New Feature: Breakout Sessions and Lightning Talks!

This year, round out your experience of AAJA’s 2014 convention with our new breakout sessions and lightning talks!

Lightning Talks

What are lightning talks, you ask? They’re five-minute presentations (usually accompanied with a PowerPoint presentation) given by anyone about anything. They look like this: (though for #AAJA14, we won’t require you to set your slides to auto-advance). The goal is to delight, inform, enlighten and/or entertain a room full of journalists. All AAJA members are welcome to apply. Be sure to send us your ideas by Monday, August 4th!

If you pitched a convention panel, this is a great opportunity to boil down the subject and talk about something you’re passionate about. Nine 5-minute talks will be chosen by popular vote in early-August and the talks will take place on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 4 p.m. in the Renaissance Hotel.

This energetic and fast-paced event is a great way to close out the formal convention programming — we hope you’ll join us! Lightning Talks have become an integral part of the NICAR and ONA conventions elsewhere in the journalism industry, and we’re excited to bring them to #AAJA14.

Breakout Sessions

If you’ve ever been to an unconference, these sessions will borrow from that flavor and bring convention-goers together for closing discussions of their choosing. They will take place 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 14 at the Renaissance Hotel.

While the rest of the programming focuses on industry experts teaching skills-based training and best practices, these sessions are meant to be off-the-cuff, casual and flexible conversations among peers. Each room will have a pair of moderators who will guide the conversation and help the participants choose the right focus for discussion.

Anyone can be a presenter or speaker, and everyone can (and should!) participate.

Which breakout session is right for you?

  • Sports journalism. This conversation is for anyone interested in or engaged in sports journalism (reporters, editors, photographers, producers, videographers, etc. – Meeting Room 2.
  • Audience engagement/content strategy. This conversation is meant to bring together web producers, social media editors, community managers and anyone involved in deciding how to optimize content for the reader. – Meeting Room 7
  • Technology. This conversation will convene those straddling the lines between newsroom and technology, including project & product managers, coders/developers, editorial/tech liaisons, web editors of any kind. – Meeting Room 10
  • Regional/Local. From city hall to the statehouse, this conversation will focus on journalists who produce for a local and regional audience. – Meeting Room 12.
  • Longform. Anyone who’s focused on the big picture narratives or investigation should join documentarians and project editors for this conversation. – Meeting Room 13
  • Visual journalism. If you’re producing for the eye, including UX folks, designers, photographers, and videographers, come together for a discussion on visual journalism and design. – Meeting Room 14.
  • Media diversity advocacy. Ultimately, we’re all here for the same reason: to advance AAJA’s mission of diversifying newsrooms and raising the bar for coverage of communities of color. This conversation will tap into these topics and more. – Meeting Room 17
  • Bonus session! Journalism education. Students/professors/adjuncts are invited to meet in the career expo for a discussion about journalism education. – Expo Hall/Grand Ballroom