Sessions

Our peer-led sessions combine skillsharing, discussion, and collaboration. Proposals are open through April 10!

Proposals

Session proposals are aleady arriving for SRCCON 2015, and we’re posting them here as they come in. Pitch your own session now or learn more about session styles and what it means to facilitate at SRCCON.

A Newsroom Nadsat: How to Build Better Newsrooms with Better Language

Proposed by Lena Groeger and Aurelia Moser

Let's build an inclusive dictionary of all the language and terms that create a safe and encouraging environment for a diverse group of people in and out of the newsroom. Some topics include: how to think about gender pronouns, what language to include in a job posting to encourage diverse applicants, how to build inclusive narratives, and what a checklist would look like to ensure representative and relevant perspectives on and in stories.

The Dungeon Master's Guide to Teaching Journalism

Proposed by Sisi Wei

Learn what it really means to play Dungeons & Dragons — and how the creative concepts behind roleplaying games are especially applicable to teaching journalism. After playing some (adapted version of) D&D, we'll discuss examples of how others have used roleplaying to teach, which lessons lend themselves to roleplaying, and finally, create as a group a lesson plan for making your next class an adventure. The unamended title of this session pitch is: The Dungeon Master's Guide to Teaching Journalism, 3rd Edition, Revised (v3.5)

What (front-end) tools do you use?

Proposed by Alan Palazzolo

Most of what we do is make things for the web, but how we actually do it can vary greatly. Choosing tools and methods can be complex decisions, especially in the hip, constantly-changing front-end space. Let's rap about the tools we use, or don't use, or just thought about using, and all the things that go into those decisions. Beginner or advanced, you will have something to share and will definitely learn a thing or two. Some potential sub-topics could be CSS processing (LESS/SASS), Javascript frameworks (Backbone/Angular/Ractive), icons (SVG/Font-icons), interface frameworks (Bootsrap/Foundation), dependency management (Require/Browserify), building (Gulp/Grunt), and so much more.

They call it redesign. We call it fixing all that crap we hate.

Proposed by Rachel Schallom

Redesigns are an excellent opportunity to take a step back and make non-design changes to your site, too. Let’s face it: Over time, junk builds up, and you have section fronts that haven’t been updated in years. Or they have old styles. Or they aren’t organized the same way others are. Let’s talk about redesigns from a non-design perspective: dividing the labor, satisfying competing interests, identifying problems, using data to determine organization, retraining staff and applying consistent styles.

Big ambition, small staff, how the f*** do I prioritize?

Proposed by Rachel Schallom

Many good ideas come out of journalists who are enthusiastic about their beats and the opportunity to capture large audiences. But there are lots of them, and only one or two of us. So how do you say no to good ideas, while keeping those good ideas flowing? How do you tell senior editors that you don’t have the resources when they want Snowfall? How do you determine which of the good ideas has the most value journalistically, and/or most potential for audience, social sharing or revenue? Doing this poorly leads to missed opportunities, time wasted on projects with no legs or shelf life, journalistic flaws, poor execution because of overbooking your time or unrealistic expectations — and burnout from long hours, nights and weekends. Doing it well strengthens our journalism, builds audience and reputation, opens new revenue opportunities and leads to even more good ideas. Successes build on themselves; failures devalue our potential.

Coping Mechanisms for Skills and Careers

Proposed by Tiff Fehr

Let's discuss tactics and challenging questions regarding how we cope with tech and journalistic uncertainty in our jobs and careers. Let's set aside imposter syndrome as quick as we can and discuss actively (re)shaping crummy projects, layered feedback and plateaued feelings into active learnings. Part of that is intentionally *unlearning* habits — both skill and attitudes that stick. Another facet is accommodating how we each learn differently — how to judge what stuff can percolate and what needs immediate patching.

Mundane Programming

Proposed by Daniel Nguyen

Programming creates so many technical and creative inventions that it's natural for aspiring programmers to dream of big projects in the cloud. But this ambition ignores the actual goal of programming, which is almost completely about making machines do mundane work. And it is counterproductive to learning how to program, which requires consistent practice as in every other form of literacy and art. So this session will be about mundane programming. Programming not to be the next Zuckerberg, or to get a better job 3 months from now, but to make today or just the next ten minutes more enjoyable. Instead of focusing specifically on how to code, we'll expand upon the reasons of why we code (though seeing is often believing when it comes to code, so feel free to bring both ideas and Gists). And we'll trim the personal prerequisites of programming, which don't include being an entrepreneur, having a profitable idea, building a website, contributing to open source, or changing the world or your career. Programming can be learned, and done, with a willingness to learn and a wide variety of small problems to practice upon.

Lets stop worrying and let our reporters make their own graphics

Proposed by David Yanofsky

We gave a couple people in our newsroom training in Adobe Illustrator and our graphics style guide and set them loose to make their own graphics. Let's talk about how terrifying that is and what there is to keep them making great work with the new skills.

Social Media as news

Proposed by michelle cadieux

Is journalism dying to our short attention spans? Love it or hate it, many people get their news by social media. Overview of social media campaign tracking metric tools. And the million dollar question, how does that support existing business models or make money on it's own.

Kite mapping for fun and profit!

Proposed by Linda Sandvik

Like the outdoors? Aerial photography? Documenting illegal deforestation in central America or mapping relief efforts after a natural disaster? Maybe kite mapping is for you. Sure, all the cool kids are using drones. But when journalists get arrested for trespassing when they are using their shiny + easy to spot drone to film correctional facilities, their colleague flying a kite is less likely to be stopped (what, I'm just flying my kite?). Let's make a kite and go for a walk around a Minneapolis lake or two. (Note: this requires some wind. But fear not, if there is no wind the backup plan is to do (helium) ballon mapping instead. Still cheaper than a drone). After kite-flying we'll have a look at the photos, stitch them together, contribute it Open Street Map and talk about some cool kite mapping projects. (this workshop will work over two days, day 1 mapping (a couple of hours), day 2 do some stuff with computers)

Information Security Essentials for Reporters and Sources

Proposed by Andy Watson

Protecting yourself and your important information safe when reporting on stories either overseas in dangerous areas or when the subject of your reporting is a dangerous criminal gang can be intimidating. It's something Brian Krebs has written about a number of times and it made me wonder if reporters and sources are fully prepared to face challenges like trumped up charges based on forged evidence given to police, financial fraud etc... In this session, I'd like to discuss methods for protecting yourself and your family both at home and abroad.

Machine learning: how useful is it for journalism?

Proposed by Steven Rich

Machine learning is suddenly the new, hip thing in data journalism. But like every tool in a toolbox, it has some uses but is not a go-to tool in every situation. This session will look at how some journalists have used machine learning and in what situations it's best and in what situations it should be avoided.