Single-Subject News Conference | Program

Columbia Journalism School | New York City

All events will take place in the Journalism School Building on Columbia’s Morningside Campus. The Lecture Hall and World Room are located on the 3rd Floor, one flight up from the lobby. 

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013

3:30pm-5pm: Participant Welcome (By invitation-only)
607B

5:00pm-6:30pm: Kickoff Session
Innovating Mainstream Media:The Role of Single-Subject Websites 
A Conversation between Jon Williams (Managing Editor for International News at ABC News), Kevin Delaney (Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Quartz) and Lara Setrakian (Tow Fellow/ Syria Deeply)
Lecture Hall

Register here.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013

Register here.

8:30am- 9:00am: Breakfast in the World Room

9:00am- 9:30am
Defining the Space
Lecture Hall

Tow Fellows Lara Setrakian and Kristin Nolan discuss findings in their research and set the parameters for the day’s discussion.

9:30am- 10:30am
PANEL: Success Stories and Lessons Learned
Lecture Hall; 30 min. panel/30 min. Q&A

Brian Kovalesky (StartUp Beat), Jim O’Shea (Chicago News Cooperative), David Sassoon (InsideClimate News), and Kelly Virella (The Urban Thinker) will speak on the successes and lessons learned in starting a single-subject news platform. Moderator: Taylor Owen (Tow Center Research Director)

10:45 am-11:45am
PANEL: Business Models in the Making
Lecture Hall; 30 min. panel/30 min. Q&A

Jake Batsell (Knight Fellow, The Texas Tribune), Dan Fletcher (Beacon Reader) and Alexa O’Brien (United States v. Manning, United States v. WikiLeaks, carwinb.net), will speak on different methods of funding a single-subject platform in the context of declining advertising revenue and an environment of a shrinking newsroom. Moderator: Lara Setrakian (Tow Fellow/Syria Deeply).

11:45am-12:45pm: Lunch, Discussions, and Networking in the World Room

12:45pm-1:45pm
PANEL: Case Study: Politics in the US
Lecture Hall; 30 min. panel/30 min. Q&A

Elesha Barnette (Politic365), Tom Goldstein (SCOTUSblog), Cristian Salazar (Gotham Gazette), and Micah Sifry (TechPresident) will speak on the trend of politically oriented single-subject news platforms in the United States on the national level, for niche audiences, and on the city level. Moderator: Brooks Jackson (FactCheck.org)

1:45pm-2:45pm
PANEL: Mixing News Models & Mainstream Media
Lecture Hall; 30 min. panel/30 min. Q&A

Debbie Galant (New Jersey News Commons), Bill Grueskin (Dean of Academic Affairs, Columbia Journalism School) and Robert Mackey (The New York Times)  and Kelly Niknejad (Tehran Bureau), will speak on traditional media’s vantage point on the single-subject news platform and its evolution. Moderator: Lara Setrakian (Tow Fellow/Syria Deeply).

3:00pm-4:00pm
DISCUSSION: Covering the Beat (A Conversation with Jay Rosen)
Lecture Hall

Jay Rosen (Director, Studio 20: New Media and Digital Innovation, New York University Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute) and Lara Setrakian (Tow Fellow/Syria Deeply) discuss Covering the Beat.

4:15pm-5:15pm
PANEL: Creating Community Around a Niche Topic
Lecture Hall; 30 min. panel/30 min. Q&A

Chris Altchek (PolicyMic), Erika Johansson (Purpose), King Kaufman (Bleacher Report), and Craig Newman (Homicide Watch Chicago) will speak on their efforts to create community around a niche and focused topic, how to drive traffic through community building and increase interest around a niche topic. Moderator: Lara Setrakian (Tow Fellow/Syria Deeply).

5:15pm- 5:30pm
Concluding Remarks and Goals for Sunday, November 10, 2013
Lecture Hall

Tow Fellows Lara Setrakian and Kristin Nolan

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2013

The final day of the conference is by invitation-only. Please contact conference organizers and Tow Fellows Kristin Nolan (kln2120@columbia.edu) and Lara Setrakian (ls2671@columbia.edu) for more information.