Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Journalism with audio

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Saturday 10th March 2012

  • A Penny Press for the Digital Age

    by Tom Stites, Jessamyn West, Fiona Morgan, Norberto Santana Jr and Ryan Thornburg

    In the 19th century, the “penny press” revolutionized journalism by covering news that appealed to the broadest possible public. Today, as media organizations struggle to monetize online coverage and chase tech trends, they have all but abandoned less-than-affluent readers — and with them, the commitment to public service journalism. According to Pew, fewer than half of Americans who make under $75K a year go online for news. This panel will reconsider the digital divide in terms of information as well as technology. We’ll explore how low-income and working-class people – the majority of Americans – can be included in the future of online news. We'll discuss new models for participatory, data-driven local journalism. We’re not trying to save newspapers or kill them off. Our aim is to help bring journalism back to those who punch a clock. This Future of Journalism Track is sponsored by The Knight Foundation.

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

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

    Coverage audio clip

  • Philanthropy Is Not the Future of Journalism

    by Nicole Hollway and Janet Coats

    While donations play a key role in community support and engagement, the writing is on the wall regarding how much government, private and foundation funding will continue to be available to public media. As media that exists to serve the public, often the mass reach required to compete for the media dollars available for banner advertising is at odds with serving the public mission. We will look at specific examples of nonprofit news organizations developing mission-supported revenue streams, integrating donor relationships into marketing and advertising, and considering revenue streams that are separate from and/or compliment their mission.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Creekside I & II, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage audio clip

  • Rude Awakening: Content Strategy Is Super Hard

    by Karen McGrane, Kristina Halvorson, Joe Gollner, Erin Kissane and Mark McCormick

    It's official: "content strategy" has become a trendy buzzword phrase that everyone is using to describe everything remotely related to content. SEO content strategy! Social media content strategy! Content marketing content strategy! Wait. This sucks. Weren't we just starting to focus on The Important Stuff? The messy, complicated content stuff that companies have been ignoring for years? What needs to happen now if we're finally going to get this content thing right? Four of the brightest minds in content strategy will tackle some the toughest issues our companies are facing: cross-platform distribution, governance, legacy content, distributed publishing, and trying to prepare our content for future technologies we can't possibly predict. This Future of Journalism Track is sponsored by The Knight Foundation.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 10th March

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

    Coverage audio clip

  • Tweeting Osama’s Death: From Citizen to Journalist

    by Steve Myers and Sohaib Athar

    Within hours of learning that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan, Twitter users realized that a man had unknowingly live-tweeted the raid. Sohaib Athar (@reallyvirtual) showed what happens when ordinary people, by chance, find themselves in the middle of newsworthy events: They act like journalists, sharing information, asking questions, and working with others to figure out what happened. The speed with which his tweets traveled the world show how Twitter can turbocharge simple acts of citizen journalism by spreading them to new audiences. Steve Myers, managing editor of the Poynter Institute’s website, will describe how Athar’s tweets illustrate citizen journalism practices and how U.S. journalists learned of them so quickly. Athar, in his first trip to the U.S. since bin Laden’s killing, will describe what happened, what it was like to be in the middle of an international media scrum, and how the incident has affected his views of the media and changed his use of Twitter.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Creekside I & II, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage audio clip

  • Reporters & Evangelists: Politics of Online News

    by Andrew Gruen, Prajwal Ciryam, Mary O'Hara and Shira Toeplitz

    How much does ideology matter for online journalists and news sites? People talk about a fractured web of ideological bubbles where liberals go to Daily Kos and conservatives to The Daily Caller. But do more traditional media outlets use ideology as a way to make their brands stand out online? Does taking an ideological position on the Web damage a reporter's credibility? Is selling your ideology a good way to make a living on the internet?This panel assembles an all-star cast of reporters from the BBC, The Guardian, Politico, and even Ohmynews.com in Korea to debate that question. Between them they have written for some of the top online news sites on three continents and have appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and FOX. Representing a range of political attitudes and journalistic creeds, the panel will seek to answer: What is the role of ideological journalism in online news? This Future of Journalism Track is sponsored by The Knight Foundation.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 10th March

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

    Coverage audio clip

Sunday 11th March 2012

  • Storytelling Beyond Words: New Forms of Journalism

    by Stephen Buckley, Jim Brady, Bill Adair and Aron Pilhofer

    We are in the midst of a digital revolution, and yet journalistic storytelling remains trapped in the Stone Age. We have all sorts of digital tools at our disposal -- video, social media, interactive graphics, etc. -- and still our stories are boring. Our panel will help you think in new ways about storytelling forms. Instead of sending users to a separate link for a video, why not embed video into the story at strategic points? Instead of writing long articles analyzing the accuracy of a politician's statements, why not invent a meter that allows the audience to quickly see that for themselves? We'll offer examples of how journalists harness digital tools to reinvent storytelling in ways that delight audiences, elucidate complex issues, improve communities and strengthen democracy. This panel is for geeks who care about storytelling; it's for storytellers who care about digital tools; and it's for anyone who cares about the future of journalism.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Sunday 11th March

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

    Coverage audio clip

  • Content and Coding Are Not Commodities

    by Andrei Scheinkman, Benjamin Balter, Raju Narisetti and Jennifer 8. Lee

    Geeks see code as art and content as stuff. Journalists see code as stuff and content as the art. Geeks may say "provide me content" while journalists are like "build this site." With that kind of attitudes, it's hard to get buy-in from the other side. What coders and journalists should understand: they have more in common than not. Both sides are motivated by their craft and a desire to feel that an audience is experiencing their work, whether though prose or programming. They want to work with smart people on interesting problems. Coders and writers are not interchangeable. Great talent can be an order of magnitude more effective than mediocre talent.Though discussions of case studies from The Washington Post, New York Times, Huffington Post and the federal government, this panel will explain from both the journalists' and the programmers' perspectives how to speak a language they will understand.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Capitol E-H, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Successful Journalism Startups: Global Lessons

    by Pekka Pekkala

    More and more journalists are either facing layoffs or zero-job market around the world. Some of them take their passion online and start their own publications. Research project "Sustainable Business Models for Journalism" has interviewed these brave journos that have actually made the move to entrepreneurship _and_ are making living out of it. 30 very different cases from around the world - from international success stories (ArsTechnica) to small hyperlocal sites serving just 10.000 strong communities (DavidsonNews). What are the key elements for sustainability and how they are building a whole new ecosystem of news? The future of journalism is not built on grants, 401k's or VC funding. It's built on single individuals that are not afraid of long hours and wearing multiple hats.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Creekside I & II, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Big Business: The Future of Marijuana Journalism

    by William Breathes and Patricia Calhoun

    Gawker says William Breathes, the nation’s first medical marijuana critic, has the “best job in journalism,” which may be why he’s been featured by the New York Times, CNN and The Daily Show. Meet him at our panel about how to cover the medical marijuana industry. Breathes and Patricia Calhoun, editor of the Westword, are based in Denver, Colorado, the Wild West of “MMJ,” where there are more dispensaries than Starbucks'. We'll show you how to report on and earn revenue from the medical marijuana industry in your community in a way that's useful to all involved. We'll share advice about handling MMJ politics, culture and how the multi-million dollar industry sprang up around it. And yes, how to cover pot culture without pandering. MMJ still remains a taboo subject for the old guard of journalism, who at best cover pot with a wink and a nod. And finally, we'll talk about being a pot critic – which may not always be the best job in journalism, but it sure beats writing obits.

    At 6:30pm to 7:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Capital Ballroom B, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

    Coverage audio clip

Monday 12th March 2012

  • Brand Journalism in the Real-World

    by Jesse Noyes, Karen Wickre, Erica Swallow and Ann Handley

    Brand journalism is often defined by what it isn’t. It’s not just blogging, it’s not PR, but it isn’t traditional reporting either. This session will focus not only on defining brand journalism, but also will go in-depth on what brand journalism looks like in action, how organizations can incorporate editorial practices and how traditional journalists can make the shift. MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer Ann Handley will sit down with Twitter’s Editorial Director Karen Wickre, Eloqua’s in-house reporter Jesse Noyes and Erica Swallow of Southern Swallow Productions to discuss what adaptations need to be made in corporate environments, how to mitigate bias, and what policies you should institute to ensure the emerging practice’s integrity. It’s brand journalism, with a real world emphasis. This session is sponsored by Eloqua.

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

    In Capitol E-H, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage audio clip

  • Has Twitter Made the Sports Reporter Obsolete?

    by Bruce Feldman, Dashiell Bennett and Richard Deitsch

    An NFL star live tweets his own traffic stop. An accidental DM reveals a shocking trade rumor. Instead of press releases, Tiger Woods breaks news about Tiger Woods by having @TigerWoods share a link to TigerWoods.com. These are just a few examples of sports stars bypassing traditional media outlets to tell their stories directly to fans. Athletes and teams no longer just control the message, they can be their own messenger. So what is a sports reporter to do? In an era of real-time box scores and self-created scoops, has the role of the traditional reporter doing locker room interviews and post-game recaps become irrelevant? Two respected and highly engaged sports journalists discuss how the immediacy and reach of Twitter have changed the very nature of their jobs—and how sports media must adapt to the "always on" world.

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

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

    Coverage audio clip

  • The Future of The New York Times

    by Evan Smith and Jill Abramson

    New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson discusses her vision for the future of The Times in the digital age in a session moderated by Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith. Does Abramson's leadership at The Times present a blueprint for sustainability for the newspaper industry?

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

    In Ballroom D, Austin Convention Center

  • Civic Media Projects in Latin America

    by Miguel Paz, Lu Ortiz, Jorge Luis Sierra and Yesica Guerra

    In this panel we will hear from the actors who developed, designed, implemented or applied projects that use social media and digital technologies to attempt social change. It is fundamental to evaluate the projects from the point of view of the strategic choices their creators made in order to generate analytic common basis and accumulate knowledge. It is also important to hear from the actors themselves on what has worked in their particular contexts and what has not. Latin America is still a space where technological innovation is put to the test by implementation, budget restraints, and connectivity limitations. The adaptation of technologies, the language constraints and the cultural challenges will be discussed in respect to the ways in which social change is motivated by technology. This panel will amass experience from Mexico, Panamá, and Chile.

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

    In Room 5ABC, Austin Convention Center

  • It's Not News, It's Business

    by Justin Ellis, Justin Ferrell, Ann Friedman and Colin Raney

    Journalism's future hinges on one thing, and it's not content, readers or devices. It's money. Producing stories, no matter what the form, takes money, and now journalists and media entrepreneurs alike must figure out how to make a product that serves the public and meets the bottom line. Our collection of editors, designers and entrepreneurs will talk about getting past any misgivings about the business side of journalism, and thinking creatively about products, events and partnerships off news.

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

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

    Coverage audio clip

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • Reported Aggregation: A Truce in the Content Wars?

    by Nick Baumann and Clara Jeffery

    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.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 13th March

    In Capitol E-H, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage audio clip

  • New Career for Journalists: Online Video Producer

    by Chris Albrecht, Meredith Arthur, Kyle Ryan and Emily Calderone

    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.

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

    In Capitol E-H, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage audio clip

  • What Journalism Can Learn from Science

    by Matt Thompson and Gideon Lichfield

    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.

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

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

  • Audience-Centric Media: Wants and Needs in News

    by Cristina Cordova, Mandy Jenkins, Gabriel Sama, Staci Baird and Adrian Klein

    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.

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

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

    Coverage audio clip

  • News Entrepreneurs vs. Traditional Journalism

    by Jan Schaffer and Susan Mernit

    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.

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

    In Creekside I & II, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • This Talk Is NSFW: Nudity and Online Journalism

    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.

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

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

    Coverage audio clip