatories.

Before joining the International Fact-Checking Network; Örsek founded Turkey’s first and only political fact-checking project Doğruluk Payı (Share of Truth) in 2014 and Turkey’s open data platform Veri Kaynagi (Data Source), as the founding chairman of Turkey’s leading media non-profit Izlemedeyiz (On Watch). In 2018, he led the efforts in organizing the first international fact-checking conference in Antalya, Turkey, bringing fact-checkers together the first time in the region.

He is a frequent expert source for major media outlets around the world, including the Voice of America and the BBC. He and his works are awarded respectively by the Transparency International and Sabanci Foundation Turkey.

Baybars Örsek is a member of the board of trustees at TESEV, Turkey’s oldest think tank. Before founding On Watch and launching Doğruluk Payı in 2014, he worked at his alma mater Istanbul Bilgi University. Örsek holds a BA degree in international relations and an MA degree in conflict resolution.

Tom Jones

Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for Poynter.org. He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30 years, and has also worked for the Tampa Tribune and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Through his sports columns, including his popular weekly critique of sports on TV and radio called “Two Cents,” Tom has established himself as one of the most respected and accessible columnists in America today. He has a superb knack for blending the expertise gained from his reporting and rich network of sources, with the sensibilities of his audience. The result is work that is smart, easy to read and wonderfully resonant.

 

Aaron Sharockman

Aaron Sharockman is the executive director of PolitiFact, the largest fact-checking organization in the United States. Aaron leads the growth and development of PolitiFact, manages its outreach and news partnerships, and oversees new initiatives and product development. Aaron has been with PolitiFact since 2010 and served most recently as the editor of PunditFact, a website dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows. Aaron was a 2016-17 Reynolds Fellow at the University of Missouri and taught a class on political fact-checking at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

View all articles by Aaron Sharockman

Katie Sanders

Katie Sanders is the managing editor of PolitiFact. Previously, she fact-checked talking heads and opinion-shapers for PunditFact as well as the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott for PolitiFact Florida, reporting from the Tallahassee bureau of the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she majored in English and journalism.

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Ren LaForme

Ren LaForme is the Digital Tools Reporter for Poynter.org. He runs Try This! — Tools for Journalism, which is an effort to find, share and provide training around the best digital tools for journalists.

He also frequently uses his vanity title, Executive Director of Awesome.

Ren is one-half of the duo responsible for 40 Better Hours, a project to improve the workweek. He is also the cofounder of ONA’s Tampa Bay chapter and cofounder of Tampa Bay Media & Digital, a meetup group for locals who work in news media or on the internet.

Josie Hollingsworth

Josie Hollingsworth is PolitiFact’s audience engagement editor. Previously, she worked in audience engagement, expanding social platforms and website production at The Seattle Times and the Tampa Bay Times. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in Spanish literature and interactive multimedia journalism.

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Angie Holan

Angie Drobnic Holan is the editor of PolitiFact. She previously was deputy editor, and before that a reporter for PolitiFact, helping launch the site in 2007. She was a member of the PolitiFact team that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 election. She previously worked at newspapers in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and New Mexico.

She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master’s of library science from the University of South Florida. Her undergraduate degree is from the Plan II liberal arts program at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a native of Louisiana and attended the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts.

View all articles by Angie Drobnic Holan