Digital Democracy Conference

Cynthia CloskeyEvents

If you’re interested in new media/social media, the evolution of journalism, and how both interact with the political process, here’s an event you’ll want to know about. I received this announcement from Bob Mayo, a journalist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette who also blogs at The Busman’s Holiday.

Digital Democracy is a special event happening here in Pittsburgh next month. This is a project I’ve been working on for months and I’m excited to let you know about it now.

It’s a conference that will explore how the digital revolution — including blogs, online video, websites and social media — is changing traditional news media coverage and citizens’ access to the political process.

The event includes national-caliber speakers who are coming to town on Saturday, March 15.

Its website is now online at: http://www.spj.org/pittsburgh

Our speakers include:

  • New York Times Online Politics Editor Kate Phillips, who writes for and edits The Caucus, The New York Times politics news blog.
  • Newsbusters.org Executive Editor Matthew Sheffield
  • MediaMatters.org Senior Fellow & Director of Special Projects Paul Waldman
  • Hearst-Argyle Director of Digital Media Content Jacques Natz
  • J-Lab Executive Director Jan Schaffer
  • Media Bloggers Association President Robert Cox

Other speakers include former USA Today reporter Toni Locy, who’s topic is “Subpoenaed For Her Sources”. She’s the subject of a contempt-of-court request for her refusal to identify sources who provided her information about the 2001 anthrax attacks and the subsequent investigation.

There will also be sessions on “Bloggers as Journalists and Journalists as Bloggers”, on new media skills and digital literacy for reporters, and on Open Records laws.

Digital Democracy is a Society of Professional Journalists regional conference, hosted by the Pittsburgh chapter. Region 4 covers Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, but the event can draw from beyond. Its something for all journalists — and you don’t have to be a member of SPJ. In fact, given the theme, bloggers, students, and others with an interest and involvement in the conference theme are welcome to attend. The Digital Democracy website has links for online registration and there’s a special rate for students and SPJ members.