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All Sessions

Thursday, June 07
1 pm to 5 pm
The economy is still the biggest story going, and this workshop will equip you with the story ideas and skills you need to tackle economic stories on any beat. Economic inequality, the foreclosure crisis and joblessness all have social justice themes that resonate with the alt-media audience and lend themselves to long-form stories. Yet, alt-media journalists sometimes shy away from stories with economic angles. Get armed with the tools and understanding you need to tackle economic stories, including those on the labor and housing markets. Presented by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.
Tags: Edit
Speakers: Marilyn Geewax, NPR and Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones
1 pm to 4 pm
Professor Jeremy Rue will kick-off with a presentation of the tablet and mobile ecosystem and trends to watch. Then, Helen Berman, president of the Berman Media Sales Institute, will conduct a workshop which will cover selling the benefits of cross-media packages and expanding print sales skills into multi-media environments.

Helen will talk about why and how media salespeople must become marketing subject experts. You will hear how new media has turned marketing on its head, the new sales and marketing funnel, social media's impact on print, how to meet advertiser and agency expectations, and advertising metrics and research.

Speakers: Jeremy Rue, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and Helen Berman, Berman Media Sales Institute
There's more to web traffic than you think. Join analytics specialist Sondra Russell to get really deep into your analytics. Mine them for user behavior, trends, stickiness and find ways to monetize your content and get more traffic in new ways. And it won't be a burden on an already stressed staff. This workshop will be hands-on and tailored to participants.
Speaker: Sondra Russell, NPR
This look at trends in social media will provide info on best practices across all digital media, how to use different platforms and how all of that helps the weekly product. We'll also include a few tricks and hints, look at good times to post, discuss management of accounts and much more.
Speaker: Kelly Ferguson, Arkansas Times
1:15 pm to 2:15 pm
We all know digital distribution channels are the future. But how are we doing with our websites and mobile compared to other legacy media and compared with our peers? Some of the answers are with The Media Audit which has more than 300 media websites selling with its data. In response to increasing interest in web and mobile performance The Media Audit has developed benchmarks for us to look at our markets. Join us for this session that focuses heavily on web benchmarks and some mobile (phone and tablet) insights. You'll take away who the leaders are and how your paper and website stacks up if you are in one of the 100+ markets, The Media Audit surveys.
Speaker: Phillip Beswick, The Media Audit
The digital trend is in full swing, but don't sacrifice your print quality in the process! This workshop provides a simple process to achieving better quality images, ads, and over-all print production.
Learn how to:
-Set up your Photoshop, so that it understands the characteristics of a newspaper press.
-Establish a photo-toning workflow, which standardizes what is done to every image.
-Use your existing tools to maximize quality, minimize complaints, and create consistency.
Tags: Design
Speaker: John Williams, Cygnus Consulting Group LLC
Find out about the technology you can't live without. Learn what everyone is using, how well it's working, and where you're wasting your money. Discussion based on a 2012 technology survey of every AAN website and with participation of the audience.
Moderator: Anton Gelman,
2:45 pm to 3:45 pm
What are the implications of taking them? How do they affect the industry as a whole? How much do these bring to our bottom line? How are they affecting other business relationships and are they a turn-off to readers.
Moderator: Rob Jiranek, Southcomm Inc.
Feeling overwhelmed by how to approach the next big thing in technology? Confused on terminology? Don't be embarrassed. Join us to learn how to speak geek as we give an overview of technologies, terms, social media and what you should know to operate in a digital newsroom and more importantly, how to plan your digital strategy.
Tags: Web
Speaker: Doug Mitchell
If you've gone digital but don't have video -- you haven't gone digital. Find out how AAN members are tackling digital with photo and video, the resources available to you, and the new AAN Content Exchange that lets you create your own iReport, share video with other papers, and develop a revenue stream through licensing. If you have ever asked yourself -- "How do we increase engagement and make more revenue from our digital presence?" -- this session is for you.
Speaker: Anton Gelman,
5 pm to 6:30 pm
Are you under 40, Canadian, a first time convention go-er? Join the AAN board and staff for a beer and get to know us!
Tags: General
Friday, June 08
9 am to 10:15 am
Matt Thompson will deliver a lively talk: Why the alternative press was invented for the Internet - Alternative Newsweeklies pioneered a voice and style that's come to reflect the best of digital culture - irreverent, authentic and passionate. Now, in the age of Wikileaks, what can the alts learn from the Awl, while retaining their mission and brand.

Then, get inspired by local activist Grace Lee Boggs. "Most Americans have a very short-range idea of history," Boggs said recently. The long-range perspective that Boggs brings is that of an activist-philosopher, who steps back to see mass production as a 100-year-old enterprise, capitalism as a few hundred years old, and a city like Detroit in the context of evolution. A one-time associate of Marxist philosopher C.L.R. James, a Detroiter for more than half a century, Boggs' books "Living for Change: An Autobiography" and more recently "The Next American Revolution" have energized activists to think about our cities in fresh ways, to ask how we "rebuild, redefine, and respirit them as models of twenty-first century, self-reliant and sustainable multicultural communities."

Speakers: Matt Thompson, NPR and Grace Lee Boggs
10:30 am to 11:15 am
Over the last year, AAN's Diversity Committee has been hard at work on two things this session will cover: the AAN Diversity Best-Practices Document, and the groundbreaking diversity/demographics survey of AAN members. This open discussion will tackle the survey's findings: What do they mean, and where should AAN and its members go from here regarding diversity efforts?
Moderator: Jimmy Boegle, Coachella Valley Independent
Will Sullivan is the self-described Nerd-in-Chief at the news and technology blog, chosen by Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab as one of the 10 Best "Future of Journalism" blogs. Sullivan pushes the boundaries of craft journalism and multimedia storytelling in his writing, teaching and techie pursuits. This lively session will address emerging tech tools, how they can make your reporting better, and even ways to monetize them.
Speaker: Will Sullivan, Lee Enterprises Inc.
Big money attaches to national marketing campaigns. But how to break into the big leagues? This session offers advice for building relationships with local digital marketing and online advertising agencies in order to leverage national dollars through test campaigns, promotions and a fresh approach to mobile marketing.
Speakers: Sarah Kotlova, Digitaria and Robby Robbins, Santa Barbara Independent
11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Breaking down the barriers between print and digital content on your digital products and how to design for it. How to be thinking reader first vs. system first. Give your readers content in a way that makes sense to them.
Tags: Design, Web
Speaker: Michael Meyer, Essential
Join Baltimore City Paper Art Director Joe MacLeod for his now infamous session. You'll need to submit covers in advance to participate.
Tags: Design
Speaker: Joe MacLeod, Baltimore City Paper
The red state/blue state divide is not only simplistic, it's misleading. So says Dante Chinni of Patchwork Nation, a project that aims to tease out truth from America's crazy quilt of geographic and demographic diversity without hiding from its complexity. A journalist and author with two decades of experience, Chinni will explain how the true building blocks of this nation are communities, and how their unique perspectives on the economy and politics will play into the 2012 elections. Then, he will lead a discussion on how to use this information to do smart and innovative political stories in your community.
Tags: Edit
Speakers: Dante Chinni, Patchwork Nation and Jeff Larson, ProPublica
From monetizing Facebook contesting to online ticketing, third party social media management, online inventory reselling, white label phenomenon and the evolution of dating and deals sites. Who is making money where in the digital world of NTR. Join us for this Pecha Kucha session showcasing the best ideas from the industry. Want to present? Let us know.
Host: Blair Barna, Charleston City Paper
12:45 pm to 2:15 pm
Herschel Fink defended Dr. Dre's right to film police officers who were on duty, and the Michigan State Supreme Court agreed. Fink, who has represented Michael Moore for the past 20 years, also played a key role in the Detroit Free Press freedom of information lawsuit that eventually put former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick behind bars. Join us at AAN's Free Speech Lunch with the former newspaper reporter who has been described as one of "the best lawyers in America under First Amendment law" by the SPJ.

The lunch will take place at the Detroit cultural gem known as Cliff Bell's. Located just blocks away from the convention hotel, Cliff Bell's is like taking a step back into Detroit's storied past. Behold the 1930's charm of the lavish, art-deco interior while dining on a delectable catered buffet of French-inspired fare.
Advance registration and separate fee of $25 required.

Tags: General
Speaker: Herschel Fink, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
1:45 pm to 2:45 pm
Jeremy Rue will talk about news consumption habits on a desktop computers versus mobile devices, and the role multimedia plays in online news. Designer Kaitlin Yarnall will talk about the process of designing for tablet, whether an app or responsive design. She will take participants through the creative process and discuss nuts and bolts as well as potential pitfalls.
Tags: Design, Web
Speakers: Jeremy Rue, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and Kaitlin Yarnall, National Geographic Magazine
Join the Sunlight Foundation's Bill Allison and Joshua Hatch to learn the ins and outs of government and election transparency and accountability. The session will cover everything from lobbying to super PACs, including where to find the latest data and what you can do with it.
Tags: Edit
Speakers: Bill Allison, Sunlight Foundation and Joshua Hatch, Sunlight Live
Experts Neil Chase and Tim Ruder will lead this interactive session on new digital revenue ideas that can be implemented fast and easily -- we'll talk tools, partners, re-using existing resources and everything in between. And, once you have that great idea -- how do you get it to market? We'll also cover training your staff, motivating digital salespeople and how to think about staffing for more digital revenue.
Speakers: Neil Chase, Federated Media and Tim Ruder, Perfect Market, Inc.
2:15 pm to 2:45 pm
Information is the key to building political stability, stimulating economic growth, and supporting healthy societies. Empowering local media -- both citizen and professional, in television, radio, online print and mobile -- ensures that locally-relevant news and information reaches individuals and helps them make informed decisions for their families and their communities. For issues ranging from governance to environmental policy to health and education, media acts as a catalyst to help communities create and share the information they need to build better futures. Join Jeri Curry, SVP of global communications and private development at Internews, for a discussion on the importance of local media in developing countries around the world and an emphasis on engaging communities.
Speaker: Jeri Curry, Internews
Moderator: Hanaa Rifaey, Press Forward
So you finally decided it was time to spruce up your old static site, create a FB page, assign someone on your team to tweet and you've gone mobile -- but let's face it -- so have all your competitors and their moms. Now it's time to really engage those loyal and new readers -- fast! This session will look at proven methods to get those eyeballs back.
Speaker: Andre Gaulin, Agility Inc.
3:15 pm to 4 pm
Wayne Kramer, noted guitarist, songwriter and film and television composer will speak about the city of Detroit, music and community activism.
Speaker: Wayne Kramer
4 pm to 5:30 pm
We'll recognize and honor the winners of the AltWeekly Awards and their work at an afternoon reception. Toast the winners and runners-up with an adult beverage -- and enjoy a light bite as well. Open to all, but advance registration and separate fee of $10 gets you two drink tickets.
Moderated roundtable discussions.
In order for editorial products to be competitive in an environment as fragmented as today's, they need to use a process of innovation. Graphic design that is fresh and with high impact may be one way to cater to today's tastes. Using different story forms that deliver the message in a more visual way is one way to make editorial products distinctive. Presented by The Society for News Design (SND).
Tags: Design
Speaker: Mauricio Gutierrez, Detroit Free Press
Saturday, June 09
9:15 am to 10 am
Within the next three years, digital ad revenue will exceed print ad revenue at the local level. The Alternatives may be able to survive as just a print product, but in order to thrive they'll need to morph into a media organization. If you are not on board the digital steamroller, you might wind up under it. Do you know how much local advertisers spend on digital media in your market and how other media ranks in their share of it?
Speaker: Peter Conti, Borrell and Associates
10:15 am to 11 am
TED speaker and researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center Ethan Zuckerman will present innovative quantitative data on understanding media ecosystems, including how digital and analog are working together, questions of inclusion and exclusion in media dialog and ways to think about attention and influence.
Speaker: Ethan Zuckerman, Center for Civic Media at MIT
11:15 am to 12:15 pm
Comics journalism is inherently stylish, uniquely suited to sharing via social media, and popular as hell. During this panel, we'll share findings gleaned from editors, journalists and artists who have stretched the limits of comics to tell complicated stories in a variety of formats, and how they might fit in your newsroom.
Tags: Design, Edit
Moderator: Hanaa Rifaey, Press Forward
Panelists: Darryl Holliday, McCormick Foundation and Erik Nelson Rodriguez, The Illustrated Press
The 10 best moneymaking event ideas that we haven't heard before (Best Of, Earth Day Festival, Music Festival) and that you can do in almost any market (No Amateur Porno or Weiner Dog Races).
Moderator: Josh Gross, Boise Weekly
Panelists: Don Eggert, Seven Days and Jeff Lawrence, Dig Publishing
Telling great stories on the web doesn't need to be complicated. Meet responsive design, a way of building websites that can conform to any screen -- no mobile app or tablet version necessary. It's the next step in presenting great stories in a simpler, more beautiful way -- for all your readers. Dan Oshinsky of and Ben Callahan of Sparkbox will walk you through the building of a responsive site, and explain how the magic of responsive design can change your web strategy forever.
Tags: Design, Web
Speakers: Ben Callahan, Sparkbox and Dan Oshinsky,
12:15 pm to 1:45 pm
2 pm to 3:15 pm
Newsroom staffing levels, freelance pay rates, page counts -- this session is about the nitty gritty. In advance of this third-annual editors-only session, AAN editors will have had the opportunity to fill out a survey that addresses various benchmarks, as well as queries about how they deploy their resources. The survey will ultimately be collated and available in the AAN resource library as an editorial standards document. The session will consist of a lively free-wheeling discussion about how editors are using their budgets and staffs with the goal of generating new ideas and inspiration.
Tags: Edit
Moderator: Rachael Daigle, Boise Weekly
Fran Zankowski will moderate discussion of this year's annual benchmarking survey. (Closed session, open only to AAN members who participated in the annual survey.)
Moderator: Fran Zankowski, Colorado Springs Independent
Join esteemed author and Detroit-native Thomas Sugrue as he discusses his latest research on American politics, urban history, civil rights, and race.
Tags: Edit, General
Speaker: Thomas Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania
Consultant Tina Barnes will answer key questions about the mobile opportunity: Is mobile considered an advertising medium? What are users doing on mobile devices and how do I target them? When and how do I advertise to mobile users? And most important -- how can I sell it?
Speaker: Tina Barnes
A hands-on guide to developing ideas with energy, executing them with touch and grabbing eyeballs. Including how it's done at Red Eye and a tour of winning illustration from around the world. Presented by The Society for News Design (SND).
Speakers: Jonathon Berlin, Chicago Tribune and Mike Rich, Redeye
3:30 pm to 5 pm
Author/comedian Baratunde Thurston will keynote the final day of festivities at the 2012 AAN Convention in Detroit.

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