ICONN: First take on the final day

January 17, 2009 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: web journalism.

The prevailing feeling I absorbed from the second day of the founders conference of the Intercollegiate Online News Network (ICONN) was this:

A good time was had by all.

We see a bright, innovative, exciting time for us (educators, professionals, students) and for our avocation (journalism). We look forward to an age of creativity and innovation. We see golden opportunities for our students to do good work, write and tell good stories, and make a difference for their readers and our society.

We are energized by meeting like-minded people who offer thoughts, ideas and plans on the things we are interested in.

During every session and every break, walk and van ride, there were dozens of lively conversations and exchanges. The tweets and blog posts flowed like a rushing stream (many of which you can find with an #ICONN search of Twitter or in some of the links below).

What a contrast from the dreary and dreaded staff conferences and faculty meetings where people struggle to defend their turf and fear the future. Economic realities and the threats of change are real, but the ICONN group in Knoxville (and many of their like-minded colleagues following the goings-on from afar) know that the future will be unlike much of what we have seen in the past.

And we’re ready to take it on.

Below are some links where you can pick up a sense of what the conference was about.

During the weekend, I will be going through the audio that I recorded from various sessions and posting some clips from it. Participants should email me any reactions they have posted that I may have missed, and you are, of course, welcome to comment on any of this.


ICONN and the future
UMass Journalism Professors Blog: Steve Fox: “It’s the second conference I’ve been to during the winter break — the other was at Western New England College where I was also asked to speak about the future of journalism. The mood at the two conferences could not be more different.”

Live Blogging: Journalism conference as a participant observer
My Tennessee Home: Lisa Gary: “Collaborative connectivity was the theme behind the scenes, too. As panels discussed and students listened and took notes, participants from many universities used wireless connections to report from the scene.”

Journalism Education Finds Its Iconn
instrumentlanding.com: Jay Baird: “The newsroom is broken. People on ferries taking pictures of airplanes in rivers are the new gatekeepers. How do we teach journalism students to collate, disseminate and guide media consumers through all of this? I think that the new model will be found on Rocky Top.”


Photos by Ben Moser, TNJN.com. More of these at Flickr. From the top:

Photo 1: Jason Georges and Jeff Long (KPCC – Southern California) and the joys of the iPhone.

Photo 2: Tammi Marcoullier of Publish2 makes a point.

Photo 3: George Daniels of Alabama does the Twitter thing.

Photo 4: Bob Benz (Radiant Markets), Steve Klein (George Mason U.), and Steve Fox (UMass – Amherst) exchange some ideas.

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