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In case you missed Hacking News Leadership

 
Hacking News Leadership was a terrific conference by all accounts. ASNE's first regional conference in recent memory, Hacking News Leadership attracted more than 70 attendees from all around the country, including editors, reporters, technology specialists, educators and other members of news organizations.
 

Hacking News Leadership was a terrific conference by all accounts. ASNE's first regional conference in recent memory, Hacking News Leadership attracted more than 70 attendees from all around the country, including editors, reporters, technology specialists, educators and other members of news organizations.

 
With the hashtag #hackleaders, the conference generated more than 700 tweets and was on the trending topic list. Some cool tweets below from the public: 
 
   
 
From May 3 to 4 at the University of Texas, we showcased presentations, hands-on learning and sharing sessions, as well as two keynote speeches, that were all geared toward our goal of bringing news leaders and technology specialists together to forge a successful marriage.
 
Day 1 began with a series of eight short presentations of breakthrough projects that involved data journalism. We learned how the apps and stories were developed and how the presenters overcame obstacles. Here are links to some projects:
 


We were blown away by the Saturday, May 2, lunch keynote speaker, Trei Brundrett, chief product officer for Vox Media. Covering the topic of Battleship Cannons & Muscle Shoals, Trei spoke about developing a digital deep cuts collaborative hit factory with design and technology. Here are a few great lines that caught attention on Twitter:   

  • Storytelling needs to be "data-informed rather than data-driven."
  • "We are building software, not hacking our CMS."
  • "Every night is election night in the sports department."
  • "We're killing all our apps. Done with them." Vox is putting their energy into mobile web.

Our afternoon session featured Trading Places, which gave attendees the chance to switch their roles. Editors learned how to code using simple Git, and technologists became editors reporting from the JFK assassination breaking news simulation. 
 
We wrapped up Day 1 with presentations, as well as quick shout-outs of easy technology tools that editors and developers can share in the newsroom. Here are links to each tool you can check out and share with your newsroom:
 
  • Stacked Up (Do Philly students have the books they need?)
  • Tabula (liberating data tables trapped inside PDF files) 
  • Invision, Marvel, Macaw (prototyping tools)
  • Tableau (analyzing, visualizing and sharing information tool) 
  • Evernote (clipping tool) 
  • Storify (collecting media, publishing stories and sharing tool) 
  • OpenRefine (free tool for working with messy data) 

Then we all walked over to Freedmen's for the happy hour, courtesy of The Texas Tribune. Great barbecue, great drinks!
 
Day 2 was just as inspiring and energetic -- from the breakfast keynote by Mark Stencel, digital fellow at The Poynter Institute, whose topic examined why digital tools are missing in most newsrooms, to Breakout Labs and Solution-Sharing. 

 

 
The idea of the last two sessions was, of course, to give our engaging attendees takeaway lessons to bring back to their newsrooms. Eight groups were given a topic to discuss challenges and potential solutions at the intersection of editorial and technology in the newsroom. Here's the link to their work.  
 
Thank you to those of you who attended. And many thanks to Emily Ramshaw, Melanie Sill and Jim Brady, ASNE board members on the technology committee, for planning and organizing the conference.    
 
Also, a special thanks to our generous sponsors, including the University of Texas at Austin, The Texas Tribune, the Austin American-Statesman, Digital First Media, Google, Scripps Howard Foundation and the Houston Chronicle.
 
We hope to make Hacking News Leadership happen again next year. And we hope that we can put together more regional conferences in the future that'll make differences in the journalism industry.  

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