Recap of Barcamp News Innovation 2016

The 8th annual Barcamp News Innovation was the best attended yet. This annual unconference on the future of news welcomed more than 175 journalists, editors and other media makers interested in trends and best practices.

We at Technically Media have always produced it at and with Temple University’s School of Media Communications. For the first time, this year we hosted the day-long event in the fall, rather than late in the spring, which allowed perhaps nearly two dozen students to attend. Despite being free for students (just $15 for professionals), we’ve never had much turnout for those about to begin their careers. This year worked.

I wanted to share a few lessons and notes that stuck with me below.

First, attendance was up, aided both by suddenly have students and a true core of serous professionals: yay! (Note: 2012 was the first year we charged, $5, after having an enormous rate of no-shows in 2011 when we promoted heavily during our inaugural Philly Tech Week. We increased to $10 in 2014, then $15 in 2015). We also slightly shortened the day


Next some things that stood out:

We had 20 sessions, plus an impressive lunchtime keynote, and five were pre-planned. We improved lunch. Our sponsors were Temple and the Mozilla Foundation.

As always, lots of big news brands were represented: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, TED, National Geographic, Salon, Daily Beat, Roll Call, Nieman Journalism Lab, NPR, Vox Media, NBC News, Comcast NBC Universal, ONA, Gannett, McClatchy, Conde Nast, Hearst, and regular contributors to places like Wired and Vice and Huffington Post. Plus very nearly all of the Philadelphia regional media.

Find the final session board here. (Troll the #BCNI16 tweets while ya can)

Seth Goldstein, whose photo is in the header (thanks Seth!) also helpfully archived the day’s tweets. Still, I pulled out some below.

#BCNI16 was a great one:

Several people have still attended every single BCNI:

Diversity and inclusivity were focuses in at least two sessions:

Accessibility was one, if not two, sessions too:

Strong freelancing tactics always get discussed:

Lots of talk about better analytics

Aram Zucker-Scharff from Salon gave a wonderfully insightful #contentfraud presentation I enjoyed:

Reporting on neighborhoods that aren’t your own:

Balancing objectivity and accuracy: New York Times reps Daniel Victor and Michael Gold led a particularly thoughtful session:

Build real relationships, not transactional ones:

I personally learned several tactics in an open records session that simultaneously high level and inclusive: (find resources from presenter Austin Nolen here)

As always lots of people traveled:

Cool connections happened:

Super smart people were following along:

The after-party was great:

Other people shared thoughts, including TED’s Emily McManusPurple Car, a Storify from Temple and an article from the college’s student radio show. Plus the day’s frequent discussions about the dominance of Facebook to audience, partially informed this thoughtful analysis of the use of reddit.

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