2023 Sessions

View the full video playlist of the conference here.

Julia Munslow, Wall Street Journal

Influencer or Reporter? How Journalists Can Build Trust Through TikTok

Audiences pay more attention to influencers than journalists when it comes to news on TikTok, according to the 2023 Reuter Digital News Report. So how can journalists learn to compete and build relationships with new audiences on short-form video platforms? This talk will examine how publishers—and influencers—are reaching a young, diverse audience that loves news on TikTok — and how this all plays in light of the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

Subbu Vincent, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University

Mobile News Apps: Similarities, Differentiators, Ethics

How many news aggregator apps are there on the market? Which ones do you use? Big names apart, the list is surprisingly long with everyone from Big Tech to early and late-stage startups. Google News, Apple News, MSN, Yahoo News, Smart News, Seekr, Ground News, Artifact, Inkl, etc. And this is apart from the news you discover on search and social media apps. These are modern-day technology products built by teams of product managers, engineers, designers, and guess what, journalists.

How does one compare them to find commonalities and differences? This talk will use news distribution ethics, journalism ethics, and consumer behavior lenses to walk you through a comparison. 

Robert Hernandez, University of Southern California Annenberg

Democratizing Immersive Storytelling or Hijacking the Dancing Hot Dog for Journalism

Learn about University of Southern California students’ JOVRNALISM projects that focus on community collaborations with the unhoused, youth in foster care, survivors of domestic abuse and more. We use AR, VR, Photogrammetry, Drones and more to produce award-winning journalism pieces. 

Zach Wade, CNN

The Power of Performance Feedback 

Digital audiences are changing faster than ever. Increasing your content’s reach and engagement with new readers requires sharpening your understanding of what stories and framing will resonate. 

Join Zach Wade, Sr. Producer for Editorial Product and Performance at CNN, discusses learning how to invest in actionable feedback to ensure stories serve changing audiences. 

Dan Pacheco, Syracuse University

Mobile-Friendly Digital Dioramas

It’s often assumed that Immersive Media can only be experienced after strapping a heavy virtual reality device to your face. But did you know that the same technologies that power VR also work in the browsers of every modern smartphone?

Learn how to use simple HTML code templates to publish digital story-worlds that are similar to the dioramas you made as a kid – but with a simple mobile web link. No construction paper or a shoe box required!

Ray Soto, Loric Games

Beyond Gaming: AI’s Personalization Potential

AI’s accessibility and expanded integration into products has elevated consumer expectations for personalization across all forms of media. Ray Soto will share insights into how Loric Games is harnessing AI to craft a personalized story experience for their players and discuss the potential for this innovative approach beyond gaming.

Jeremy Gilbert, Northwestern University

Today’s GenZ News Consumer Give Us a Map to 2030

The next generation of global news consumers displays a handful of critical behaviors that help us anticipate a global news shift toward a more personalized, customized future dependent on personal devices and relationships. A series of ethnographic interviews across three countries reveal critical patterns and identify significant opportunity gaps for news creators to pursue. 

Ryan Restivo, YESEO

Elevate Your Stories with YESEO

Ryan Restivo will present his Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship project YESEO, the app for Slack that helps newsrooms with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices. He will describe what he learned in creating it and how insights from newsrooms helped influence the user experience.

He will discuss how YESEO incorporates Generative AI as it emerged three-quarters of the way through an eight-month project. He will also highlight what he’s learned in the seven months since releasing it in March and the stories of users who have benefited from the tool from across the country and the world.

Christopher Ball, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mobile Devices May Once Again Change News Content

Extended reality (XR) technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), could dramatically alter how we interact and engage with the digital world. The potential applications of these technologies are limitless, and pioneering journalists have consistently been at the forefront of leveraging this new technology. However, despite several successes and industry “booms,” VR has yet to achieve the mainstream acceptance and adoption necessary for a true technological “paradigm shift” to occur. In this talk, I will present longitudinal research examining users’ perceptions and acceptance of VR technology over the past three years, which points to future possibilities.

Looking ahead, Apple’s entrance into the XR space could have massive implications for people’s perceptions of VR as “spatial computing” is introduced to the mainstream with the Apple Vision Pro. Additionally, one of the most significant upcoming developments in the VR space may be the introduction of spatial video capture on the iPhone, allowing many to create immersive content for the first time. Therefore, mobile devices may once again change how we both consume and produce news content. Lastly, I posit that innovative creators, such as journalists, will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the future of VR technology.