DigitalJournal.com hosted the first in what is to become a regular series called the "Future of Media." Taking place at the Drake Hotel in downtown Toronto, a panel of media executives looked at changes to the media biz and where citizen journalism fits.
Toronto, Canada – Journalism is evolving, thanks to the Internet. Social media and citizen journalism have stormed the establishment and very quickly rattled the editorial cage.
Facebook has practically become a news outlet, Twitter is often more real-time than television and people are engaging with news outlets in ways publishers never envisioned. To discuss these changes and their implications for the future, DigitalJournal.com hosted a free "Future of Media" event at the Drake Hotel with a panel made up of noted media experts.
Joining the panel was Rachel Nixon, director of digital media at CBC News and former editor at NowPublic; Richard Mcilveen, producer of the local late-night CTV News and the tech trends segment Webmania
; Keith McArthur, senior director of social media and digital communications for Rogers Communications; Tim Shore, founder of Toronto news site blogTO; and Chris Hogg, CEO of citizen journalism news network DigitalJournal.com (full speaker bios here
). The event was moderated by DigitalJournal.com Managing Editor, David Silverberg.
As an inaugural event, DigitalJournal.com was not sure what to expect for turnout. But the team was blown away when the line-up snaked out the door and up the stairs ahead of doors opening at 7:30 p.m. When the event started at 8 p.m., about 150 people filled the room, leaving standing room only.
"I'm amazed at the attendance," says DigitalJournal.com Managing Editor David Silverberg. "When the event finished, I was taken aback by the number of people who approached panelists to express their thanks for the discussion and to share their thoughts on just how much they learned."
Starting out the night, Silverberg began by asking the panel questions about the changing economy and its effect on journalism before delving into conversations surrounding people's interaction with news today.
The overwhelming theme of the night was that news was changing irrevocably and the panel seemed to unanimously agree media has become a two-way street of communication. Any media organization that wants to be on the leading edge of technology and journalism, the panel debated, needs to find ways to involve average people in the news-gathering process.
"Just a few of years ago it would've been unheard of for high-ranking officials from CBC, CTV and Rogers to share equal stage time with a blogger and an advocate for amateur journalism — and yet they all did so quite comfortably last night at the Future of Media discussion at the Drake Hotel," writes one reviewer
for a local news outlet in Toronto.
The evening also involved a Q&A session including questions from @djfom
followers on Twitter; facebook fans
, and live, in-person queries from the audience.
"We were very happy to get discussion going across such a diverse group of people at this event," says DigitalJournal.com CEO Chris Hogg. "There are certainly a lot of conferences that touch on various aspects of media, but so many people approached us to thank us for keeping this event free, and thus more accessible to a wider audience. We're already excited about the next panel discussion, and we're looking forward to feedback from guests so that we can make every event better than its predecessor."
The event also featured some venerable sponsors, including Toshiba Canada
, Rogers Communications
, The Flip
, Lacie Canada
, and POIFriend.com
. Sponsors donated more than a dozen high-end prizes that were awarded via a raffle at the end of the event, including:
- 5 Flip Video MinoHD camcorders fitted with a custom Digital Journal logo
- 3 GPS devices pre-loaded with special “Points of Interest” from POIfriend.com
- 2 HP Mini 110 netbooks with embedded mobile broadband technology from Rogers
- 3 LaCinema Rugged 320GB portable multimedia hard drives from LaCie
- 1 Toshiba Satellite U500 notebook
Reviews of the evening are just starting to make their way to the Web, and DigitalJournal.com will be posting video from the two-hour event on its YouTube channel here
. In the meantime, we'll leave you with these images from the night where the Future of Media began to take shape: