Keynote Panel

World-class journalists and newsroom leaders discuss the future of news, strategies for diversity and inclusion, and the value of veterans’ lived experience to news reporting.

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#MVJ2021 Day 2

Priya Sridhar

Political Reporter at NBC San Diego

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Priya Sridhar is an Emmy-award winning political reporter and host of “Politically Speaking,” a weekly political show that airs on Sundays on NBC 7. She comes to NBC San Diego from KPBS where she worked as a general assignment reporter and fill-in host for the station’s radio and television programs.

Prior to San Diego, Priya worked as an investigative and general assignment reporter for the CBS affiliate in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to local news, Priya has worked as a White House correspondent and morning show co-host in New York City for Arise News, a 24 hour international news channel headquartered out of Nigeria. She has also worked as a Washington correspondent and anchor for RT and went on to work for that channel as a South Asia bureau chief and correspondent posted in New Delhi, India.

She began her career at the NBC affiliates in Maine and has also worked at the Associated Press in Chicago. Priya received her undergraduate degree in International Relations and History from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She also graduated from Phillips Academy. 

Some of the most impactful stories she’s covered in her career include the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri for the Associated Press and the historic 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria.

Priya is originally from outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She is a proud first generation American, her parents are immigrants from India. She is an officer in the United States Navy Reserve and fell in love with San Diego through her work in the Navy. She is the co-President of Asian American Journalists Association San Diego, on the board of directors for Military Veterans in Journalism, and was selected to be a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ron Nixon

Global Investigations Editor at The Associated Press

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Ron Nixon is the global investigations editor for the Associated Press, where he oversees teams of reporters around the world and infuses the AP’s global news report with accountability reporting and a strong investigative ethos.

Nixon joined the AP in early 2019 as international investigations editor, managing a team of investigative reporters in the U.S. and abroad. In that role, he has guided the AP’s ongoing coverage of the war in Yemen, including investigations that found the United Nations was investigating corruption in its own agencies, and uncovering efforts by Houthi rebels to block aid efforts.

Nixon also edited a major investigation into opioid producer Mundipharma’s sales tactics in China. Based on a trove of internal documents and former sales reps, it revealed the company was using the same marketing tactics in China that allegedly contributed to the opioid crisis in the United States.

Nixon and his team also helped AP repeatedly break news about how those close to President Donald Trump, including his personal lawyer, sought profits in the Ukraine while trying to dig up dirt on the president’s rivals. And he oversaw a reporting partnership with PBS Frontline looking into the Trump administration’s treatment of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Prior to joining the AP, Nixon was homeland security correspondent for the New York Times, based in Washington, where he covered border and aviation security, immigration, cybercrime and violent extremism.

He has reported in recent years from Mexico, Belgium, Rwanda, Uganda, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other places. He is the author of the book “Selling Apartheid: South Africa’s Global Propaganda War,” and is the co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society, which trains journalists of color in investigative reporting.

Nixon previously worked as data editor at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, as training director at Investigative Reporters and Editors, and as an environment and investigative reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia.

Paul Szoldra

Editor-in-Chief at Task and Purpose

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Paul Szoldra is a reporter and editor focused on national security issues, military service members, and veterans. He has served as the editor in chief of Task & Purpose since 2018, and has bylines at Business Insider, Tech Insider, We Are The Mighty, and other outlets. He founded Duffel Blog, an influential military satire site, in 2012.

His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, MSNBC, CBS News, USA Today, ABC News, Huffington Post, and the Columbia Journalism Review. It has also been cited by the Department of Defense, U.S. Army, House Armed Services Committee, House Judiciary Committee, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and in various books.

Prior to becoming a journalist, he served as a U.S. Marine infantryman for eight years, deploying to the Indo-Pacific region and Afghanistan, and serving as combat instructor at the School of Infantry. In 2019, he served as one of the first board members of Military Veterans in Journalism.

LaSharah Bunting

Vice President/Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster

LaSharah S. Bunting is Vice President and Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster. She previously served as the Director/Journalism at Knight Foundation, where she managed a portfolio of grants and initiatives focused on advancing organizational transformation and diversity in journalism. Prior to joining Knight, LaSharah spent nearly 14 years at The New York Times, where she led digital and organizational transformation across the newsroom and served in various editing roles. She began her career as an editor at The Dallas Morning News. She serves on the board of directors of Dow Jones News Fund and the Digital Diversity Network, and on the advisory board of Military Veterans in Journalism.

Brianna Keilar

CNN Anchor

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Brianna Keilar is anchor of CNN’s morning show “New Day,” airing Monday through Friday from 6 to 9 a.m.

Previously, Keilar was anchor of “CNN Right Now,” which aired weekdays at 1 p.m. and included reporting on the day’s biggest stories, as well as hard-hitting interviews with major newsmakers. Throughout 2020, Keilar played a pivotal role in the network’s expanded coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. She has also pushed for increased government accountability through her regular “Roll the Tape” segments on a wide variety of political topics and figures. Keilar is also the author of Home Front, a column that focuses on military families in hopes of bridging the military-civilian divide. 

Prior to becoming an anchor in November 2018, Keilar was CNN’s senior Washington correspondent, responsible for covering important stories on politics, policy and breaking news in Washington. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Keilar served as the lead reporter covering Hillary Clinton and the Democratic field. Keilar also served as senior White House correspondent for CNN, reporting on the Obama administration from the nation’s capital and from around the world. In this post she covered several key stories for the network from the government shutdown to Obamacare, for which she earned a 2014 Aldo Beckman Memorial Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association. In addition, during America’s Choice 2012 coverage, Keilar reported on President Obama’s campaign, the Democratic National Convention, and contributed to the network’s Emmy Award-winning election night coverage.

Prior to covering the White House, Keilar served as a congressional correspondent, responsible for covering the activities of both the U.S. House and Senate. For her fall 2008 coverage of the $700 billion bank bailout, she was awarded the National Press Foundation’s Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress. Prior to covering Congress, Keilar served as a general assignment correspondent for the network, reporting on a wide-range of stories, including the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, where she was the first CNN correspondent on the ground.

Keilar first joined CNN in 2006 as a correspondent for CNN Newsource, where she provided breaking news coverage and reported from the nation’s capital for approximately 800 CNN Newsource partner stations. She joined Newsource from CBS News where she served as an anchor, reporter and producer for a CBS newscast that aired on mtvU, MTV’s college network. She was also a fill-in anchor on CBS News’ overnight newscast, Up to the Minute, and a freelance reporter for CBS Evening News Weekend Edition.

Prior to working for CBS, Keilar was a general assignment reporter in Yakima, Wash., for the CNN and CBS affiliate, KIMA-TV. During that same time, she also worked in radio as a morning show personality and weekend news reader. Keilar began her journalism career as a production assistant and intern at KTVU-TV, a CNN and FOX affiliate in San Francisco.

Keilar graduated Phi Beta Kappa with bachelor’s degrees in mass communications and psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Follow Brianna on Twitter @BriKeilarCNN and on Instagram @BriannaKeilar.