2011 was a big year for news—from the Arab Spring uprisings to the debt-ceiling meltdown, to quakes, floods hurricanes and the Republican presidential smackdown. Fortunately, the year also saw the emergence of a new approach to presenting breaking news—reported aggregation, a form that offers the chance of a truce in the battle over original reporting vs. aggregation (aka Bill Keller vs. Arianna Huffington). Reported aggregation blends curation, social media, and traditional, pick-up-the-phone-or-hit-the-streets reporting to deliver up-to-the-minute coverage of breaking news and, increasingly, ongoing coverage of in-depth stories. Successes include Andy Carvin's breathtaking Twitter feed, which combines you-are-there retweets with crowdsourced verification and original contributions, is one example; Mother Jones' highly popular explainers, which Nieman Labs called "a fascinating fusion between a liveblog and a Wikipedia page;" HuffPo's and Slate's ongoing experiments with curation/reporting blends; and more. In this session, we'll look at what makes this form so successful, share ideas and best practices, review tools that will work for even the most tech-hating hack, and discuss the potential of reported aggregation as a new gold standard for breaking news.
Writing is never going to die. Crafting thoughts into clear and useful communication is always going to be important online. But aspiring writers these days would be smart to enhance their skill set to include online video production. As online journalism evolves into video, writers have a new career opportunity: translating their journalism skills into strong online video production.
This panel will feature some of the best online video producers out there who can share their insights in this nascent field and discuss how to make the jump from writer to video producer. What's worked? What hasn't? What skills are needed most? How many people should be on a video production team? What types of online video work best, and how and where do people see them? How can good online video support media sites and tell a different yet unique perspective.
The scientific method revolutionized the world of truth-seeking. Yet journalism - which, like science, seeks truth - is far less rigorous. We’ll walk through why this gap has led to record levels of distrust in journalism, and why journalism that’s replicable, trackable, and reviewable can help to restore that trust.
To be clear, journalism isn't science. It's got tight deadlines and other limits on its ability to gather evidence, no peer review, and often, very little that resembles methodology. But online tools and new reporting techniques are enabling journalists to be much more scientific in their methods.
From the rise of database journalism, which adds empirical rigor to narrative journalism’s fog of anecdotes, to the emergence of accountability projects that permit tracking and peer review over time, we’ll outline a system of news that can help us better discern the truth amid a rising onslaught of information. We’ll focus our session on identifying solutions and painting a vivid and inspiring picture of what journalism can become.
The big dilemma for digital news publishing platforms is how to balance what people “want” to know with what people “need” to know. Most algorithms learn readers’ news consuming habits but have no ability to predict people’s interests when the next tsunami strikes. Likewise, publishers around the world are learning their assumptions of how, when and where people want their news are all wrong. For example, tablets have given a second life to long-form reading, thought to be dead because of the move towards shorter stories online. We will discuss the right formula for news publishers – both platforms and news media companies – to help them define the content they push to readers. We will examine readers' wants, needs and desires based on their consumption patterns, or touch points: when, where and how they want to get their news and how to create the right mix of news offerings to satisfy a reader that has more choices – and more control over those choices – than ever. And we will discuss the topic of serendipity: how to accurately predict interests ahead of time without missing something important, fascinating or plain interesting that’s out of people’s favorite topics. Panel includes executives from Pulse, Evri and Hearsay plus experienced media observers.
J-Lab counts more than 1,200 entrepreneurial news start-ups around the country. Placeblogger counts 4,000-plus placeblogs. These sites often get bad raps from traditional media for being the equivalent of unlicensed drivers behind the wheels of quasi-journalistic enterprises, trafficking in rumors and opinion. Yet many are trying to do the right things, tip-toeing through pay-to-play pressures from advertisers, navigating the reporting of locals' minor infractions, sunsetting search-engine tidbits, and fielding partisan accusations from political candidates. A corps of entrepreneurs is developing new codes of rights and wrongs.
by Keith Plocek
Placing the letters "NSFW" on an article is supposed to tell people to keep away unless they're browsing from home, but seasoned web producers know those four letters usually bring in more readers than they'll ever turn away. Nudity for the sake of nudity is something else entirely (hint: it's porn), but burlesque shows, adult conventions, nudist colonies, performance art and the porn industry are all valid subjects of journalistic inquiry -- there just happen to be lots of naked people there too. This talk will explore the unique issues facing bloggers and photographers who cover NSFW events.
9th–13th March 2012