Sneak Peek: Programming for the 2013 AAJA convention in New York

Convention Unity 08 001Come to AAJA’s New York convention to get the tools, support and inspiration that you need to make a difference in the digital world, whether as a journalist or entrepreneur.

You’ll expand your toolkit by developing skills in social media, data visualization, mobile reporting and Web scraping. Whether you’re just starting or a seasoned journalist, you’ll learn strategies to enhance your career and build your leadership skills.

Even as AAJA focuses on helping you build your digital skills, we haven’t forgotten the importance of traditional reporting, and will offer sessions on investigations and covering business, politics, immigration and multicultural communities.

On the Wednesday (Aug. 21) before the convention starts, we’ll have a robust set of intensive training workshops, including an MBA-style workshop at New York University, a multiplatform writing workshop at Columbia University, a freelance journalists workshop at City University of New York, and a coding workshop onsite at the New York Hilton.

During the convention, reporting and visual journalism workshops will combine classroom learning and in-the-field training. We’ll also have a series of inspiring talks by high-profile journalists, entrepreneurs and newsmakers.

Here’s a sampling of the top sessions being planned:

  • Social newsgathering: Exploring the social sphere to spot story ideas, trends and potential sources.

  • Mobile skills: Essential apps for your smartphone that you can use for your reporting.

  • Data visualization: Tools for storytellers, designers and digital publishers to engage your audience. This workshop gives participants a tour of the latest data-viz tools and cool ways in which they’ve been used to tell stories and shed light on complex issues.

  • Early career advice: How to excel in your first job, get your ducks in a row for a fantastic second job and network with other early career journalists

  • Entrepreneurship: For journalists who have started an entrepreneurial venture and are beyond that initial burst of energy and optimism: How to evaluate whether your enterprise has a viable future, or engineer a mid-course correction What decisions go into creating a strategy to move forward?

  • Move to management: You’ve worked hard at your craft and honed your skills. Look ahead now and imagine the ways you can multiply your impact by becoming a formal leader in your newsroom. What do you most need to know as you move into a new role? How do you set the agenda, manage former peers and bring vision and passion to the challenge of fostering journalism for a diverse world?

  • Blowing up the business model: How enterprise and startup media organizations are experimenting with different business models on the Web. What works, what doesn’t and what factors should newsroom leaders take into consideration?

  • Beyond barriers: Getting good stories when you have limited or no knowledge of the language or culture. Often, we think we can’t tackle assignments that demand we speak another language or have intimate understanding of a community. In this session, we show specific multimedia examples of how monolingual reporters overcame these challenges.

  • How to communicate with designers and developers: In today’s newsrooms, it’s more important than ever for traditional journalists to be able to communicate with designers and developers. Whether it’s building basic news graphics or more complicated interactives, or just making sure your work is best seen on mobile devices, it’s critical to communicate to folks who might not speak your language and work through a different process.

  • Investigative reporting while covering a beat: How do reporters who file multiple stories a day dig below the surface? A panel of investigative reporters will fill attendees in on how to find good story ideas, pitch them to editors and balance that work with daily demands.

  • Hands-on intro to web scraping: Before data is stored in an Excel spreadsheet, it resides as HTML text on a website. Learn how to write a script to scrape data from a website and into a spreadsheet without copying and pasting.