Got My Grocery List of Goodies I’m Seeking at Journalism Interactive

In downtown Gainesville, Florida for Journalism Interactive 2013 with a list of things to get from a two-day conference focused on preparing journalists who are on the cutting edge (as the cliche goes) in the this age of digital news reporting and production.

GAINESVILLE–  For the second time in less than a year, I’m waking up in the hometown of the Florida Gators in the very same hotel room.

The venue for most of the events today at Journalism Interactive is the historic Hippodrome in downtown Gainesville. Seems like it being there will be a story in and of itself.

So, what would possess a two-time Georgia Bulldog and 10-year Alabama professor to do that?    Well,  I’ve come with a grocery list of things I need to pick up at what I see as a fairly unique digital-intensive two-day journalism conference.

It’s called Journalism Interactive (J/i).   Because of a conflict with the Convergence Conference in 2011, I only got to attend one day of the first  J/i at The University of Maryland.   So, even though the SPJ Regional was just here in March, I’m back in Gatorland to get some journalism goodies,  things you need if you’re in the business of preparing journalists.

Here’s what on my list:

An understanding of the unicorn
Apparently, I missed the memo that journalism instructors are supposed to be creating journalist/designer/coders in our programs.  Clearly I’m behind as I thought we teaching cross-platform journalism who could negotiate print/online/broadcast.   This lead session this morning ought to be worth the price of registration.

Cairo’s Connection to Graphics Journalism
I’ve never taught graphics journalism per se, but I certainly have a different view of it after reading part of Alberto Cairo’s book,  The Functional Art  recently.   A lot of stuff about how our brains work.   His session this morning should give me some goodies to take back to cross-media reporting.

Data Viz Competition
I have no idea what Data Viz is.  So, my friend Jake Batsell from SMU (who also has been to the  Convergence Conference) is goign to teach me all about it at the Teach-a-Thon this afternoon.

The lowdown on 4-D Storytelling
Ginny Whitehouse from Eastern Kentucky, was among those of us at the first Journalism Interactive.  She’s on the program this year talking about 4-D Storytelling.  I teach about preparing media message with the “4 Screen Strategy.”  But is that the same as the 4-D Storytelling?  I’ll find out this afternoon.

Instructions on how to teach computer hacking
Well, I never thought I would be teaching my journalism students how to hack.  But, Gary Kebbel from University of Nebraska has a demo on Teaching Computer hackers this afternoon.  Professor Kebbel was on the program at the first J/i talking about curriculum issues as a dean.  Now he’s into doing hackathons at his Center for Mobile Media in the town of ‘Big Red.’   Guess that’s what happens after you do journalism administration?

Pictures of Florida’s new digital newsroom
When we here for the SPJ Southeast Regional Conference last spring, there was lots of construction going on in Weimar Hall on a new digital newsroom.  A picture of the finished product is on the back of our J/i program.  So we’ll get a chance to see it tomorrow

More Entrepreneurial Journalism Insights
It’s only been a month since the Scripps-Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute.  But, even as I teach entrepreneurship in my Assessing Community Journalism class this semester, Jim Brady and David Cohn, who spoke last month in Phoenix, are on the program here.  I really look forward to hearing more from them not only only entrepreneurship, but intrapreneurship (a new word for me that I introduced in class last week)

Everything starts later this morning.   This is a multi-venue event, meaning things are happening at lots of different places around Gainesville.  That’s good.   Usually when I come here I spend all my time in Weimar Hall, Florida’s j-school.   But, they’re showing us some of the other great places this time.    More to come!

So, while the hotel where I’m staying in Downtown Gainesville somehow placed me in the same room where I stayed in 2012, I’m expecting something VERY DIFFERENT as I get these journalism goodies today.  Stay tuned!

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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