Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, multimedia journalist

Top 10 Things I Learned at #ONA12

By Benét J. Wilson, chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/newsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Editor’s note: please join the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force for a free webinar tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on how to craft the perfect workshop proposal for the 2013 convention. Program Committee members Sarah Glover (NBC10 Philadelphia social media editor and PABJ president), Denise Clay (writer/editor, Philadelphia Sunday Sun and adjunct professor at Temple University) and Glenn Proctor (40-year journalism veteran and founder of career services consultancy ReddJob) will offer advice.We’ll also leave time for questions and answers. The webinar is free, but you must register, here.

This was my second time attending the Online News Association’s annual conference, held last week in San Francisco.  Sometimes I feel like I’m learning so much my head hurts.  You can get the complete roundup — sound, blogs, video, etc. — here.  But below are my top 10 items I learned at the show.

  1. I volunteered to stuff bags for conference attendees. We got a free lunch and a great talk with Denver Post news editor Kevin Dale about how his news room covered the Aurora shootings from every conceivable angle. it helped that there were still reporters on staff who covered Columbine (shout out to veteran reporters and institutional memory).
  2. Amy Webb blew us away — again — with her top 10 tech trends, with a twist!
  3. The headquarters for Facebook in Menlo Park and Google News n San Francisco are just as cool as you think they are.  I missed the Twitter tour because it was at the same time as Facebook.
  4. John Keefe of WNYC’s half-day session, Intro to Data Viz, was a standing room only, well worth the $50. John did a truncated version of this session at NABJ 2012, and I plan on bringing him back for the Orlando convention.
  5. Gayle, left and Evans, right.

    I was thrilled to see two NABJ students — Marissa Evans of Marquette University and Anna-Lysa Gayle of Howard University — working hard as part of ONA’s Student projects team (with Boston University’s Michelle Johnson serving as an advisor).

  6. My friend (and fellow ONA board candidate Robert Hernandez) asked a great question during the candidates’ forum: where are the people of color at this convention?  Check out this story on diversity at the convention.
  7. Speaking of people of color, NABJ did represent, but I would have liked to see many more members. I did see Sybril Bennett, Retha Hill, LaToya Peterson, Doug Mitchell, Matt Thompson, Mark Luckie, Rick Hancock, Dori Maynard, Michelle Johnson, Lanita Pace-Hinton and Bobbi Bowman (forgive me if I’ve missed you; I’m still jetlagged).
  8. One more item on people of color. There are five of us running for the ONA board. They are: Richard Koci Hernandez, Assistant Professor New Media, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism; Maribel Perez Wardsworth, Digital News Executive, Gannett; Ingrid Sturgis, Professor, Howard University; Robert Hernandez, Professor/Web Journalist, USC Annenberg; and me. See the story (by Marissa Evans) here.
  9. As a new social media editor, I found the session — Social Media Debate: Best Practices vs. Bad Habits — provided great information for those still navigating what is an evolving job title.  But the hashtag for the session, #smpractices, might not have been the best choice.
  10. One word: livestreaming.  Friend (and another board candidate) Greg Linch of the Washington Post did a fabulous job with livestreaming all the workshops again this year. I really want to see this at the NABJ 2013 convention in Orlando.


Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

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