SRCCON:WORK work will focus on teamwork, careers, and care, and how they all intersect in making journalism more inclusive and responsive. We’ll introduce each theme in our program with a pair of 10-minute talks designed to challenge us as a community and get us thinking as we head into breakout sessions.
Here are the talks we’ve confirmed so far for our conference, Dec. 7 & 8 in Philadelphia:
- Christine Stapleton, reporter at The Palm Beach Post, on the ways newsroom culture can make it hard to spot the point when alcohol and substance use turns into abuse. Journalism is a stressful job, and dark humor isn’t the only coping mechanism we use to deal with deadlines and the trauma we report on day to day. It’s rare that we talk about taking care of ourselves when it’s so easy to wear our worst habits like badges of honor.
- Disha Raychaudhuri, data reporter at NJ Advance Media, on what it’s like to look for a job as a young journalist from a marginalized community, someone with data skills in an industry that says it sees the importance of diversity. So how do you reconcile walking out of an interview to “you’re perfect, but we can’t hire you” with an entire genre of listserv posts complaining that “we’d love to hire more women and people of color, but we just can’t find any!”
- Erin Brown, a former sports journalist, producer, and now faculty at the University of Miami, on how our jobs which thrive on adrenaline, long hours, terrible habits, and an aura of invincibility can leave us utterly unprepared for everything to fall apart. Let’s talk about mental health and the strategies, resources, and benefits we need to know about to make sure we’re prepared to take care of ourselves when we need to most.
- Jessica Morrison, project manager at Chemical & Engineering News, on bringing change to a legacy newsroom. What do you do when print workflows don’t map to ambitious tech projects and traditional newsroom roles don’t align with growing responsibilities? Most of us patch processes together and keep moving because the news business doesn’t stop. But sometimes you have to rip off the duct tape that holds together old habits and create something new.
- Mandy Brown, executive director of publishing at Vox Media, will talk about how to build newsroom tech that respects the humanity of everyone who makes and uses it. Drawing on the work of Ursula Franklin in “The Real World of Technology,” she will ask questions about how we structure our teams, how we build healthy processes, and how we work with our colleagues and readers to publish stories that make a difference.
- Nicole Zhu and David Yee of Vox Media, on the life-changing magic of media mentorship. What does meaningful advice look like in an industry that keeps shifting? Once you’ve been in the weeds for a while, does your experience hold true amidst new platforms, storytelling formats, and organizational structures? We’ll talk about being both a mentor and a mentee, and a relationship framework that optimizes for flexibility and care without compromising on our work as journalists.
- Sisi Wei, deputy editor for news apps at ProPublica, on how experimenting with a blind application process gave us the most diverse applicants we could have imagined, and how we need to completely scrap our existing habits of networking and recommending candidates through sideways channels if our goal is to create more diverse teams and newsrooms.
- Sydette Harry is an interloper, and currently editor at the Mozilla Foundation. Working in journalism, she keeps hearing “where do you fit in our vision?” and “where are the people your journalism advocates for?” But these aren’t even the right questions. If everyone says they’re invested in diversity and we still can’t find the answers, then we need a better set of questions. Are we even asking for what we really want?