October 4, 2011

Research notes
University of Nebraska professor Matt Waite (and a former developer at Poynter’s St. Petersburg Times) proposes “super panels” to address the shortcomings of the standard “News Nerd/technical journalism panel,” which end up “inspiring people and then giving them little direction after they walk out.” The problem, as Washington Post developer Jeremy Bowers (also a former St. Pete Times developer) puts it, is that there’s plenty of intro training, but “but there’s a big gap between that and proficiency.” Waite’s idea: Start with a panel aimed at informing and inspiring, then move to an “unconference” setup in which the panelists and others recruited to help decide on next moves — “Install some software? Map out a group project? Start hacking away? Up to those who show up.” Afterward, the super panel speakers and other recruits agree to run a study group or mentoring program. || Related: Michelle Minkoff says she wishes more conferences made her “feel dumb,” because that’s when she knows she’s learning something

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Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens,…
Steve Myers

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