The Most Important Track at SXSW 2017?
Yesterday, my post on Medium covered the entry process for the David Carr Prize at SXSW. This competition to identify the top writers of tomorrow is an important aspect of next year’s event. But, even more noteworthy is the Journalism track which this contest loosely aligns to. Scheduled from Saturday, March 11 through Thursday, March 16, the 50+ sessions that make up this track could be the most relevant and most significant panels and presentations for March 2017 in Austin.
Why are these sessions so relevant and significant? Because the health of the journalism industry has never been in a more precarious position than it is post election 2016. The catch-phrase of “fake news” is one of the main challenges here. So, how do we refine our systems such that wildly inaccurate information doesn’t continue to rise to the top of our news silos — and how do we change our approach such that celebrity-driven headlines don’t continue to dominate the news cycle. Also very concerning is the outright antagonism and contempt that our President-elect has shown towards the press. In one of his recent Medium posts, Dave Pell does an excellent job of outlining five reasons that Trump’s combative approach should be cause for significant alarm.
As for the Journalism track at SXSW 2017, some of the already accepted sessions include “Gone Fishing: How to Not Let Clickbait Reel You In,” “Good Night & Good Luck: Media in Election Years,” “How Bots Are Automating Fact-Checking,” “How Technology Has Disrupted the Truth,” “Is Curated Content Creating Tunnel Vision?,” “Predicting the Future of News: A CTO Perspective,” “Trolls: Lessons from Online Anti-Semitism’s Rise,” “Virtual Reality: The Next News Experience,” “What’s Next for Facebook Live,” and “When the Algorithm Is Running the News.” So, definitely lots of timely topics.
More sessions (and more speakers) in this track will be announced in the coming weeks and months — stay tuned to the SXSW website for updates. As always, feel free to connect with me at hugh at sxsw dot com (or via the comments section of this post) if you have specific ideas on media-related concepts that we should cover at the 2017 event. Finally, remember that this track extends through Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16 — so plan your stay in Austin accordingly!