Ethics in An Upside-Down World

    September 22, 2020
    11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
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    We're in an upside-down world facing a tide of misinformation from more sources than ever. Join PRSA Memphis for an in-depth conversation about how ethics should guide the work of reporters & public relations practitioners in this uncharted time.


    Kimberly Speros Rossie, APR | Director, Strategic Communications | Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

    Kim Speros Rossie, APR is a strategic communications practitioner with more than 13 years of experience helping clients build relationships with their stakeholders through public relations and marketing campaigns. As director of strategic communications for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, she leads a team of six, responsible for internal communications, media relations and executive communications. Kim’s experience includes St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Youth Villages; the Mid-South’s largest full-service agency, Archer Malmo; and Baptist Memorial Health Care. Kim has served in multiple roles on the boards of the Public Relations Society of America’s Memphis Chapter and Southeast District, where she served as district chair in 2018, representing the district’s 12 chapters and nearly 2,500 members on a national level. She also served on the PRSA International Nominating Committee in 2019. In 2015, Kim was named Professional of the Year by the Memphis Chapter of PRSA and was a Bronze Anvil Winner in 2019.

    Montee Lopez | News Producer | Hearst Television

    Montee Lopez is an award-winning producer based out of Birmingham, AL. He’s had an extensive career spanning across three states, most of his time being spent in Memphis, TN as a TV news producer at WATN (Local 24 News) and a freelance reporter for Black-owned “The New Tri-State Defender”.

    As previous president of the Memphis Association of Black Journalists, Montee encourages people to find the story within the story - meaning there’s almost more that meets the eye and is worth telling above surface level. He also encourages Diversity & inclusion within newsrooms.

    Kirstin Garris | Reporter & Fill-in Anchor | FOX 13 News

    Kirstin (KEAR-sten) Garriss is a reporter and fill-in anchor at FOX13 News where she covers just about everything from city and county politics, breaking news, extreme weather and enterprise features. During her time in Memphis, Kirstin has covered the inauguration of Governor Bill Lee, the Memphis mayoral election and most recently, she walked several miles a night for more than a week with protesters after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arberry.

    Before coming to Memphis, Kirstin was the Government Reporter for Spectrum News in Charlotte, NC, a statewide hyper-local cable station. During her time in Charlotte, she covered some of the city’s biggest stories including the passage, fallout and repeal of House Bill Two, the officer-involved shooting death of Keith Scott, along with the protests that followed, and the historic election of Mayor Vi Lyles, the city’s first African woman to become mayor. Kirstin got her start in Hagerstown, MD where she covered the Maryland General Assembly. She also covered the 2012 election as a production assistant with NBC News in Washington, D.C. Kirstin is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors (also known as IRE). Kirstin grew up in Raleigh, NC and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Karanja A. Ajanaku | Executive Editor & Associate Publisher | The New Tri-State Defender

    Karanja A. Ajanaku was named Executive Editor of The New Tri-State Defender in June of 2007, with the additional title of Associate Publisher in 2018. A veteran journalist with 43 years of experience, including 26 ½ years at The Commercial Appeal, he is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia (1977). Born April 26, 1955 in Natchitoches, La., he grew up in Kansas City, Mo. Prior to September 1986, he was known by the name Leroy Williams Jr. He earned a “grassroots doctorate” from the Greater Works Biblical College in Atlanta, with an emphasis on psychosocial research, specifically the phenomenology of slavery. In conjunction with his research, he changed his name to Karanja Aidoo Ajanaku, which means “The guide who puts things in place/sets things in order for free and wealthy people.” He is the father of twins and has three grandchildren.


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