NAREE President's Letter

Dion Haynes, Washington Post

NAREE’s 2018 Leaders to Aim for Avenues to Promote High Caliber Journalism

Fake news. These days journalism – and those who produce it – are being attacked on several fronts.

News organizations large and small are doing lots of soul searching to combat the attacks while raising standards to ensure journalists' work stands up to the heightened scrutiny.

NAREE is no different. Of course, our annual contest and conference sessions are designed to promote and encourage high-quality journalism. But board members have been discussing other ways to highlight rigorous reporting standards and build credibility in our journalist members.

Several ideas are under review. We hope to have our work complete and be ready to make some announcements at the June conference. What I can share with you now is we've enlisted Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism to judge our annual contest. Northwestern, one of the top journalism schools in the nation, will give our contest even more validity than it already has.

One area I'd like to focus on this year is highlighting the tremendous talent we have in NAREE. We are in good hands. Not only do we have a fantastic and dedicated executive director in Mary Doyle-Kimball, but we have highly accomplished new leaders who were recently elected to our board: 

Beth DeCarbo, vice president, is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's Mansion section.

Alice Muncaster, second vice president, is director of communications for The Counselors of Real Estate and a former Associated Press reporter.

Jason Hidalgo, treasurer, is an economic development reporter for the Reno Gazette- Journal.

Shonda Novak, secretary, is a real estate writer for the Austin American-Statesman.

Jeff Ostrowski, active director, is a real estate and economic development reporter for the Palm Beach Post in Florida.

Lorraine Woellert, active director, is a housing and financial services policy reporter for POLITICO.

Scott Trubey, active director, is the commercial real estate and economic development reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Michael Walsh, associate director, is founder and publisher of The Real Reporter and

I'm real estate editor at The Washington Post. (See full board list in About Us.)

This year, I'd like us to find a way to draw more attention to members who are past contest winners. A Grammy or Oscar winner is always identified as such. Maybe we could do something similar. For instance, in introducing moderators and panelists we could refer to them as multiple gold winner John Smith. I think it's important to identify these people so that they can serve as role models for our younger and newer members.

I encourage everyone to familiarize yourself with each other's work. Feel free to reach out to our members with expertise in the type of reporting that you might need help in.

I'd also like to see us look out for one another more. If you're a plugged in member, try to befriend a newcomer. If you're a newcomer, don't hesitate to network with and seek mentoring from our longer-time members. This is a friendly organization and you'll develop great friendships here.

Lastly, we want you to know that we're here to serve you. If you have any questions or ideas for sessions, speakers or topics please let us know. Feel free to contact Mary at or me at

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Las Vegas!

Hone Your Skills and Pick Up New Ones

         Our Las Vegas conference, from June 13 to 16, will feature professional-development panels organized by NAREE Vice President Beth DeCarbo of the Wall Street Journal.

         We’re still fine-tuning the program, but here are a few highlights:

  • Hashtag #YOU: Build your personal brand to generate Likes, Followers, and Retweets. Use keywords, photos and other SEO strategies to build audience numbers. How your digital profile can attract scoops and exclusives. Position your work to silence the noise of FAKE NEWS. Make yourself impervious to the next buyout--or create a bidding war when applying for your next (better) job
  • Deal With It: Poise and professionalism in an era of snark and sarcasm. How to handle angry readers, hostile sources and pushy pitches. Call out harassment and other inappropriate behavior. Learn to respond and move on (and not go crazy)
  • New Media Species Editors’ Forum: Hacks on how to maintain the highest standards in a real-time, digital-first newsroom. Strategies to ensure that your work is both fast and accurate. Getting sources on the record and confirming leads on background. Digital resources for fact-checking. Stay current online with a developing story.
  • Map Wizardry: Tools for geographic real-estate research. Understand geomapping and decipher satellite images. Pinpoint neighborhoods and ZIP Codes for deep dives into data. Overlay maps with real-estate data. Use Pictometry and street views to acquire digital images (plus: Drone dos and don'ts)

More on our Las Vegas Conference HERE

Send Us Your Best Work 

         Submissions for NAREE’s 68th annual journalism contest are due by March 1, and we’ll announce the winners on June 15 in Las Vegas. The competition features more than 90 awards for reporting, writing and editing, plus relatively new categories that showcase photography and social media. Enter your best residential, commercial or business real estate stories online.

         Need an additional incentive, beyond the recognition? We’ll give out cash prizes to the top award winners in 30-plus categories. There also are banner awards for the best overall entry, the best freelance collection and the best young journalist.

More on our Annual Journalism Competition HERE