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conferences

WWDC 2012: The Liveblogs Recap

If you were on Twitter today, your feed was most likely overflowing with information from Apple’s 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Known more commonly by its abbreviation, WWDC, the annual conference is Apple’s time to show off its new software and technology aimed at developers. Yet while the initial target audience may be developers, it has grown to anyone who is an Apple fan.

Any news outlet or blog worth its salt that writes about technology was covering WWDC. Since you can expect any number of write ups from these other sites on all the new features announced, I wanted to focus on how they covered the conference.

Like most people, I wasn’t able to make it to California to attend the conference so I had to rely on liveblogs for my information. It wasn’t hard to find one to watch — almost every tech site and blog I read had one. But they varied in some key ways: Mainly technique and if they were more photo or text-based.

Here’s a quick recap of my favorite liveblogs covering WWDC 2012. Read more

TechRaking 2012: Three Questions To Ask Before Building A News App

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — Today at the Googleplex, a group of roughly 200 journalists and technologists are talking about how to create a more perfect union between muckrakers and technologists at CIR’s TechRaking conference. The Chicago Tribune’s Brian Boyer gave a seven-minute ignite talk directed toward “the people who are bosses of people who put data on the web.”

Boyer’s metaphor? News apps are like pottery: It’s supposed to be useable; it’s a craft. Does your mug still work when their’s hot coffee inside? Or does the handle force your fingers to touch the cup, burning your skin and rendering the cup unuseable?

The  questions Boyer’s team asks before approaching every project:

  1. Who are you users?
  2. What are their needs?
  3. What can we do for them?

The example he used was for a nursing home database. The users? People with elderly family members in nursing homes. Their need? They read scary reports about nursing home abuse and want to know if grandpa is going to be OK. What can you do for them? Give them a database so they can search for offenses at Grandpa’s nursing home.

Just because you have location data and time information doesn’t mean you need to build a map and a timeline. In the example above, Boyer had the information for nursing home locations and time of incidents, but that’s not what’s useful for people using the app.

“Our work sings when it helps folks find their own story,” Boyer said. Don’t overdo it for the sake of overdoing it.

His final four points:

  • Craft is useful
  • Fight your urges
  • Know your audience
  • Make useful stuff

NICAR roundup of data journalism ideas

For those who don’t know, or haven’t seen the flurry of #NICAR12 tweets this past week/end, the best minds in data journalism met in St. Louis for the annual CAR conference put on by IRE and its National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting.

Between the hashtag and the official blog, you’ll get a good overview of initial impressions and topics covered — from avoiding data dumps in stories to harvesting trends from social media. Chrys Wu, again this year, has done a fabulous job rounding up the multitude of presentations at NICAR.

Here are five of my favorite topics, but I encourage you to bookmark Wu’s page and peruse them all, because there are some awesome ideas and tips there:

  • Human Assisted Reporting — This slideshow presents an “aha idea” that I can’t believe I never thought of: automating tasks beat reporters do regularly with data, and then programming your computer to do simple data analysis automatically. My favorite easy example of this was mining the daily police blotter for trends or keywords (who has the highest bail and what is the bail/the crime? any nurses, teachers, ministers, etc. arrested?)
  • Weathering the Storm: Using data to bolster the traditional weather story — Maybe it’s the nearly four years I spent working as a news reporter at a mid-sized paper and the dozens of weather stories I was forced to work on, but I believe there’s a special place in journo-heaven for anyone who can turn the most over-used story topic into something new and interesting for readers/watchers/listeners. Here’s your ticket to attempting just that.
  • Advanced Excel Tips — Excel is pretty much the program I use the most, and most heavily, on my work computer, after Firefox of course. So this tipsheet from the St. Paul Pioneer Press’s MaryJo Webster is not only a good refresher on bits I know well, but it also includes some great tips on doing things I haven’t quite mastered. From date functions to string functions, this is a solid list that I’ll be saving for future reference, and you should too.
  • How to use election data (and other good stuff to know) — This is actually a round-up from John Keefe of his four presentations, including one on election night and maps and election data without databases. He also covers other interesting topics, including everything you need to know about APIs, using Google Spreadsheets as your backend CMS, and hacking the Census data.
  • Build your first news app with Django — Their first step-by-step tutorial is how to build an interactive poll, with some other getting started resources.

There are many other topics covered, including on some of these same topics, as well as new tools to use and some examples of investigative data journalism at work. What was your favorite element of NICAR this year?

5 Upcoming Journalism and Media Conferences

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Throughout the year, there are several conferences in the fields of journalism and media for everyone from up-and-coming journalists to seasoned professionals. Just a few weeks ago, we covered a few panels on journalism at this year’s SXSW conference. Here are just a few conferences taking place through the year that will help you network, expand your skill set, and learn new topics from some of the thought leaders in the journalism industry. Feel free to let us know about other journalism and media conferences in the comments.


SABEW 2012 Spring Conference

Date: March 15-17, 2012

Location: Indianapolis, IN

» Register Online

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) will hold their 49th annual conference in Indianapolis, IN at the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex at Indiana University. This year’s conference keynote speakers are Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana. The conference will include speakers from several media outlets like ESPN, Reuters, and The New York Times. The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will also co-present a seminar with Investigative Reporters and Editors titled “Be a Better Business Watchdog — CAR for Business Journalists”. Early-bird registration ends on February 20, 2011, and registration prices will rise after that date.


ACES 2012

Date: April 12-14, 2012

Location: New Orleans, LA

» Register Online

The 16th National Conference of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) will take place down in the Big Easy at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. This year’s keynote speaker is Roy Peter Clarke, vice president and senior scholar at the Poynter Institute. There are 40 information-packed sessions at this year’s conference, including “Writing for SEO, Writing for Social Media” and “Editing Maps and Graphics”. You can register up until the day of the event, but prices will rise on April 1, 2011. You can register for any of the days of the conference or for the entire three-day event.


2012 NABJ Convention and Career Fair

Date: June 20-24, 2012

Location: New Orleans, LA

» Register Online

The 36th annual National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention and Career Fair will be in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, and includes a film festival, an author’s showcase and bookstore, and a host of other special events. The theme for this year’s convention is #NABJ12 — New Platforms. New Directions. New Orleans, and session topics will fall under three tracks: Perfecting Your Craft (mastery of reporting, writing, editing, and other journalism cornerstones), Tech & Tools (highlighting new and emerging technology), and Innovation Station (emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship in the dissemination of enws and information). Pre-registration prices are available until May 15, 2012.


UNITY 2012 Convention (UNITY ’12)

Date: August 1-4, 2012

Location: Las Vegas, NV

» Register Online

The 5th Annual UNITY 2012 Convention is a coalition of four alliances: the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Native American Journalists Assocation (NAJA), and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Assocation (NLGJA). The conference will include a media showcase, a career expo, as well as several 90-minute workshops. The early-bird registration deadline is March 16, 2012, and registration prices will rise after that date.


Excellence in Journalism 2012

Date: September 20-22, 2012

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

» Register Online

The Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association are partnering again for this year’s Excellence in Journalism Conference at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. Registration is not open yet, but pricing and package registration details are available. Make sure to check out the Excellence in Journalism Conference Facebook page for the latest information about the conference.

5 Journalism Panels at SXSW Interactive 2012

SXSW Interactive 2012You may remember our post from back in August which featured fifteen journalism-related panels which were up for voting for inclusion into the 2012 SXSW schedule. Earlier this week, SXSW announced their 2012 schedule which includes over 5,000 events in the conference’s film, interactive and music tracks. Some events are still TBA, but the schedule will be updated the closer it moves to the conference’s opening date of March 9, 2012.

Here are just a few of the confirmed panels which should be of interest to journalists. This is a random sample of the entire schedule; you can search the full list of panels on the 2012 SXSW Schedule page.

Read more

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