Conference recap from Chicago
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Posted by: Angie Muhs
ASNE-APME 2014: Fast Forward was a historic conference that attracted more than 400 people, including panelists, sponsors, media coverage crew and student journalists, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.
Here is a collection of what people were tweeting throughout the conference ...
Monday, Sept. 15
Day 1 began with greetings from ASNE outgoing president David Boardman, APME outgoing president Debra Adams Simmons and APPM President Kevin Martin, followed by Chicago Tribune Editor Gerry Kern's introduction of Tribune columnist John Kass, who gave a short keynote. Among many other things, Kass stressed the importance of watchdog reporting and journalists' obligation to the readers.
We quickly moved on to our kickoff session, "What's New/What's Next? Trends Every Editor Should Know About," beginning with presentations by Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, and Amy Webb, CEO of Webbmedia Group. Click for direct access to Rosenstiel's presentation and Webb's presentation on the latest trends involving news audiences and emerging technology. Then there was a panel discussion on what these trends could mean for news organizations and journalists.
For the late-afternoon concurrent sessions, attendees had an option to either learn about how to save community journalism with Penny Abernathy, Knight chair in journalism and digital media economics at the University of North Carolina, and Robyn Tomlin, chief digital officer of the Pew Research Center, or have a casual conversation about leadership strategies with The Poynter Institute's Jill Geisler and Butch Ward.
We carried our conference enthusiasm and excitement over to the Tribune Tower for the opening-night reception and auction, generously sponsored by the Chicago Tribune and Tribune Content Agency. Congrats to those who won the bids on your favorite auction items! Sorry if you didn't, but, hey, we got unlimited free drinks!
Tuesday, Sept. 16
We opened Day 2 with presentations by three news organizations -- the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch -- who were finalists for the prestigious APME Innovator of the Year award. Voting for the winner took place afterwards. The winner: The Wall Street Journal!
The next session was a conversation with Vox Media Chairman and CEO Jim Bankoff and Verge Product Manager Lauren Rabaino. Their presentations helped us answer the question, "What can we learn from hot startups?"
Before lunch was a panel about on how to create an innovative culture in your organization. Nationally recognized innovation experts, ranging from academic to startup to legacy, dissected the meaning of innovation and how it works in media organizations.
The luncheon was great. We took the opportunity to honor the winners of both ASNE and APME awards. A plaque was given to each winner. Click here to see the ASNE Awards winners and here for the APME Awards winners.
Next, we had two concurrent sessions: Session A about how to tell interactive stories with Kainaz Amaria, supervising visuals editor at NPR, and Session B about creating and managing news partnerships with three panelists.
Wrapping up Tuesday was another set of concurrent sessions: Session A about growing audience through engaging communities and Session B about how to succeed at mobile. During Session A, we talked about lessons from recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the ASNE/Journalism That Matters Community Connection and Inclusion initiative.
During Session B, we learned from mobile experts about mobile-first and social-media trends, the competitive landscape and emerging best practices for news organizations of all sizes.
Tuesday evening was also the time for catching up with old colleagues and for making new friends. Those who went to the baseball game watched the Chicago Cubs take down the Cincinnati Reds in a 7-0 shutout. Those who went on the river cruise enjoyed the beautiful Chicago skyline with a complimentary buffet dinner. Whether or not you were part of the cruise dancing, it was a fun night for everyone.
Wednesday, Sept. 17
Day 3, our final day of the conference, featured four main sessions and a keynote/panel luncheon. Rosenstiel and Trevor Tompson of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research were in charge of the first session, which presented the new data on the personal news cycles of African-American and Hispanic news consumers.
Next in line was a news literacy session. Alan C. Miller, CEO of the News Literacy Project; Clark Bell, journalism program director of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation; and Chris Peck, assistant editor of the Riverton (Wyo.) Ranger, addressed why news matters and why news literacy is more important than ever. During this session, ASNE announced the launch of the National Community and News Literacy Roundtables project, which is designed to build greater understanding of news literacy around the nation and help people learn how to determine what's news in their local communities.
Following the news literacy discussion was the women in leadership session. We heard from three prominent female editors about today's reality for women in news leadership, what obstacles female newsroom leaders face, and whether news companies are doing enough to prepare women and minorities for leadership roles.
Next, we had senior AP news executives discuss the challenges that journalists face in covering the news and fighting back against the government's greater control over information.
We wrapped up the conference with a First Amendment luncheon featuring The New York Times reporter James Risen, who is facing jail time for refusing to reveal a confidential CIA source. Risen, along with three other panelists and a moderator, talked about the current state of press freedom. The venue was full of attendees asking questions and interacting with the panel members. Risen said journalism is "the only job where you get paid to stick it to the man."