“Journalism” Track: March 11–16

The Forrest Four-Cast: January 27, 2017

In the context of the Trump Administration’s heated attacks on the media over the last week, it bears repeating that SXSW has added a Journalism track to the 2017 event. Beginning Saturday, March 11 and extending through Thursday, March 16, this track is part of our Convergence initiative — which means that it is open to all SXSW badge types.

Ten of the most relevant “Journalism” sessions for SXSW 2017 are as follows:

  1. Echo Chambers: Healing Our Social Media Algorithms. Our online world is increasingly accessed through social media. For many it’s now their primary news source — served algorithmically, only with the opinions and values we want to see. This is driving divides in society pushing opinions to their extremes: from the posturing of Trump, to Brexit, to Gamergate. Scheduled Saturday, March 11.
  2. Elevating a New Generation of Journalists of Color. Frustration among student journalists of color continues to rise as they experience far more obstacles than colleagues while trying to advance in their journalism career. How can newsrooms tactically seek out, but also successfully train and retain talent that is representative of America? Scheduled Tuesday, March 14.
  3. From Trump to Trolls: How Muslim Media Fights Back. Muslims in the media have been tried by fire — and we want to share our best practices with you. Through theory, practice and case studies, we want to share the best strategy to get your message/campaign to rise above the fray. Scheduled Tuesday, March 14.
  4. How Behavioural Psychology Can Explain Brexit. Discover how anchoring psychology was fundamental in the “We send £350m a week to the EU” slogan; hyper-local messaging overcame loss aversion; and emotive psychological messaging triumphed over rational argument and data. Scheduled Wednesday, March 15.
  5. How Bots Are Automating Fact-Checking. As news organizations and researchers explore how they can automate journalism, fact-checkers are breaking new ground with some intriguing experiments. These tools show promising new ways that fact-checking can be automated. Also on the horizon: instant “pop-up” fact-checking on live TV. Scheduled Monday, March 13.
  6. How Filter Bubbles Affect Media and Elections. Step behind the curtain of the Facebook newsfeed algorithm and see how it has changed the entire media landscape of the US and beyond. Using billions of rows of data, media data analyst Steve El-Sharawy will reveal the pattern of polarisation across US media both before and after the 2016 Presidential election. Scheduled Thursday, March 16.
  7. Playing Nice: Redesigning Online Commenting. How do we tap the collective intelligence of online communities working together but avoid the toxic minefield of trolling and hate speech that has become synonymous with online comments? Calling on the wisdom and war stories of an interdisciplinary panel of game designers, media researchers and journalists, we explore design solutions and engagement strategies for reimagining the role of the commenter as a meaningful contributor. Scheduled Sunday, March 12.
  8. A Post-Truth World? Nope — We Can Fight Fake News. As people increasingly get their news from social channels, many are encountering fake content that can leave them misinformed — and even affect how they vote. Join a Vanderbilt psychologist and journalists from AP and the First Draft Coalition as they discuss how the public perceives fake news — and how the news industry can make sure the truth wins out. Scheduled Monday, March 13.
  9. Predicting the Future of News: A CTO Perspective. Publishers have just begun to scratch the surface of engineering’s potential. Shailesh Prakash, the CTO of the Washington Post, reads the industry tea leaves and shares insights into what’s next in big data, personalization, automation and more to propel news organizations into the future. Scheduled Tuesday, March 14.
  10. Who Has the Guts to Invest in Content? In a time of evolution and uncertainty within the publishing world, it is a gutsy venture to invest in digital content. Many media companies have reduced staff and cut resources. But those that commit to being nimble, learn to build authentic voice in an online world, and produce content that resonates with its audience will not only survive, but thrive. Scheduled Wednesday, March 15.

Also related to journalism, be sure to attend the Interactive Innovation Awards on the evening of Tuesday, March 14 to witness the SXSW Hall of Fame induction ceremony for ReCode editor Kara Swisher.

Otherwise, please click on these posts to learn more about some of the other tracks at SXSW 2017: “Brands & Marketing” (March 11–16), “Intelligent Future” (March 11–16), “Social Impact” (March 11–15), and “Startup Village” (March 10–16). Get a better grasp of the day-by-day schedule of all 24 tracks for this spring by viewing the timeline on this page.

Purchase a SXSW badge to attend these sessions as well as the many outstanding networking events that make March Magic in Austin such an amazing experience. Buy before the end of the day on Friday, February 10 to save $100 on the walkup price. After you have purchased your badge, secure your lodging in Austin via the SXSW Housing Department.

Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.




Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest

Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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