Roger Tatarian Symposium to explore the power of online journalism

John Chase, Devin Katayama, Larry Phillips and Denise Zapata.

A panel of top media professionals from around the country will discuss “The Power of Online Journalism and Can it Save Local News?” at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Peters Business Room 191. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Parking is $5 in lot P6. 


John Chase, director of investigations at the Better Government Association
John Chase, director of investigations at the Better Government Association

John Chase is the director of investigations at the Better Government Association. He was named to the post after 18 years as a general assignment, political and investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. John also has worked as a reporter for the Daily Herald News Group and the City News Service in Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.

Devin Katayama, reporter at KQED News
Devin Katayama, reporter at KQED News

Devin Katayama is a reporter covering the East Bay for KQED News. Previously, he was the education reporter for WFPL in Louisville and worked as a producer with radio stations in Chicago and Portland, OR. His work has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Takeaway and Here and Now. Devin earned his master’s in journalism from Columbia College Chicago, where he was a Follett Fellow and the recipient of the 2011 Studs Terkel Community Media Workshop Scholarship for his story on Chicago’s homeless youth. He won WBUR’s 2014 Daniel Schorr award and a regional RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for his documentary “At Risk” that looked at issues facing some of Louisville’s students.

Larry Phillips, editor of Richland Source
Larry Phillips, editor of Richland Source

Larry Phillips is an author, editor, and writer with more than 100 writing and editing awards at the international, national and statewide levels. Today he is the editor of Richland Source, a hyper-local online news agency in north-central Ohio. Larry is a 30-year news veteran who graduated from Ohio University with a journalism degree in 1989. He has worked as a news reporter, sports reporter, lifestyle editor, sports editor, city editor, news editor, and managing editor. He started at Richland Source in October 2015, and it has grown fourfold under his leadership while expanding to three surrounding counties for news sites at Ashland Source, Crawford Source and Knox Pages all under the parent company, Richland Source. He has written two books, Ohio’s Autumn Legends (Volume I & II), focused on a personal passion topic, Ohio high school football. Both are available on

Denise Zapata, senior editor at EdSource
Denise Zapata, senior editor at EdSource

Denise Zapata is the senior editor at EdSource. Previously she was an associate editor for The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she was part of a project team that won a George Polk Award and another that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Denise began her journalism career at The Bakersfield Californian, where she covered several topics, including higher education, and later became an editor. She then joined The San Diego Union-Tribune as an assistant metro editor. Her duties there included overseeing education coverage for south San Diego County. Denise is a Bay Area native and a graduate of Santa Clara University. 

The Department of Media, Communication and Journalism has hosted 11 the Roger Tatarian Symposiums since 2004. These events bring top national and international journalists to share with Fresno State and the broader community about important media issues of the day.

Roger Tatarian served as a reporter and editor for the United Press International (UPI) for 34 years. He covered many major stories around the globe, served as bureau chief in London and Rome, and was Washington, D.C, news editor. In 1967, he became UPI editor-in-chief. He retired from UPI in 1972 and joined the journalism faculty at Fresno State, where he taught for 15 years.

The symposium is sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities and the Institute for Media and Public Trust.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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