We believe this year’s theme speaks volumes to the things you’ll hear and learn about at the 2010 conference on May 28 to May 30 in Montreal at the Grand Plaza Montreal.
The CAJ is focusing on the new realities journalists are facing, things like writers being told to shoot pictures, photographers being told to start shooting video, everyone having to file what they have as soon as they have it to websites and blogs. From there, this news is Twittered and Facebooked and, by the time you read this, maybe going to many more new social-media sites.
It’s why we’re thrilled to have Rob Curley as a keynote speaker. The self-described Internet nerd — and currently editor of the new-media division of the Las Vegas Sun and Greenspun Media Group — is one of those guys newsroom techies have been telling us in recent days they’d fly across the country to hear. As one of the first online newspaper editors in the U.S., he led the Lawrence Journal-World in such innovations that in 2004, Editor and Publisher called the Kansas newspaper one of 10 in the U.S. that “did it right,” with innovations “too numerous to list.”
Among panels and workshops during the three-day conference will be one on online journalism — not what to do if it should arrive in your newsroom because the reality is it isn’t the future. It’s the now. Among people who will be talking about how you can not only survive but thrive in this new journalistic reality will be David Beers, award-winning editor of The Tyee, Greg Horn, editor of the online newspaper Iori:Wase, which focuses on news from the Kanien’Keha:Ka Nation in Khanawake, Que., and Kirk Lapointe, editor of the Vancouver Sun and the Canadian representative of the Online Newspaper Association.
You can’t do good online journalism if you don’t have the skills so there will be sessions on writing, editing, storytelling, shooting, investigative journalism, being able to read financial statements and figure out the numbers, avoiding lawsuits, staying true to the ethics and that most basic — and ever-changing in the Internet world — researching and knowing you’re using trustworthy sources.
There’s another reality in journalism these days that is unfortunately making headlines and taking its toll on everyone — trauma. It can be something horrendous, as the Calgary Herald endured when its reporter, Michelle Lang, died in Afghanistan. Herald editor Lorne Motley will be a keynote at the conference, talking about this new issue newsrooms from senior management to reporter must consider.
One other highlight: a Saturday noon-hour keynote panel with members of the Parliamentary Press gallery who will talk about covering the Hill in a time when information is controlled by the iron fist of the PMO.
To register, click here.
— Dale Bass, conference chair