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SOC and ONA Mark Ten Years of New Media

Golden Gate Bridge

SOC faculty and alumni played key roles at the 10th anniversary Online News Association conference, held in San Francisco.

As its Interactive Journalism program marks its 10th year, SOC is a “hotbed for new forms of journalism,” according to MediaShift’s Mark Glaser. That’s why SOC had such a strong presence at the Online News Association's 10th anniversary conference in San Francisco, which was attended and led by SOC alumni and faculty, including Dean Larry Kirkman and Journalism division director Jill Olmsted, moderating panels and leading workshops for the premier organization of digital journalists.  

J-Lab's director, Jan Schaffer, with web editor and AU alum, Anna Tauzin, kicked off the conference with a day-long, pre-convention workshop for more than 70 participants called "Fund My Media." Founders of everything from small hyperlocal sites to $1 million sites talked about how they sustained their initiatives. Jill Olmsted spent time with the people who will help shape the future of the industry, manning a table for journalism students at the career fair.

Meanwhile, Investigative Reporting Workshop Senior Editor Wendell Cochran jumped into the conversation on Twitter, noting that the keynote with Twitter CEO Evan Williams was so tweeted, the system slowed to a crawl. He thought the future of journalism looked pretty good from San Francisco. “My main take-away is that many people have started looking forward, instead of dwelling on the past that is never coming back,” he said.

Director of Writing Programs and the Weekend Interactive Journalism program Amy Eisman moderated a panel on job transitions where leaders from Yahoo!, Google, the Howard-Sloan-Koller Group and Federated Media gave advice on finding jobs – and getting them. Eisman led a second panel on Web writing, where Yahoo! announced plans to release a Web style guide in 2010.

Alumni played key roles in the conference. Jim Brady, former editor of washingtonpost.com, and Jody Brannon, director of News 21 based at Arizona State University, both serve as ONA board members. Alum Joshua Hatch, multimedia producer for USATODAY.com, ran conference programs and will co-chair the conference in Washington, D.C., next year. Alumnae Lisa Pickoff-White and Cristina Fernandez were integral players on teams that won prestigious ONA awards.

Professor David Johnson met with other alumni nearby, offering an up-close chat about new media.