Wick Communications

Looking beyond our problems

In Online media on 27 Sep 2012 at 4:29 pm

I had the distinct pleasure of attending part of the Online News Association conference last week and found it completely invigorating. I generally feel some uplift from industry gatherings. There is a shared sense of pride in the job that we do. It’s always good to be among other members of the tribe, people who understand the importance of an informed populace and take joy in bringing home the stories around us.

But this one had an added dimension. In its 12th year, the ONA draws a young, tech-savvy crowd that is not intimidated by the challenges we face as news professionals. There were about 1,400 people in attendance and Google, Twitter, Tumblr and other big names on the Internet participated. Sessions delved into the legal questions that revolve around digital publishing, tech trends and the proper ways to use social media among many other things.

It’s not too late to pick up on some of the best the conference had to offer. The ONA employed student journalists who did a terrific job reporting on the sessions. You can find that work here. In addition, Gannett attendees did a terrific job of bringing home the best of the conference. Here’s the link. They even distilled some of the best technology tools that came up again and again at the conference. Here you go.

It’s easy to convince yourself that this stuff is for someone else and has little to do with your own small town newspaper. But that is an illusion. Our world seems to be turning more rapidly than ever, and the tools that we employ to tell stories are changing daily. You have at your fingertips tools that your predecessors never imagined. Don’t let these opportunities pass by. I guarantee you’ll find something interesting in these ONA sessions and tools, or your money back.

Clay

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