12:15-1 Embracing Product Culture: What It Means for Your Career A news organization now develops and maintains many digital products — the organization’s website, content management systems, mobile applications, special project sites, data visualization and multimedia storytelling projects, chatbots, analytics products and social media presence on a range of platforms. What do you need to know and how can you prepare to work in a product culture? This session will introduce key product concepts and skills and provide a foundation for the day’s activities. Texas State Professor Cindy Royal will lead a discussion with Becca Aaronson Davis, Director of Product for Chalkbeat, and Brett Bowlin, Director of Digital Strategy at Texas Monthly.
1:10-2:10 Student Product Showcase: Group projects can be fun! Students from the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University will talk about products that they have built or are working on. They’ll also answer questions, including how they came up with the idea, how they’ve attacked the problem and how it can possibly be fun to do a group project while in school.
2:20-3:30 Product Management Workshop Where do good ideas come from? The best ones are often the result of an inclusive process of empathy building, brainstorming, and user testing. Becca Aaronson Davis, Director of Product for Chalkbeat, will lead this hands-on session that will take you through some practical exercises for understanding problems and generating creative solutions.
3:40-4:30 Be Your Own Best Product. Get advice on getting noticed and succeeding in today’s media landscape. The panelists are Cat Cardenas, a recent journalism grad but a longtime freelancer, and three industry professionals: Mira Lowe, director of the University of Florida News Innovation Center; Liz Roldan, news director of WFOR-CBS Miami and leader of its broadcast and digital operations; and media entrepreneur Jim Spencer, founder of Newsy. The moderator is Kathleen McElroy, director of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.