2012 NCMC Showcases New Media

Originally published 11/3/2012

Journalism is time consuming. But, no matter how much I might complain there is a huge perk to my job: I learn something new everyday. This weekend was no exception as I joined students from across the nation at some intense journalism seminars at the 2012 National College Media Convention. 

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In a span of four days at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Chicago, Ill., there were more than 200 different sessions covering topics that focused on broadcasting, newspapers, media law, new media and more. But, there are only so many speakers someone can listen to in such a short span of time. So, of the 13 sessions I had the opportunity to attend I am going to briefly list the five I found most useful and interesting.

5. Website Roulette: 50 sites in 50 minutes

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Courtesy of Tara Puckey, this presentation is exactly what the title says, 50 different journalistic websites that can aid organization, creativity and productivity – or non-productivity – in the age of new media. With this big of a list I'll help narrow it down a bit, so here is a sublist for those journalists who are looking for some more interactive fun like me. To be fair I haven't had a lot of time to research all of these so don't hold me to these suggestions, they just caught my eye. 1) Dipity 2) Wunderlist 3) WeVideo 4) Lucidchart 5) ZeeMaps 6) Jux.

4. The State of Storytelling in the Age of Interactivity 

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Zach Wise presented examples of some of today's most well known interactive content, including a few that he has worked on himself as the former senior multimedia editor at the New York Times. Some of these examples are interactive stories I can see being implemented – on a much smaller scale obviously – with some of our own student media projects at Marquette. For example a couple of my favorites were, A Moment in Time and Life in a Day, which incorporate almost all user generated multimedia content allowing for a more personal interactive experience with the audience. 

3. The Future of Overseas Reporting 

This session led by Kerry LuftChicago Tribune nation and world editor, held more of a personal interest for me instead of a new media focused initiative. One day I would love to see the world and use my journalism at the same time so getting some tips from a former foreign correspondent was pretty cool. Luft said there is no real pattern to becoming an overseas journalist but it does require one to have "an innate curiosity for countries and cultures." Well count me in Mr. Luft, I'm all about experiencing a new world view.

2. The Road to Code 

First off he hates PowerPoint and Keynote – most coders do apparently. For all of those who consider themselves "newbies" to website coding languages, like myself, Chris Courtney, has some good tips to getting yourself started. First, learn how to use Command Line. It is essential to working with online codes. Second, use other coders by using GitHub, a social repository site for coders. And third, learn the many different coding languages. Once you know one, the others will come pretty easily according to Courtney. 

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1. Covering the 2012 Olympics with One Backpack

Steve Johnson won best of show for NCMC12 in my book, and not only because he gave me a Twitter shout out (below), but because he is a 22-year-old journalism success story and all he needs is a backpack. Basically, he has my dream job. He covered the London 2012 Olympic games from the perspective of the University of Florida marching band – the first non-British marching band to perform at The Mall outside Buckingham Palace. Through the contents of his backpack and by following the timeline of his daily schedule we were able to witness how Johnson's story developed in London. But most importantly he emphasized that "in backpack journalism your bag is your best friend." I couldn't agree more. Now, where's my bag?

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And although they didn't make my top 5, speakers like Tim HarrowerDavid Stephenson and Brad Arendt deserve a shout out for bringing some great digital media topics and ideas to the table as well.