SPJ's Journalism Innovations conference starts Fri/30


Now in its third year, Journalism Innovations is the West Coast’s premiere showcase for groundbreaking journalism ideas, media innovation and community networking. Produced by the Society of Professional Journalists-Northern California, Independent Arts and Media, The University of San Francisco, and the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism, Journalism Innovations is playing a vital part in shaping the next phase of the industry.

This event, combined this year with the SPJ Region 11 Spring Conference, will bring in hundreds of working journalists, educators, advocates, citizen media-makers, inventors, recruiters, students and job seekers.  Join the leaders shaping the future of news. Register today, or sponsor to gain high-profile exposure for your organization! Visit the conference website or join our Facebook group for the latest details.

Download a schedule at a glance. Or, read detailed panel descriptions.

BONUS! All attendees will be registered in a drawing to win free registration for this year’s national SPJ convention in Las Vegas.

DOUBLE BONUS! RemakeCamp unconference on intersection of media & technology follows immediately after JI3 on Sunday, May 2.

When: April 30-May 2

Where: University of San Francisco campus.

How much: Sliding scale. Register online today!

Click through for highlights and conference schedule (coming soon).

Highlights of Journalism Innovations 3

• Plenary Session: The New Business of the News Business

As newspapers fold or churn jobs, as journalists and would-be publishers search for workable new business models, some online news outlets are beginning to see profits without resorting to celebrity gossip and fashion news.

Joan Walsh of Salon.com will discuss how her pioneer news magazine went from being a debt-ridden outlet to one with a healthy revenue stream that does more than keep Salon afloat.

Ivan Roman of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists will examine whether the emerging new media ecology is replicating the same diversity and race problems of the old system.  Roman and Davey D, media and community activist, will discuss what media policy means to journalists, the future of the profession, and why better coverage of these issues is critical to acting on behalf of the public’s interest.

Tracy Van Slyke, project director of The Media Consortium, will discuss ways of mapping the new media landscape. She will draw on the results of an innovative study that has been catching the attention of funders, new media entrepreneurs, and journalists concerned not only with sustainability but, as importantly, protecting journalism’s crucial civic function.

• Spotlight Session: The Five Steps to Saving Journalism

In a lively mutlimedia forum, experts in journalism, politics, academics and finance exchange views with the JI3 audience about the five biggest challenges facing the news industry today:  quality, sustainability, independence, diversity and constitutional rights.

This highly interactive conversation builds on themes from an SPJ Town Hall meeting and the year-long work of the Media Committee for SPJ’s Northern California Chapter.  It includes Pulitzer Prize-winner Glenn Frankel, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, SFSU Journalism Chair Venise Wagner, Bay Citizen Publisher Lisa Frazier, New America Media Director Sandy Close, Chronicle President Mark Adkins, and seven other industry luminaries.

Panelists include:

Dr. Dina Ibrahim assistant professor for Broadcast and Electronic Communication at San Francisco State University, and a former board member of SPJs Northern California chapter,

Juan Gonzales, instructor, Journalism Department, City College of San Francisco, and founder of El Tecolote, a bilingual publication in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Barry Parr, entrepreneur, and media analyst who publishes Coastsider.com and writes the MediaSavvy blog

Tom Murphy, a member of SPJ’s Northern California chapter board, founder and editor-in-chief of RedwoodAge.com and Newswire21.org.

• Journalism & Policy: How Laws Shape Our Work and Our Lives

Josh Stearns of Free Press and Ivan Roman of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists will examine the role of public policy in shaping the future of journalism and the role of journalists in the policy debates that are shaping their careers. How are new and old laws affecting the journalism landscape and journalists’ roles? How are media policies impacting local communities and their access to news and information?

• New Media. New Ethics?

An examination of the challenges to traditional journalism ethics in the new media. With new news platforms come new, sometimes untrained practitioners and unfamiliar, experimental models: story selection by algorithm, news reporting by bloggers and “citizen journalists,” crowdsourcing, opaque hybrids of news and opinion, and sponsorship or financing by foundations, corporations, hedge and venture-capital funds and (in one notable local case) a multinational bank. In this rapidly evolving landscape, how do we preserve the professional values — such as prohibitions on conflict of interest and church-state distinctions between funders and journalists – on which public trust depends? Organized by Peter Sussman, former San Francisco Chronicle editor and member of the SPJ National ethics committee, and SPJ-Nor Cal board member Laurie Udesky.

• Investigative News Network

The Investigative News Network emerged from a discussion in New York in 2009 among 30 non-profit investigative reporting centers from throughout the country. Brant Houston, an educator and former director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, is directing INN’s nascent steps toward establishing a cooperative hub for regional investigative centers. Robert Rosenthal, Center for Investigative Reporting, and Ricardo Sandoval, Center for Public Integrity, were participants in the New York talks, and can share ideas for how the hub could work, and how investigative collaborations can flourish at the regional and national levels.

• Data Analysis and Visualization Skills Workshop

SPJ-Nor Cal board member, Bernice Yeung, is organizing this practical, skills-building program covering data analysis and visualization for reporting and storytelling (e.g. mapping and all of the clever multimedia infographics that the NYT does routinely). The panel will explore how we’re going to move journalism forward in a tech-driven, data-rich, info-rich, multimedia world.

• The value of developing a personal brand for journalists

Social media and communications expert Sherbeam Wright will discuss how journalists can build their personal brand.  Today more than ever it is critical for journalists to use new media, and other techniques to gain a wider audience and influence. Journalists can no longer depend on their byline in their traditional media outlet to do this. This session will discuss the use social media tools, blogs, SEO, and specialized social networks (Ning, etc) for journalists.

Wright will demonstrate the use of these methods and techniques for journalists looking for jobs or transitioning out of media into other fields. Organized by SPJ-Nor Cal board member Pueng Vongs.

• The next PBS?

A groundswell of professional, online nonprofit news organizations is redefining what public media can mean to a local community. But is the whole greater or less than the sum of its parts? Come meet the leaders of some of the nation’s most promising startups and established independent news purveyors. Organized by SPJ-Nor Cal board member, and founder of SF Public Press, Michael Stoll.

• The Top 10 Tax Mistakes of Being Your Own Boss

CPA and financial adviser Bob Jersin will lead a workshop on the tax pitfalls of going into business for yourself, whether you’re a freelancer, an independent contractor or small business owner. The 45-min. workshop will cover the Top 10 Tax Mistakes of Being Your Own Boss, with supplemental materials and Excel presentation. In addition, colleagues who have started their own businesses will provide real-life experiences to round out the Q&A discussion after the workshop. Jersin specializes in start-ups and is a small business consultant.

Michelle Devera * Co-presented by California Media Workers Guild and AAJA *

• International News in the 21st Century
What are the prospects for international journalism — going global locally and going global onsite?  Legacy media are cutting back on world news coverage, closing bureaus, and generally ignoring much of what goes on globally beyond the Washington-mandated stories and disasters.  As we explore new media models, we need to stay aware of covering more than just our own backyards.  What are the prospects for international journalism and international collaborations in our collective evolving media future?


SPJ President Kevin Smith will report back from the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy in late April. He will describe what our colleagues and counterparts are thinking about outside the U.S.

Ricardo Sandoval will discuss some strategies based on his new position at the  International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, at http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/icij/.

Ronnie Lovler will examine how international news coverage is evolving with new media models from her perspective as international editor of Newswire21 and work she has done with Newsdesk.org.