Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Journalism

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Are We Not Men? Reaching New American Dads

    by Craig Heimbuch

    Men's media has changed tremendously - almost as much as men and dads have. Today's dads are active in every aspect of the household, from parenting to chores, and yet, they are largely overlooked as readers and consumers.

    New American Dads are thirsty for knowledge and a community that speaks their common language - that of the real man. The new language of men helps Jacks of all trades learn how to be better at all of them, retain their essential masculinity and perform well in a new paradigm of family, work and self. Traditional media outlets - those that espouse the virtues of supposedly manly interests ($10,000 suits, rare scotch and women, women, women) are missing an opportunity to serve this emerging male marked.

    In order to speak 'Dad,' media must speak to the realities of his life, his priorities, responsibilities, aspirations and, above all else, be useful. The growing online media directed at the New American Dad understands that service journalism - that which seeks to inform as well as entertain - is the next evolution in the daddy blogger.

    Blogs have their place, but in order to effect change in men's media, online resources must engage the reader in a conversation, one in which the consumer walks away feeling better informed than they had before engaging the site.

    Service journalism - how-tos, how it works and best-of lists - have practical applications in readers' lives, thus engendering loyalty and creating conversations with a long overlooked population, while developing an audience for whom older media models based on supposed aspiration and stereotype have little meaningful impact.

    Speak to dads in their language, encourage them to speak back, teach them something they can use and entertain them - this is the next evolution of men's media.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Rio Grande A, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Changing News Rooms and News Consumers

    by Bruce Koon, Andrew Haeg, Emily Bell and Lisa Frazier

    How are newsrooms adjusting to the changing digital news environment? How do they balance transparency and objectivity? How are news consumers responding to information published in new ways? What behaviors and skills are news consumers developing to help them negotiate and evaluate the validity and trustworthiness of the news? What mores and values are emerging from news producers and consumers?

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Creekside, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • The Impact of Social Media Tools in Mexico

    by Amy Schmitz Weiss, Gabriela Warkentin, Judith Torrea, David Sasaki and Javier Garza

    This panel provides a unique perspective to the development and impact of social media tools in Mexico today. This panel features journalists from Mexico who will discuss how they use social media tools in their news organizations on a daily basis. In addition, they will discuss how Mexican citizens are using Twitter as a way to respond the lack of information in the newspapers that are under threat of drug traffickers. As news organizations have been forced to practice self-censorship after so many assassinations and kidnappings of journalists, citizens and even journalists have been using social media as the last resort to spread the news. In addition, Twitter has been used by the local Mexican government to inform the citizenry about dangerous areas because of drug trafficking. The journalists in this panel will discuss their own experience and use of social media, but also how society is using it.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Sabine, Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown

  • Brand Journalism: The Rise of Non-Fiction Advertising

    by Bob Garfield, David Eastman, Kyle Monson and Brian Clark

    Hard to believe it's been 11 years since The Cluetrain Manifesto, and we're still doing the same f***ing panel. And we're still trying to teach big companies and ad agencies how to communicate like humans, how to listen, and how to use transparency as a messaging tactic.

    Brand Journalism is a way to take those decade-old ideas and incorporate them into actual campaigns (we know, we've done it). The first step is to teach agencies and clients to think like publishers instead of marketers--it's not a new idea, but it's one that is rarely executed well.

    In this panel, Brand Journalism pioneers will share some of the secrets, successes, and obstacles of their award-winning campaigns.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom F, Austin Convention Center

  • Open Wide: New Models for Public Media

    by Greg Pak, Orlando Bagwell, Sue Schardt and Jacquie Jones

    Interactive graphic novel mash ups, mobile transmedia scavenger hunts, service corps? As innovative technologies transform our society, encouraging and strengthening civic participation, conversation and interaction through social and mobile media, great concern still exists regarding the accessibility of credible and up-to-date information among communities of color, low-income users, senior citizens and others. A growing consensus is that today’s public media must do more to fully reflect the public’s needs and engage the entire range of community members at the local level. As noted in the influential 2009 Knight Commission report, Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age, America needs to support local resources and institutions to ensure that democratic values of openness, inclusion, participation, and empowerment thrive across all appropriate media, engaging members of the public in their role as active citizens. But what are the elements of a 21st century public media that meets the needs of our increasingly diverse and sophisticated publics? Who are the partners poised to realize the vision of Public Media 2.0, to create an ecosystem that is “more local, more inclusive and more interactive,” as the Knight Commission Report put it. Architects of and participants in three provocative prototypes that push the boundaries of public media will share their experiences working with communities of various kinds, with various needs to create new models.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Capitol View Terrace, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Yes, It's Quiz Time: News as Infotainment

    by Evan Smith, Julia Turner and Elise Hu

    Comedy shows and interactive quizzes have become popular ways to consume journalism today. This session will address the successes and limits of providing serious news in entertaining ways.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Capitol A-D, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Bloggers vs. Journalists: It's a Psychological Thing

    by Lisa Williams and Jay Rosen

    I wrote my essay, Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over, in 2005. And it should be over. After all, lots of journalists happily blog, lots of bloggers journalize and everyone is trying to figure out what's sustainable online. But there's something else going on, and I think I've figured out a piece of it: these two Internet types, amateur bloggers and pro journalists, are actually each other's ideal "other."

    A big reason they keep struggling with each other lies at the level of psychology, not in the particulars of the disputes and flare-ups that we continue to see online. The relationship is essentially neurotic, on both sides. Bloggers can't let go of Big Daddy media— the towering figure of the MSM — and still be bloggers. Pro journalists, meanwhile, project fears about the Internet and loss of authority onto the figure of the pajama-wearing blogger. This is a construction of their own and a key part of a whole architecture of denial that has weakened in recent years, but far too slowly.

    The only way we can finally kill this meme--bloggers vs. journalists--and proceed into a brighter and pro-am future for interactive journalism is to go right at the psychological element in it: the denial, the projection, the neuroses, the narcissism, the grandiosity, the rage, the fears of annihilation: the monsters of the id in the newsroom, and the fantasy of toppling the MSM in the blogosphere. That is what my solo presentation will be about: a tale of the Internet, told through types.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Capitol A-D, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • How PBS and NPR Can Support Local Journalism

    by Amy Shaw, Kevin Dando, Tom Davidson and Jan Schaffer

    As the digital revolution decimates traditional local news media, a variety of new organizations are emerging – fitfully – to fill the gaps. Some of their challenges, such as content creation and technology, are relatively easy to solve. But others – building an audience and finding sustainable revenues – are much harder. In this session, you’ll learn about current and upcoming experiments, partnerships and models – and how PBS, NPR and their member stations can support this new local-news ecosystem.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Capitol View Terrace, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Hacking the News: Applying Computer Science to Journalism

    by Tristan Harris, Trei Brundrett, Jennifer 8. Lee, Upendra Shardanand and Burt Herman

    Reporters and editors work in ways that are still largely tied to old print and broadcast models. Applying lessons from computer science can help make journalism more scalable, flexible and personalized.

    This panel will discuss developments such as object-oriented programming, model-view controller frameworks, database-driven Web applications and social code repositories -- and explore how these principles can be applied to journalism and create the future of storytelling.

    For example, making stories in an object-oriented mindset can help journalists work more efficiently, reusing and building on past work. Stories can be created as structured data that can be mashed up and viewed in more flexible ways by readers. Readers can get personalized stories that highlight what's new to them -- rather than having to read through what they already know to glean the latest news.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Creekside, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Open for News: Turning Journalism Inside Out

    by Ian Katz and Jemima Kiss

    What do you think the future of journalism should look like? As technology enables a new era of both journalism and media business, both are being redefined through new tools and practices. Activists, dissidents and whistleblowers have a global platform for protest, and journalists can tap an unprecedented range and depth of sources. But what are the best models for sharing information and collaborating through the internet? Information may want to be free, but how should it be organised? And what do the mechanisms of networked journalism and collaboration look like?

    Journalists, and the organisations they work for, need to incorporate new technologies and adapt the ways they work, breaking down the walls between themselves and readers and placing themselves at the centre of the conversation. What are the limitations of existing tools? How does journalism need to adapt, and how could a network of collaboration help that transformation? What have been the most successful examples of open journalism so far?

    As discussion over the neutrality of the internet intensifies, perhaps we should consider a new, non-commercial internet space free from government intervention - a new interpretation of the fourth estate. A digital public space where copyright and collaboration are reinvented. What can journalism and the media learn from successful 'openness' campaigns of the web, of business and open government?

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In N. Capitol View, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • The Death of the Death of Longform Journalism

    by Evan Ratliff and Max Linsky

    The web was supposed to kill longform journalism, relegate it to a slow demise in the pasture of print. The stories were just too long, conventional wisdom held. The web was about the efficient delivery of information—who had time to read 5,000 words on a browser, let alone pay for the privilege?

    Longform journalism was going to die. And it almost did.

    But the combination of elegant mobile devices and innovative apps has proven that the audience for longform journalism still exists—and has the potential to grow. Turns out, the problem wasn’t that the stories were too long. People love stories! The problem was that nobody had spent much time thinking about how best, for readers, to present and distribute them digitally.

    At the same moment that many publishers were being forced to give up on the feasibility of longform work, readers were finally given the tools to read pieces when, how, and where they wanted to.

    This panel will discuss: what those tools are, how they’re being used, how some publishers are taking advantage of them, how other publishers are failing to take advantage of them, how the digital reading experience will continue to evolve, why journalists will always be the core audience for longform journalism, the iPad and the Kindle, Instapaper and Readability, and whether or not anyone is making any money from this stuff.

    This panel will not discuss: the upside of paginating long stories.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In N. Capitol View, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Do Tablets Dream of Electric News?

    by Jennifer Brook and Erin Sparling

    News organizations are investing a lot of faith and hope into news apps for tablets. Although they have embraced the iPad in different ways, similar design, product, and user experience problems have surfaced. What strategies must be applied to craft design experiences that are more illustrious than the browser? Through taming APIs, feeds, and algorithms, can they entice readers, seasoned and new to make an app a part of their daily news consumption ritual? With stakeholders from both the print and digital world, how do teams surface, manage, and design for divergent expectations? We have made it through the launch, and subsequent updates to, the first news iPad apps and will discuss design considerations and constraints we’ve encountered through this process.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In N. Capitol View, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage write-up

  • Media Tomorrow: The Message is the Messenger

    by Jenn Van Grove, Jeremiah Owyang, Leslie Bradshaw, Joe Chernov and Sarah Evans

    Disruptive technologies and corroding trust in business have combined turn Marshall McLuhan’s adage “the medium is the message” inside out. Information now spreads laterally, triggered not by institution but by individual. The message is the messenger. This panel will explore how four individuals are reshaping the design, consulting, PR and journalism industries by understanding how information is consumed today.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Creekside, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Investigative Tweeting? Secrets of the New Interactive Reporting

    by Monika Bauerlein

    How did a nonprofit news operation scoop the New York Times and Washington Post in breaking news and on-the-ground photos and video of the BP oil spill catastrophe? And why did drive-by readers suddenly become community evangelists for this coverage, spreading the word about reporters' Twitter feeds, supporting investigations financially, and going vigilante on rude website commenters? We'll tell you step by step how Mother Jones magazine did it and how you can replicate our wild success. We'll also talk about how a print-media stalwart can transform itself into a nimble 24/7 news operation, and why social media is God's gift to journalism. Bring your ideas, this will be an interactive session: We'll highlight 5 other under-the-radar media experiments and why they worked, 10 practical tips media professionals need to learn from Silicon Valley, and work with interested audience members in a (gentle) experimental pitch slam.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In S. Capitol View, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • The Evolution of the New York Times

    by Evan Smith and Bill Keller

    How the iconic news organization is changing with the changing times: A conversation with Bill Keller, the paper's executive editor, about journalism in an era of nonstop news, the new definition of competition, the possibilities and perils of collaboration, the truth about Wiki Leaks and what to expect after the Times launches their digital metered model.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Grand Ballroom, AT&T Conference Center

  • Why Journalists Need to Think Like Geeks

    by Blake Eskin

    Many print journalists, even those who resisted change, are trying to embrace the digital future. Twenty-year veterans take up social media after taking a buyout, and journalism programs now give aspiring reporters basic multimedia skills. But a facility with Twitter or Soundslides combined with an occupational knack for asking questions won't always add up to the skills necessary to redesign a Web site or create an app. The truth is, journalists and programmers think in fundamentally different ways—words vs. code; stories vs. systems—and often have a hard time communicating and collaborating. And the problem is asymmetrical; most programmers can quickly grasp enough about journalism to work with journalists, but it's much harder to get, say, a midlevel editor to understand the basics of software development or database design. I often find myself wishing I could recommend a course to that colleague or to an unemployed journalist that would teach them how the other half thinks. Most of us have had to muddle through on our own, until we have a road to Damascus moment. But there's got to be a better way. How can we teach journalists to think about technology?

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In N. Capitol View, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Disrupted, Again: The Next Chapter in News

    by Matt Williams

    The way we find and read the news continues to change. Just as the web disrupted print media in the last decade, now social networks, news aggregators (like Digg), and innovations from startups are once again disrupting how online news is consumed. An order of magnitude more content is produced today than in years past and rapid innovation continues to change the way that news is found and read. What are some of the driving forces behind how news is created, discovered and consumed? How is the social graph and the interest graph changing the way we find and read the news? How will a culture of citizen journalism affect what we read and who we trust? In this session, we explore these issues through the lens of content creators, aggregators, advertisers and venture capitalists, and offer a perspective on how the news landscape will dramatically change in the next five years.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Capitol View Terrace, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Stand Out: Investigative Journalism for Bloggers

    by Josh Catone, Francine McKenna and Gregory Ferenstein

    Much of blogging is linking to other posts or offering secondary analysis. But, how does one become the source of information everyone is discussing? This panel will review tips on how to secure expert interviews, use technologies to conduct interviews, and write material for an online audience.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In TX Ballroom 5-7, Hyatt Regency Austin

Tuesday 15th March 2011

  • Wikileaks, the Web, and the Long, Strange Journey of Journalism

    by Ben Werdmuller, Scott Braddock and James Moore

    Is it morally correct for the US to pursue prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange? Is alleged leaker of military documents Bradley Manning a hero or a traitor? And what do Wikileaks and the Internet mean to the future of journalism? James Moore, the New York Times bestselling author of "Bush's Brain" is joined by technologist Ben Werdmuller from the UK, the creator of one of the web's early social networking platforms, and KRLD Dallas radio host Scott Braddock, to discuss "Wikileaks, the Web, and the Long, Strange Journey of Journalism." Moore will lead the panel by arguing that Assange and Manning are heroic figures and ought to be honored in a culture that requires information to sustain a democracy. Werdmuller will offer his insight on the Internet’s long term reach and impact with regard to information, systems, and public access to data that was previously unavailable, and Braddock will articulate the perspective that Assange and Manning have done harm to America and its allies and need to be treated as people who have acted outside of the law. Audience participation and questions will be encouraged.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 15th March

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

  • Conversational Journalism: Do's and Don'ts of Audience Participation

    by Doreen Marchionni

    Journalists and scholars have talked on and off about the idea of journalism as a conversation for nearly 20 years. It stands in contrast to decades of traditional journalism as a lecture, in which the all-knowing journalist alone decides what is news and conducts a monologue with the public on such matters, or maybe a dialogue with public officials and other elites. Citizens here are at best passive bystanders. But no more.

    Now pretty much anyone with Internet access and a few Web tools can create and distribute news, collaborate with professional journalists in real time and select what news to follow, if any, from a dizzying array of choices. The media business and academia were slow to pick up on the change but are now taking heed. Curiously, little empirical research developed to help us understand what exactly we mean by conversation and then how to apply it to journalism's most treasured values, credibility and expertise.

    Until now. This presentation explores key practical tips from doctoral research on how best to incorporate citizen audiences into online media processes. Doing it haphazardly can mean loss of perceived credibility, authority and just plain likeability. Doing it well, however, can create the kind of sustained interest we all crave for our sites.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Creekside, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Wikileaks: The Website That Changed the World?

    by Ian Katz, Sarah Ellison, Stephen Engelberg, Issandr El Amrani and Carne Ross

    Wikileaks began as an audacious idea, a statement about the potential of the internet to speak truth to power and to open governments. Barely four years later, the whistleblower's website finds itself at the centre of an unprecedented global storm over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of confidential cables from US embassies around the world. To many WikiLeaks's founder Julian Assange is a hero who has shone the bright glare of public scrutiny into places governments would rather keep hidden; to others he is a vandal, taking a sledgehammer to the secrecy all states need to maintain to function. Is Wikileaks just one expression valve for the web, one that would be replaced by others if it was closed? Has it changed the public's understanding of and relationship to government in any real and lasting way, or is it a media preoccupation?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

Unscheduled