NextNewsroom conference recap

Megan Taylor, managing editor for online/new media at The Independent Florida Alligator, and I had the same idea to recap the NextNewsroom conference, but she beat me to it:

NextNewsroom: Wrap-up

Megan summarized it all very well, so I won’t repeat what’s already been said except to thank Chris O’Brien for organizing what was hands-down one of the best journalism conferences I’ve attended — and I’ve been to quite a few, thanks to The Miami Hurricane and UM’s SPJ chapter.

I’d also like to thank Megan for providing the proper computer to stream video live using and later Yahoo!Live with my Canon HV20, which would have been impossible because I don’t have a computer with a six-pin FireWire port. Her hand mic was another asset, helping us get pretty decent sound, and she played videographer for the first livestreamed session before I — sadly — gave back her MacBook Pro.

I couldn’t have done it without her. And besides the awesomeness that is livestreaming video, this is a great testament to the importance of working as a team. I’ve done mojo/backpack journalist/one-man-band coverage of events before, but backpack journalist-squared is hands down the better way to go.

For more great coverage of the conference, as Megan also cites, check out Bryan Murley’s CoverItLive blogs: day 1 and day 2.

Weigh in: What did you think of all the coverage?

NextNewsroom – Innovation for college media

Facilitated by Kathleen Sullivan

Notes from the board

What changes need to be made

  • Different deadline reality
  • Different sources for content
  • Story doesn’t end when it goes to print (continue the discussion)

Assets and obstacles to adaptation

  • What can be delegated and what can’t (address workload)
  • Assign a team to a long running story
  • Build an in-house wiki (not starting from scratch each year)
  • Territorial attitudes towards space
  • Interdisciplinary staff, not just “journalism” major or the equivalent
  • Think about the mark they leave, legacy
  • Workload, time management: Go for low-hanging fruit, make things doable
  • Competition (either with other student people or local publications)

UT Arlington: once a week in print, five times a week online

NextNewsroom – How to change from the old to the new

Facilitated by John North, Knoxville News Sentinel

What is the new world?
“It’s publishing now, we don’t wait.”

On the board

Old World:

  • Print tomorrow or
  • Print whenever

New World: Web, e-mail, text

  • Publish now
  • Publish now
  • Publish now
  • Publish now
  • Print tomorrow

You [should] begin to work a story throughout the day. Start with a a few graphs early on and evolve the story slowly — not a 15- to 20-inch update each time.

“We’re talking about quick hits and things you can get up quickly.”

Then, you can reach into that system and put it into the newspaper.

“For us, it’s really been, ‘Wow, you can do this?’ ”

Shannon Morgan, editor in chief, The Arbiter, Boise State

  • “My focus to tell the stories in as many dimensions as we can.”
  • You also have to make sure the various elements are different.
  • People thought, “Oh, she’s just that multimedia girl — she doesn’t know journalism.”

Megan Taylor, managing editor for online, The Independent Florida Alligator

  • She recently wrote a story for the front page and people were surprised she could write.
  • Regarding having staff do new media: “You can’t just tell them what they have to do, you just have to do it.”


“Universities are on the radar nationwide now. You guys can do amazing things. If you guys feel limited, you’re not; there are no barriers.” Wait until you get to the paid world to see limits.

For new media: “If you set that expectation, you will get the result you want. … Once you start that little bit of synergy, it tends to begin to grow itself.” It’s not so difficult to push through that wall to find success.

Examples include promos, Web refers, etc.

“Sometimes you just have to be creative and think outside of the box.”

LIVESTREAM: NextNewsroom conference – Restructuring newsroom management

Facilitated by Bryan Murley of CICM.

Chris Carroll, student communications, Vanderbilt University

Discussing Inside Vandy

  • They don’t have a journalism program, so they didn’t have to deal with traditional structures.
  • “There is no Web editor. It’s everyone’s responsibility to produce for the Web.”
  • “We sort of dismantled some of that traditional structure.”

Murley, CICM

  • Reverse publication – post story online first
  • “It seems antiquated” to break something in print
  • There are very few Web editors who become editor in chief, and that should change

Brad Arendt, general manager, The Arbiter, Boise State

  • Their six-step process: Story, path, deadline, communicate, edit, execute
  • Try to have a collaborative thought process in management
  • “The story is the key”

Dan Morris, adviser, The Arbiter, Boise State

  • They have had editors in chief who have been the photo editor, assistant opinion editor, opinion writer who worked on local TV station, etc. That’s made changing structure a little bit easier.

Greg Linch, editor in chief, The Miami Hurricane

  • I was just yapping about what we do. Blah, blah, blah…

Megan Taylor, managing editor for online, The Independent Florida Alligator

  • They instated a requirement for staffers to produce multimedia
  • Because they are independent, their funds are limited and that’s why her staff is two people
  • Everyone is still print biased

John North, The Knoxville News Sentinel

  • We crow when we can beat TV with posting online

Shannon Morgan, editor in chief, The Arbiter, Boise State

  • We’re trying to get people to tell stories in more than on way
  • 80-100 people
  • My problem now is trying to figure out how to restructure the staff

Kevin Koehler, contributing editor (online editor), Old Gold and Black, Wake Forest

  • Making the transition to Web, it’s hard to get people think of doing things and doing them well
  • People want to do it, there’s interest and people are excited, but they have to learn how it’s done
  • They don’t have a journalism major or any new media courses
  • “It’s too big of a hump on their on a pressing deadline”

Arendt, The Arbiter

  • We tried embedding a multimedia person in the section, but it failed because they were left out or ignored
  • It’s important to look at your deadlines for your output
  • They expect 2-3 paragraph piece recapping a game after it ends, then they follow up
  • If you run efficiently, I think students
  • But the kicker is, “How do you do it?”

LIVESTREAM: NextNewsroom conference – The Converged Newsroom

Facilitated by Hasting (Neb.) College faculty members:

  • Brett Erickson
  • Sharon Brooks
  • Kathy Stofer

Be sure to check out the chat feature of

Thanks to Megan Taylor for providing the hand mic.


“Leverage your skills. Everyone has different skills,” Erickson said. Then turn into a way to telling a good story. “Encourage them to innovate is what you want to do.” Also, he said, don’t focus on technology, focus on the story.