The Washington Journalism and Media Conference


Nicholas Johnston


Publisher, Axios

Nicholas Johnston is the Publisher of Axios, where he focuses primarily on Axios Pro and other major newsroom initiatives. Previously, he was Axios’ editor-in-chief where he led the entire Axios newsroom and the launch of Axios Local. Nick was previously managing editor at Bloomberg where he oversaw newsletters and breaking news coverage in Washington. He also served as a reporter for Bloomberg where he covered the White House, Capitol Hill and the 2008 presidential campaign. Nick began his journalism career at The Washington Post.


Randi Richardson


Reporter, and

Randi Richardson is a proud Michigan supremacist who currently lives in Brooklyn. She’s a reporter at and covering race and culture, and she’s an alumna of Brown University. She attended WJMC in 2012 and it changed her career trajectory. She’s covered the pandemic, the Capitol insurrection, the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, higher education, award shows and more. She’s interviewed secretaries of state, congresspeople, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross and other stars. She loves all things Jesus, joy and justice and wishes she could teleport. Her dream is to defy humidity so her natural hair can actually survive one spring day. Her instagram is @randirichnbc.


Nisha Chittal


Managing Editor,

Nisha Chittal is the Managing Editor at, where she leads editorial planning and strategy across text, audio, and video, and oversees the audience, off-platform, and style & standards teams.

Previously, she has led editorial and audience teams at several media organizations including MSNBC, NBC News, and Travel Channel. In 2016, she was named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” in Media. In 2018, she was selected to participate in ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator.

She also occasionally writes about food and culture for Vox, and has previously written for,, Elle, Racked, Jezebel, Poynter, and other publications. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

She also writes a bi-weekly newsletter curating good things to read and good things to cook every other week.


Adeline Mishler


Staff Business Transformation Consultant, Ernst & Young

Adeline Mishler currently works at Ernst & Young (EY) as a staff business transformation consultant in their Government and Public Sector consulting practice.  In her current role, she specializes in using communications and change management strategies to empower federal, state, and local governments to solve their most complex challenges.

Before starting her career at EY, Adeline graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with degree in Business Management and minors Corporate Communications, Civic and Community Engagement, and the Legal Environment of Business.

Her background, interests, and passions are rooted in driving change to create a better world with a focus on communications, media, and change management. Her pervious experiences have included interning at entities and organizations including The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Penn State’s Office of Government and Community Relations, The Cambria Region Chamber of Commerce, and The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

Outside of her current role, Adeline has a never-fading passion for community revitalization, social entrepreneurship, economic development, and youth civic engagement; she hopes to use communications as a mechanism to power lasting change in our world.

Adeline is a proud 2015 alumnus of WJMC and enthusiastic to be back. Adeline would like to thank WJMC for propelling the trajectory of her early education and professional interests.


Buzz McClain


Director of Communications, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

Veteran columnist, critic, reporter, and editor Buzz McClain covered movies and pop culture for 20 years at major magazines and wrote about music and musicians for a decade at the Washington Post before NBC Sports lured him away to cover rugby football.  He now is director of communications for the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, which is also his alma mater and the school that taught him everything he needed to know about surviving a career in journalism.


George Charles Kueppers


Adjunct Faculty, Communication, George Mason University

George Kueppers is a full time Account Executive in the civic communication tech industry in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct faculty member of the Communication Department at George Mason University, where he also received his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Communication.  George is originally from Minnesota, and obtained Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Global Studies from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. When he’s not teaching or working on his doctoral studies and research, George enjoys playing music, video games, binging TV shows, watching sports, playing hockey, tennis, and basketball, and snowboarding. George’s research interests have spanned many sub-disciplines of communication, from political to strategic to environmental and risk communication and most recently health communication. Overall, George is interested in studying the dynamic relationships between communication, learning, and behavior, and his dissertation research explored this intersection in the context of interpersonal mental health communication and help-seeking. George has been a student of communication since the 7th grade when he joined his high school’s Speech & Debate (aka “competitive forensics”) Team, and is proud to be a graduate assistant here in the Communication Department at George Mason University.


Eric Lee


Freelance Photojournalist

Eric Lee is a freelance photojournalist based in Washington, D.C. He photographs stories about identity, community, and resilience.  His work has been featured in The Atlantic, Bloomberg, National Geographic, New York Magazine, New Yorker, NPR, Reuters, Texas Tribune, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and others. A native New Yorker, Lee earned his B.A. in film studies at Gettysburg College in 2015 and graduated with a M.A. in new media photojournalism at the Corcoran School of Arts and Design in 2020.


Michael D. Shear


White House Correspondent, The New York Times

Michael D. Shear is a White House correspondent and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter in the Washington bureau, where he covers President Biden, with a focus on domestic policy, the regulatory state and life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  A veteran political correspondent, he has covered the White House for 13 years, including the Trump and Obama presidencies.

Mr. Shear joined The Times in 2010, and has written extensively about national politics and policy-making in Washington. He documented Mr. Obama’s history-making presidency, including extensive reporting on passage of the Affordable Care Act and unsuccessful efforts at comprehensive immigration reform. He covered all four years of Mr. Trump’s chaotic presidency, and is the co-author of “BORDER WARS: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration,” published in 2019 by Simon & Schuster. Mr. Shear reported from Capitol Hill during the first Trump impeachment, documenting the attempt by Democrats to oust him from office over his effort to strong-arm Ukraine’s government for dirt on a political opponent.

During 2020, Mr. Shear worked with investigative teams at The Times to document the Trump administration’s response to the Covid crisis. He was a leading member of the team that won the Pulitzer Public Service prize for the paper’s coverage of the pandemic and its health and economic consequences. As he did during each of the prior two administrations, Mr. Shear travels the world with Mr. Biden, including a recent trip to Europe for a high-stakes meeting with President Putin of Russia.

Before coming to The Times in 2010, Mr. Shear spent 18 years at The Washington Post, writing about local communities, school districts, state politics, the 2008 presidential campaign and the White House. A member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, Mr. Shear is a 1990 graduate of Claremont McKenna College and has a masters in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He has two college-age children and lives in Washington with his wife.


Alexis Johnson


Correspondent, VICE News

Alexis Johnson is a correspondent for VICE News based in Washington D.C. A Pittsburgh native, Alexis graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania before going on to get a master’s degree in Media Studies and Production from Temple University.  Alexis started out her professional career in journalism as an on-air local TV news reporter in West Virginia before switching to digital and print news. After leaving her role as a breaking news reporter for in New Jersey, Alexis was hired at the Post-Gazette as a Digital News Editor in 2018 before switching to a reporting role in 2020. 

Alexis joined VICE in October 2020, and has since covered the 2020 general election, the Georgia Senate Runoff, the Insurrection, the Inauguration of President Joe Biden, the Derek Chauvin verdict, plus pandemic-related stories about mental health as well as vaccinations. Alexis has also covered topics like voting rights, police accountability, what’s next for the Black Lives Matter movement, Black spirituality and systemic racism in agriculture.

Alexis is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists as well as Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.


Charles Bramesco


Freelance Film and TV Critic

Charles Bramesco is a freelance film and TV critic living in Brooklyn.  A former staff writer for Rolling Stone, he has also been featured in the New York Times, New York Magazine, the Guardian, and many other fine publications. His first book, a volume on vampire movies for the “Close-Ups” series from Little White Lies, is now on US and UK shelves, and his to-be-announced second book will be published in early 2023. His favorite movie is Boogie Nights.