ISOJ conference to cover main issues of digital journalism, from industry’s disruption to mobile revolution

Journalists, media executives and scholars from around the world will converge at the University of Texas at Austin, once again, for the International Symposium on Online Journalismon April 19 and 20. This year, the program will cover some of the most relevant issues for journalism today, such as media companies’ response to the disruption of their models, the impact of social media and mobile devices, and changes in design and information architecture.

The 14th ISOJ’s keynote speakers will be Jill Abramson, executive director at The New York Times; Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and former director of digital content for the UK’s The Guardian; Andy Carvin, senior strategist for social media at NPR; and Clark Gilbert, president and CEO of the Deseret News Publishing Company, former professor at Harvard Business School and author of a recent article at Harvard Business Review on how companies should adapt to the digital era.

Jill Ambramson-Flickr-Headshot-2013-Courtesyphoto(likely)
Jill Abramson, executive director of The New York Times. (Knight Center/Flickr)

“We did it again,” says professor Rosental Calmon Alves, the founder and director of ISOJ. “We have a great program with high caliber speakers from both the news industry and academia. As in previous years, ISOJ participants who come to Austin or follow us via live video-streaming or social media reports, will learn a lot about some of the most important challenges the digital revolution imposes to journalism nowadays.”

The full program of ISOJ is now available at the conference’s website and registration is open, but seats are limited. Thanks to the generosity of ISOJ’s sponsors – such as the Knight Foundation, the Scripps Howard Foundation, The Dallas Morning News and The University of Texas at Austin – the registration fees are very low: $30 for students and faculty, and $80 for general admission.

 ISOJ is a unique, global conference on journalism that mixes industry-oriented panels with academic research presentations of papers that have been selected in a highly competitive, blind review process. This year, 17 papers will be presented by researchers from the United States and other countries. Topics will include changes in audiences’ habits and in the news business, and innovative approaches to the global news ecosystem.
Emily Bell, from Columbia University. (Knight Center/Flickr)

Jim Moroney, chairman of the board of NAA (Newspaper Association of America) and publisher and CEO of The Dallas Morning News, and Jim Brady, president of ONA (Online News Association) and editor-in-chief of Digital First Media, will be on the panel “Disruption and innovation: news organizations’ strategies for the new media ecosystem.” Other speakers on the same panel are Jennifer Carroll, vice president for digital outreach of Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the U.S.; David Skok, director of digital at Global News, in Canada; and Neal Chase, a consultant who previously worked for The New York Times, Market Watch and Federated Media.

Veteran designer Roger Black, who has decades of experience designing newspapers, magazines and websites around the world, will chair the panel “Responsive design and other trends in digital platforms architecture and design.” Panelists include Trei Brundrett, vice president for product & technology at Vox Media (publisher of SB Nation, The Verge and Polygon); Michael Donohoe, product engineering director at Quartz and former senior product engineer at The New York Times; Miranda Mulligan, executive director of the Knight Lab at Northwestern University and former design director for digital at the Boston Globe; and Liz Danzico, designer, chair & co-founder of the MFA in Interaction Design program, School of Visual Arts, New York.

Andy Carvin, NPR social media senior strategist. (Knight Center/Flickr)

The challenges news organizations face as they try to adapt to the widespread adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices will be discussed on a panel chaired by Mindy McAdams, a digital journalism pioneer who is now a professor and Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of Florida. The panelists will be Ivo Burum, executive editor of Burum Media in Australia and an expert in mobile journalism; Chris Courtney, mobile product manager at the Tribune Company; David Ho, editor of mobile, tablets & emerging technology at the Wall Street Journal; Joey Marburger, mobile design director at the Washington Post; and Allissa Richardson, assistant professor of journalism at Bowie State University, who has also been an international trainer on mobile journalism.

 The panel “Data visualization: creating a new language to communicate big data” will be chaired by Alberto Cairo, an international leader in infographics and data visualization who is currently a professor of practice at the University of Miami. Panelists will be Scott Klein, editor of news applications, at ProPublica; Hannah Fairfield, senior graphics editor at The New York Times; Kim Rees, partner & head of data visualization at Periscopic; and Chiqui Esteban, visual journalist at the Boston Globe.
Clark Gilbert, CEO of Deseret News Publishing Co. (Knight Center/Flickr)

ISOJ is an annual conference organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, as part of the program of the Knight Chair in Journalism and UNESCO Chair in Communication at the School of Journalism of the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Rosental Calmon Alves is the founder and director of ISOJ, while University of San Diego State’s assistant professor Amy Schmitz Weiss is the research chair of the conference. The ISOJ website contains videos and transcripts of all sessions of ISOJ since 1999, besides research papers, PowerPoint presentations and other materials. The site is open to the public as a unique repository of testimonials about the evolution of digital journalism.