Photos by Jennifer Mizgata, ONA
More than 80 journalists, students and educators took over the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism & Mass Communications on Saturday, Dec. 1, for a day of free digital training, brainstorming and connection with peers.
While many attendees took notes during the 12 workshops — including attendee Yael Grauer’s open Google Doc of notes — ONA staff kept tabs on resources coming out of the day, too. We grabbed the best ones from the presenters. Below is a list of session resources and quick takeaways from our weekend in Minneapolis.
We also recorded audio from a few workshops, which are available — along with audio from ONA12 — on ONA’s SoundCloud page.
DIVE INTO E-BOOKS
Attendees eyeing opportunities in longform journalism joined Lisa Williams for a start-to-finish exploration through the e-book production process. Williams work with individuals one-on-one on their projects, offering guidance and situation-specific advice.
TELLING STORIES WITH SOUND
Duo Doug Mitchell and Laura Yuen demonstrated favorite pieces from their portfolios before outlining a list of practical tools worth nabbing to produce quality storytelling audio.
REPORTER’S DIGITAL TOOLKIT AND SOCIAL TIPS
Giving an awesome run-down of digital and social tools, Dan Petty outlined how to leverage the best out there to help find, develop and share not just any stories, but the right ones for your audience.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INTERNET LAW
Instructor: Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.
Legal issues are usually the last thing some journalists consider, and Jane Kirtley took the time to show attendees why it should be the first. Kirtley hit on how to think through legal problems and provided some valuable legal resources to keep handy.
- Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Digital Legal Guide
- Citizen Media Law Project’s Legal Guide
- Creative Commons License Explorer
- Copyright Basics from United States Copyright Office
- Electronic Frontier Foundation for identifying rights online
SEO & OPTIMIZING YOUR CONTENT FOR THE WEB
Petty’s second workshop centered on the changing place of SEO. He shared examples of how at the Denver Post everyone — reporter, editor and copy editor — needs to fully understand and push for smart wording, tagging and other meta-data-ing online.
MOBILE REPORTING TOOLS
Our favorite presentations include cute cats and Yuri Victor delivered. Separating some of the best mobile tools into categories of use, he shared how a cell owner can take better photos to “big ideas” apps that help streamline mobile reporting through better organization.
STORYTELLING THROUGH DATAVIZ
Native Minnesotan Kevin Quealy outlined how The New York Times thinks through conveying a story through data. Using examples from NYT projects, he outlined which factors shape better stories — offering little gems like “distributions are more interesting than averages” and “scale is more than a key, and it doesn’t have to be traditional” — before walking through how to code a data set in programming language R.
DEVELOPING A MOBILE STRATEGY
With the aid of some creative slides, Victor emphasized the idea that mobile isn’t just the future, it’s now. Emphasizing that users are looking for news on multiple devices, he worked one on one with attendees on their individual playing fields and how to leverage them — before they get left behind.
CREATIVE DIGITAL CONTENT
With memes and GIFs as examples, Amanda Hess discussed how understanding internet culture can benefit journalistic content, driving audience growth and engagement.
BETTER BUSINESS STRATEGIES FOR THE WEB
Instructor: Ken Sands, Editor, Manager, Digital Media Strategist, formerly of Bloomberg Government @kensands
Ken Sands, a longtime online news executive, shared strategies on how to grow your audience, improve your business model and more sharply focus business efforts. One main takeaway? Know specifically what you can do better than everyone else and let that lead any business direction.
BRAND YOURSELF: OWNING A PIECE OF THE WEB
By noting examples highlighting the pros and cons of online engagement and personal webpages like sexwithamandahess.com, Hess started a dialogue on how to think through presenting yourself online to your audience, and potential employers, too.
DIGITAL AND DIVERSITY
A recruiter and diversity consultant, Mitchell led discussions identifying four organizational tiers in which to promote diverse people, opinions and worldviews. After diagnosing the problem spots, group conversation centered around methods for integrating a mind to diversity across the organization, not just one person or unit.
As a bonus, here are some of the side-happenings of ONACamp Minnesota, including projects people worked on in our open space:
- After driving six hours to Minneapolis from the Chicago-area, ONA Northwestern students Hillary Fung, Frank Bi, Tyler Fisher and Dan Hill hacked away to make progress on a football social media project. This weekend they’ll continue work on it with the help of Chicago Tribune news applications developer and ONA member Andy Boyle.
- Hill also made progress on his personal project about Chicago gun violence.
- ONA Communications and Social Media Manager Jennifer Mizgata met one-on-one with Public Insight Network to discuss their social media strategy.
Want to learn more about past ONACamps? Take a look.
Got an idea for the location of a future ONACamp or want to get more involved? Email Digital Director Jeanne Brooks at email@example.com.