Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

10 things you’ll hear at every journalism conference

Posted in Entrepreneurial Journalism by Adam Westbrook on September 5, 2011

The 2011 conference season is almost over, with just a few events left to go.

After a busy 2010 attending these things I promised myself to go to less of them in 2011. That is a resolution I have profoundly failed to do. Oh well.

You have been spared the sight of me presenting at many though, so far at least. I am looking forward to talking about storytelling and journalism at the next News:Rewired conference in London on the 6th October. There’s an excellent line-up so far, so if you’re in London, make sure you get a ticket. Also in London, the Wannabe Hacks folks are organising an interesting alternative conference for younger hacks too.

10 things you hear at every journalism conference

1. Twitter/Facebook/Live-blogging is “just a platform”

2. We need to remember what journalism is “all about”

3. “…but where’s the money?”

4. “Is anyone else having trouble with the wifi?”

5. “…we’re all about ‘engaging with users'”

6. A reference to Andy Carvin or Neal Mann

7. News is “fragmenting” (whatever that means)

8. Journalism students must blog/tweet/do video or they won’t get a job

9. An obvious statement about what journalism is (i.e: ‘a journalist’s role is to sift through mass of info to find out ‘what is important’ & ‘what is true”)

10. And, usually from someone afterwards “there’s too much talking and not enough doing*”, followed by “so are you going to the next conference?**”

*This is usually me.

** So is this

There are many more, of course – add your own suggestions in the comments below! 🙂

6 Responses

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  1. Brian Cathcart said, on September 5, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Everybody is a journalist these days.

  2. Danny Wright (@danny_wright) said, on September 5, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Love this critique Adam, certainly has brightened my Monday morning! You forgot the ‘print is dead’ line, a scathing criticism of local papers and ‘journalism is changing all the time, technology has driven the…yadda yadda yadda’.

  3. Patrick Smith (@psmith) said, on September 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

    At industry professional association conferences, of which I am a sometimes bitter veteran, the saying for years was the loathsome “love your readers and they will love you”.

    Around the same time “google is stealing our business” was a popular trope. “Apple is stealing our business” is the 2011 equivalent.

    Generally, there usually isn’t enough discussion of what successful media companies do to make money – much of what doesn’t usually involve journalism as we might understand it.

  4. Marc Settle said, on September 5, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Number 6 should continue “…and their different approaches to using twitter”

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  6. […] 10 things you’ll hear at every journalism conference: a little bit of fun from me – the 10 cliches of every conference out there. […]

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