ERIKA: Hello, thank you for joining us for the first ever SRCCON:WORK in Philly! I’m Erika for OpenNews. We do work to support the people who work at the intersection of journalism and technology, which would be all of you, and that’s why we’ve created these two days to have time to dig into the cultural challenges in workplaces and help you be able to focus on your technical integrations in work. So we’re going to take a few minutes now just to tell you a little bit about the event, orient you to the building, and what we’re going to do over the next two days. And then we’ll open up with our talks and head into the sessions for the rest of the day.
I first want to welcome you to Philly. I’m based in Philly, so this made it really easy for me. I came from home actually, so thank you for everyone for coming. I’m excited to get to share this city with you. We’re in the Old City. We’re a couple of blocks away from Constitution Hall and the Liberty Hall. But there’s also a lot happening through the rest of Philadelphia. So I was hoping — it’s a majority a people of color city. It is the — one of the large cities — the most impoverished large city in the country. We’re battling a lot of things in this city but there’s a lot of amazing stuff happening, too. There’s a great spirit of neighborhoods. There’s growth happening for the first time in 50 years. There were more people coming into Philly according to the census, driven by some really vibrant immigrant communities in the city. So it’s an amazing place to be. I really love Philly, and I’m excited to share it with you but it’s a hard place. People sometimes yell. I don’t know if you’ve experienced that. It’s sort of what makes me feel at home. I sometimes yell back. But people also support one another. They push for equity and change in this city. Some of that’s actually going to be happening by net-neutrality rallies happening Verizon. There’s a lot that we’re bringing into this spaces that we’re hopeful that these are two days that we can spend taking care of each other and taking care of ourselves. Because a lot of how I feel about Philly is similar to how I can feel about this industry. It can be hard but you can also find people to band together with and that’s why we’re here. Yesterday we released a news nerd survey. Some of you may have participated in that to understand the needs of the community. Sue was one of the folks who helped us with that and she’ll be running a session with me tomorrow looking into that.
And we understand — we found out from you about the needs and challenges that we have in this field. And no surprise, it’s exactly what we’re going to be tackling over the next two days. There was challenges related to communication, there are challenges related to taking care of one another, there were challenges related to hiring. And that is what we’re going to be doing the next two days. We also found in the survey that we do have a spirit of taking care of each other in this field.
Seventy-one percent of people in the survey reported that in the past year, they’ve mentored, trained, or supported a colleague. And for people who have connected with OpenNews, it was 80%. So for the folks in this room, it’s even more true.
So you’ll hear a lot more about that in sessions. We have time over these two days to find collaborators and work towards solutions for these challenges that we’re facing in many of our newsrooms. So I want to wrap up with a few thanks and hand it over to my colleagues to talk more about the rest of the day. So just wanted to say thanks to our advisory board who helped shape this event, to all the work they did. Two of those folks are going to be with us over the next couple of days, Tiff and Erin. Also wanted to thank the sponsors to helped support this event. We had a lot of great sponsors, a couple to call out are Google News Lab, who is lead sponsor for the event and supported the survey which was really great. There’s also a really nice database if you want to explore all the eight that you shared in the survey. News Integrity Initiative which brought 13 journalists of color to the event this week. And Democracy Fund supported our free childcare which was sold out, and the most popular childcare we’ve had at any SRCCON event. So thanks so much for that support and we’re really grateful for this time to have, with a small group of folks where we can really connect with each other, and move forward with some structure that you’re going to hear about in attention. First up, I want to welcome up Cordelia, who’s going to talk about your experience as a participant.
[ Applause ]
CORDELIA: So at SRCCON:WORK, we want to support building relationships with each other. We want you to be able to bring your ideas, your life experiences, and all of who you are to this space. And we’ve done a couple things to help — to help facilitate that. We have a lot of space for the hallway tracks. So, like, if you have a conversation or if you want to continue a conversation, there’s plenty of space to do that in the building. We have long breaks so you don’t have to rush from session to session.
And for dinner, we’re experimenting with something new for us. Instead of having one giant dinner, we’re breaking off into small groups of ten so you can actually sit down and get to know one another while you’re also sort of experiencing this. We’re excited for that. We provide free breakfast and lunch. And we make sure to take care of all of your dietary needs. If you don’t see someone — if you don’t see food that you’re able to eat, let one of us know, so look for anyone in a blue shirt, or a volunteer in a yellow shirt and we’ll find you food. And then our sessions are entirely about collaboration and about participation. The facilities want your ideas. They want you to be a part of it because all of us are experts here. And we say that SRCCON is about raising each other up and it’s about raising your ideas up, as well. And we have space for your emergent ideas. So if you have a conversation that you want, in the hallway, we have space for emergent lunchtime sessions. Where is our job board?
RYAN: Right to the right.
CORDELIA: Also to the right, if you have a job, post a job. If you’re looking for a job, and try to find each other. Um… so for dinner, we’re breaking out into small groups. We’ll give you a bit more logistics about that during lunch and afterwards before we break out. And these are just some of the things that we’ve done to sort of design our time here together. In a few moments, Erin is going to come up here to talk about our code of conduct and our ground rules while we’re in this space but I want to call out one thing. It’s sometimes hard to just go to group. So I want to tell y’all, you have permission to just go out to the street. And on the flip side, if you’re not in a group, so if you’re standing in the circle, keep the space open for anyone to join. And if the space joins, leave a little more space and hopefully if we do that, we can build connections. And next is Erin.
ERIN: So could I just see a show of hands for who’s been to a SRCCON before? Okay. Awesome. So many, many of you in this room have read our code of conduct already. But for those of you who need a refresher, it’s up on our site. I’m not going to go through, it’s short, relatively short code of conducts. Do take a look at it if you have haven’t seen it before. But the spirit of the code of conduct is we want you to take care of yourselves and each other. And there’s a few ways that we deepen that this year. So the code of conduct is on the website. You may have discovered that. You’re already here so… It’s backed up by a safety plan. This is not a code of conduct for show. We have plans for many, many kinds of things, including how to get to help you get to a hospital if you break something — please don’t break something. But that does exist. It has been thought through. The main contact point is the safety and help line. If you look on the back of the badge, you’ll see SRCCON Safety and Support Line. Feel free to call that or text that number at any time if you’re not sure if your problem or your question rises to the level of texting us. Do it anyway. Like, we’re here for you, so don’t worry about that.
Also this year, in addition to focusing on safety, we have fully staffed support roles throughout the conference because this is a little different from the other SRCCONs that we have done. If you go to work.srccon.org/support, you will see some ground rules that we’ve developed for this year.
They are to make things better for you, not to tell you to do things that are unpleasant. But I just really quick want to go through those, and then talk about what our support team offers. So if you go on the site, you’ll see that the first thing is about taking care of yourselves. Just some quick things. Put your on mask on before assisting others as they say on the planes. We get into some heavy stuff here, so don’t push yourself too hard. Listen to yourself, take breaks, get snacks. We have a quiet room on the second floor. It’s Garden 2 if you’re looking, and you can go there any time to just relax.
You don’t need to ask permission to meet your own needs. So we have a mobility rule of SRCCON. If you find that you’re not participating in a session, or if you decide that you want to stop participating in a session, it’s not rude to leave at all. Don’t ask, don’t wait, just go find something else to participate, or go find someone else to talk to. It’s totally cool. No one will feel judged. And, again, you have support. We are here for you. The next thing is about taking care of each other.
We ask you to think about how you are hearing other people, how you are listening. And as you become more comfortable with listening to your own needs, we find that you can understand people better. So try to stay in touch with yourself. Respect boundaries and I want to talk about a couple of specific things there.
You all seen the photo lanyards? I imagine, the strings? So just to reiterate, if you see a red lanyard, don’t take pictures, if you see a yellow one, ask, and if you see a green one, awesome. There’ll also pronoun pins for how you should address them. So please respect those things. And then Cordelia hopefully talked about the Pacman rule and so on, do say hi. Talk to people. That’s what makes SRCCON SRCCON.
And, finally, we haven’t talked about this at other SRCCONs but when you think about the things that you may disclose in a session, just be aware, we are definitely hear to listen to you, but none of us are trained therapists. So there may be things that we can help you find someone else to talk about, but be mindful of that, and probably it’s a good idea to follow, we call it the “dinner party” rule, which is if it’s something that you would talk about at a dinner party with your friends, then it’s good, but if you would not talk about that, then you might not want to bring it up in session, at least its details just because we don’t have have someone standing by. But all of that said, although we’re not trained professionals, there is, from right now, until closing on Friday, someone standing by in our office waiting to talk to you about anything you want to talk about.
I mean, anything that you need help processing or something like that. You can just come hang out with us if you want.
[ Laughter ]
So that’s the set of things about taking care of yourselves and each other. We find that each other SRCCON, I think, we get a little better at this, and it’s really one of the reasons this event works. So thank you for your work in that, too. I’m going to bring up Erik Westra who’s going to tell you all about the building.
ERIK: So the safety and support line that Erin was talking about, I’m going to be heading that up, so you can just come up and talk to me if you’re more comfortable doing that. Keep in mind that it goes to three people, but I’m sort of the lead on that. So please feel free to come and talk to me or use that line. That’s what it’s there for. I want to go through couple of clays logistics. Right now, you’re in Ullyot South, I always think of it as north for some reason. And this is the place where we’re going to be together to listen to the talks. As well as you can bring in food in here and eat. Some folks ate breakfast in there, but during lunch, there’s going to be lunch sessions in there. So this is going to be the place you’ll want to eat lunch with, or you can go outside. Or you can go around.
Upstairs, we have — so Ullyot North is also where we have breakouts. So that room, it’s split up. Upstairs, we have the Franklin and Haas rooms. On your badges, there is a map on the back. I used the map from the first time we were here and I forgot to take out the line between Franklin 1 and Franklin 2. It’s a combined room now. And there’s also the Haas room. Those are the other two breakout rooms and they’re upstairs. Also upstairs is the coffee and tea hacking station that we have at every SRCCON. Cory is up there, he’s awesome and friendly, and if you already know how to use an Aeropress, or a Chemex, or whatever, go up there. We also have some tea set up. If you want to learn how to do any of those things, Cory is there to show you how to do that. There’s also catered coffee around, if you just need a quick bit of caffeine. So that is upstairs.
There are also two bathrooms upstairs, two bathrooms downstairs. We weren’t able to work out it out with the venue to have gender neutral bathrooms but use the bathroom you’re comfortable with. You know better than anyone else in this room. So keep that in mind. We also have a nursing and lactation room, which is up on the third floor. Because it’s up on the third floor, we need someone to take you up there. So what you’ll want to do is check in either at this the reg desk or the front lobby desk and someone will take care of you if you need that. There’s also refrigeration up there available if you need to store milk or anything like that.
One note about going upstairs, the museum over here is amazing. You should check it out when you have free time but they are very adamant of not having any food or drink in that museum and the stairs going upstairs are in the museum. So if you have food or drink and you want to go upstairs, that’s fine, but use the elevators because you will hear about it if you try walking up there with food or drink. Cordelia also mentioned the meals, snacks, dietary stuff. If you missed breakfast this morning, the meals are going to be in the hallway kind of straight back behind these rooms. And if you have any questions, or if you’re unable to find food that you’re able to eat, tell one of us. We will make sure that you’re fed. No one should go hungry. Let’s see. I guess that’s it on my list. Does anyone have any questions about the space, or logistics or anything? I’m happy to answer them right now, or just come find me afterwards. I am happy to do that, as well. All right, cool. I’m going to bring up Lindsay. And I can’t remember what she’s gonna tell you.
[ Applause ]
LINDSAY: Hello. I’m here to talk to you about documentation. So I’m from SRC, which is our community hub for project walkthroughs, and whatever. You’ll also see Erin so you’ll see us around. And we are really excited to be able to document this conference but we also have a special kind of environment here this time in which we’re really trying to focus on the people and the conversations that are happening in person. So that kind of brings up a couple of things. So transcription. So we do have transcription as we often do. We have Stan, who’s over there. Hi, Stan! Thank you for being here! Stan will be in Ullyot North when it comes to sessions. And one thing that’s different about this time for SRCCON is that those transcriptions will be private until after the event. So they won’t be live as it’s happening. That gives us a little room to say “strike something.” You should also say “off the record” if you would like something to be off the record. That is totally fine and very welcomed.
And let’s see what else I wanted to talk to you about. Transcriptions. I think that’s it. So we don’t have a plan to share those. We’re just transcribing and we want to make you aware that you can stay off the record at any time. And then the other thing is, we on Source are going to be sharing some takeaways and write-ups from all these sessions. So we have a few — we have some write-ups in the works but you may also say, after a session that you really loved, please come up and after, if you would like to write about it, we’re also interested to hear about that.
And then we have a hashtag, which is #srcconwork. Similarly as we thought about transcriptions, I would just think about it before you tweet out something someone said privately in a session, but if you want to share something from talks, that’s totally cool. And yeah, we’re balancing our documentation and our sharing, and our in-person things, and our public things. So thanks for being awesome and working with us on that. We’re going to really look forward to sharing more about SRCCON with you on Source. And then I’m going to bring up Ryan who will talk about something!
[ Laughter ]
[ Applause ]
RYAN: Hi, everyone! Before I talk, if you’ll give me just a minute to stand here with kind of a dumb grin on my face, I am so excited to see every one of you in this room. We’re really excited about what’s going to be happening at SRCCON:WORK and that’s thanks to all you being here. Our goal is to share about on you this event is designed to focus exactly why on each one of you are here. And how to build relationships to the folks around you. So one way that we’re trying to support that is through the structure of our days. So SRCCON:WORK is a thematic conference which is something a little bit different for us. But just like the size of the conference is intentionally smaller, these themes are intentional and we’re hopeful that they’re going to help us as this big cohort, be thinking about a lot of the same things at the same time to make it easier just to initiate conversations with the people around us.
So our schedule is broken down to four themes. We’ll be taking on one each morning and afternoon of the two days that we’re here. This morning in a couple of minutes we’re going to start talking about careers and hiring. This afternoon, we’re going to be talking about mental health and self-care. Tomorrow morning, when we come back after breakfast, we’ll be talking about collaboration and teamwork. And tomorrow afternoon, we’re going to wrap things up by bringing all three of those threads together. So for each one of those sections on our schedule, we’re going to start with this group right here for two short talks. The talks are designed to both challenge us as a group, but also to orient us toward the topics that we’ll be thinking about for the next few hours and then we’ll move out of here to the breakout rooms that Erin described for sessions run by facilitators who are sitting with us in this room to explore those topics in a lot of different ways.
So you can track the day on our schedule app. Some of you may have found it already. If not, you can pull it up on your phone. It’s work.srccon.org/schedule and that will help you navigate the day. We’ll also have session signs up at each of the rooms. So hopefully wherever you are, it’ll be really easy for you to know what’s going on, where. So we’ve hope we’ve set up these two days in a way that helps you focus on why you’re here because you all are the people who are going to make SRCCON:WORK successful. It’s going to be your willingness to participate, your willingness to be present in the spaces you’re in, your willingness to bring all of who you are to the conversations that you have. So we’re just about ready to bring up our first speaker and start talking about careers and hiring but before we do, we’re going to do something at every OpenNews event and that’s a chance for you to get to know a little better, and talk to people next to you. So I want to make a particular point at this event, that you should introduce yourself to somebody you don’t know. This is a chance for to you start off to talk about what you’re bringing to SRCCON:WORK, it’s a chance to talk to people you’re going to be collaborating over the next two days. So whatever it is that you feel like sharing, we’re here to welcome that. We want to make space for it. We’re excited to hear what that is. And really, that starts, like, right now! So I’m going to walk off the stage. I’m going to give y’all a couple of minutes to talk to each other, introduce each other, and we’re going to get our first speaker mic-ed up in a second, and we’ll introduce Sydette. Thanks.
[ Applause ]