Media convention engages local journalists
The Media Consortium, a conference of the country’s leading, progressive and independent media outlets, took place in Philadelphia last week. The event brought together experts on different subjects such as social media, pod-casting and digital-based journalism.
Members of local media, including Al DÍA, were in attendance and participated in some of the panels presented by the Consortium throughout the week.
Here are some of the highlights:
Beyond Facebook and Twitter
Social media is changing how society consumes media. This often proves a challenge for journalists in how they present the news to consumers who want it at a quick pace.
Comprised of various multimedia journalists, this panel aimed to explore the different uses of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, while also looking at newer brands like Periscope and Snapchat.
The panel was aimed at those who are still struggling to understand how social media can work with modern reporting. Periscope was brought up. This is a globally optimized live streaming app. Periscope lets you record live real time video on your smartphone.
Jim Macmillan, a Philly-based multimedia journalist who led the discussion, called the app the “most important” development in social media journalism since Facebook and Twitter.
Engaging your audience: Tools
The challenge of keeping audiences engaged has always been a concern for the industry. Currently clickbait or a flashy pictures is not enough to keep the reader interested in your story.
In this panel, solutions and opinions were given about the idea of involving the public in the journalism we produce.
Jennifer Brandel, one of the panelist and reporter from WBEZ, mentioned how she and her team found some success in keeping their listeners up to date with how certain stories were progressing during a news gathering experiment called Curious City. With this project, Brandel and her team flipped the traditional journalism model and began involving their audience more by allowing them to be a part of the conversation.
How Ethnic Media Aim to Mobilize Voters in the 2016 elections
As the 2016 presidential races edges ever so closer, society is watching ever closer to see what role the media will play in electing the next President of the United of States. To some extent this has already been viewed with the vast amount of coverage given to certain presidential candidates.
Sabrina Vourvoulias, executive editor of Al DÍA was a part of the panel aimed at exploring the steps in getting millennials engaged in the coming elections. Vourvoulias revealed that Al DÍA will be hosting a series of Twitter chats before and after the primary election, as well as before the election itself.
Al DÍA and 900 WURD have also teamed up for a new project titled The Next Majority, which focuses on increasing civic engagement and voter investment within the Latino and African-American community, particularly young millennials of color.
Something which can be simple and yet daunting at the same time, podcasting has led to many success stories but also to many headaches.
The panel was made up of four successful podcasters who have created their podcasts in a variety of ways. Whether it was through a publication or through personal interest, the panelists represented a good mix of podcasting philosophies.
For the most part, the discussions were focused on formatting and show planning. Many present for the session were newcomers to podcasting with a mix of backgrounds. Some came from radio experience, some had no experience at all.
Panelists agreed that consistency and appeal need to work hand in hand to make sure listeners will even bother to listen to more than the first two minutes.
The Philadelphia News Scene: A National Model?
There was a packed room after lunch on Thursday at the Media Consortium. It was time for the event’s plenary panel focusing on the Philadelphia news scene.
On the panel were members of different corners of media in the city. Chris Krewson (editor of Billy Penn), Ashley Hahn (interim managing editor of PlanPhilly), Howard Gensler (entertainment editor of the Philadelphia Daily News), AL DÍA’s Vourvoulias, and Sara Lomax-Reese (president and CEO of WURD Radio) were all present to speak on what they saw from their corners of the Philly media world.
While some questions were asked about how to stay relevant in a fast-paced city with a legacy media organization, the majority of the conversation was on how that very same legacy organization was staying afloat.
Much of the talk was about how the Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, has been getting on, and its future. The consensus was overwhelming negative.
Both Gensler and Krewson, the latter who at one time worked for the Inquirer, spoke about their doubts on the situation getting better for the company. Even with the newest changes, which saw the company donated to a new media institute under the care of the Philadelphia Foundation, Gensler remained somewhat pessimistic.
“I am not particularly confident the move to nonprofit will make any significant impact in the short run,” said Gensler who is also the president of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia. “My guess that by the time anything does happen seriously, the Daily News will be out of business.”