Thank you for making Hacking News Leadership: Part 2 valuable!
We have prepared a recap of Hacking News Leadership: Part 2 that we hosted Dec. 6-7 at Poynter. Thanks for attending and sharing your innovative ideas and thoughts!
To help newsrooms and classrooms take advantage of the digital journalism movement where journalists are leveraging technology to produce new kinds of reporting and storytelling, ASNE and Poynter presented Hacking News Leadership: Part 2 to more than 40 attendees, including editors, reporters, technology specialists, educators and other members of news organizations.
The conference was part of our effort to carry out the digital outreach initiative, which we announced in September with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The initiative is for using conferences, resources and training to speed up and expand the adoption of digital tools in newsrooms.
The two Hacking News Leadership conferences, together, attracted more than 110 attendees, and both returned impressive feedback. Both generated uncountable tweets with #hackleaders that triggered multiple conversations on Twitter. A couple of cool tweets below from the public about the second Hacking News Leadership:
For a day and a half at Poynter, we showcased presentations and sharing sessions on various topics, a lunch keynote and digital tools demonstrations that were all geared toward our goal of bringing news leaders and technology specialists together to forge a successful marriage. All was possible thanks to great co-host Poynter and our generous sponsors, including the Knight Foundation, Alley Interactive, Parse.ly and Google.
- Speak the common language.
- Understand the user experience.
- Understand editors obsess about details.
- Make time to fail small; let's test projects before they go live.
- S*** happens.
What technology specialists want from editors
- Understand publishing system in your newsroom.
- Be curious about journalism and digital publishing.
- The Web is its own training manual.
- Have courage to let staffers find a solution.
- Don't take fog for an answer when dealing with tech colleagues.
Up next was the Organizing Your Digital Toolbox session led by Vidisha Priyanka, interactive learning producer at Poynter, and Alexis Sanchez, web designer at the Tampa Bay Times. They introduced open-source tools that are easy to use with minimum technical know-how, including:
- JQuery for creating before and after projects
- Meme (used by Vox Media) for creating social sharing images
Toward the end of this digital tools session, software developer David Herrera of Alley Interactive gave a short presentation and said that curiosity about tools can stimulate good journalism.
- "To brainstorm effectively, defer judgment."
- "Brainstorming tips from @shazna: Headline your idea, build on ideas of others, stay on topic and encourage wild ideas."
- "Technology is now part of storytelling. Hacker journos aren't 'other' than journalists."
- "@shazna: I know working together is sometimes a big pain-in-the-ass. Good to acknowledge it and work through it anyway."
The first-half of our afternoon featured Chris Davis, deputy managing editor/investigations for the Tampa Bay Times, who gave a powerful presentation on data journalism and lessons learned from the Times' extensive data project "America's Worst Charities." Some of Davis' lessons, conveniently tweeted by conference attendee Steve Buttry, Lamar Visiting Scholar at Louisiana State University's Manship School of Mass Communication, include:
- Start early in collaborating with data specialists on a data project.
- Story board your plan for a data project.
- Stay true to the story and what you learn in reporting and analysis even if you have to change presentation plans.
- Data projects should be simple on the outside, complicated at the chewy center.
We wrapped up Day 1 with presentations of easily adaptable social media and news publication apps, as well as demonstrations of digital products that might fulfill the needs of editors and developers in the newsroom.
- Hootsuite (organizing and categorizing tweets)
- Tweetdeck (tracking and organizing tweets)
- Topsy (finding old tweets)
- Google Advanced Search (searching specific sites)
- ScribbleLive (planning, creating, distributing and optimizing campaigns)
And here are links to other usable products:
- Timeline, Storymap, SoundCite (posting audio clips) and Juxtapose (comparing different images) -- by Ryan Graff, editor of the Knight Lab
- Videolicious (combining video clips, photos and sound) -- by Matt Singer, co-founder of
- Parse.ly (providing insights through analytics) -- by Clare Carr, marketing director
- Tableau (analyzing, visualizing and sharing information) -- by Andrew Cheung, data analyst
Day 2 was just as inspiring and energetic -- from the Digital First Workflow in Your Newsroom session by Howard Saltz, editor of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, who talked about the paper's workflow change in October to emphasize digital-first newsgathering and publishing, to the deep discussion on ethical challenges and decisions in the digital era by Al Tompkins of Poynter.