V3Con: Experiencing the Best of Journalism

I discovered V3Con.  Well, a professor from my school posted about it on Facebook.  Either way, I got to not only attend but also be a part of this year’s V3Con, which was from June 20-21.  This is a conference for journalists, mainly focusing on digital media. V3 stands for Vision, Visibility and Voice.  This year’s was hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA).  It was held at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM).  This conference mainly focuses on Asian Americans in media but is of course open to anyone with an interest in digital media.

Photos by Laylita Day.

The reason the professor posted about this event was because they were looking for volunteers.  Volunteers get to attend the entire conference for free, including food.  Just my kind of event.  Even better they were looking for volunteer photographers.  Here was my chance to not only network with other amazing journalists but to also get some professional experience.  I couldn’t possibly miss out.

Photos by Laylita Day.

On orientation day, we were told what are duties were, ate pizza and stuffed more than 500 gift bags.  I got bag transportation duty, carrying bags from the lounge to the upper floor.  I did that for what seemed like 100 times.  Once they started to run out of items, the non-full bags had to be separated, which meant creating a wall of bags.  I didn’t have my camera then, otherwise I would’ve taken a photo.

Photos by Laylita Day.

On opening day, I took photos the entire time but also enjoyed talking with fellow volunteers, meeting Beverly White from NBC!!!! (she had visited my school for Journalism Day, but I didn’t talk to her then), eating great food and watching some amazing performances and award receptions.  The first performance was a taiko drum one by Kokoro Taiko Kai of Long Beach, then the award for Visibility Award for Jonathan Gold, a food critic for the LA Times, a performance by rap artist Dan Matthews, the award for Voice for singer Judith Hill, a performance by the band Magic Giant and finally the award for Vision for Anne Curry.

Photos by Laylita Day.

The last day had panels and workshops.  Unfortunately, the website no longer has the schedule listed, but they do still have all the names of presenters, panelists and performers here.  I am not a morning person, so I didn’t attend any of the morning sessions except for the one titled “Covering Disasters Home and Abroad”.  This one featured Sean Bonner, Nancy Casanova and Bigad Shaban.

Photos by Laylita Day.

They talked about how disaster lessons apply to breaking news.  An example given was the wildfires in San Diego.  When telling the story of wildfires, you only get a small part of it.  You need other people to see the big picture.  Calfire has done a good job using social media, but at the same time social media can be dangerous because of false twitter handles.  You need to always do you homework before a disaster strikes and learn to use the related tools beforehand as well.

Southern California Edison (SCE) has a crisis information team with every external touch point getting the same message: media, customers and government.  SCE uses twitter to talk directly with customers, such as asking who has power restored.  They can also measure sentiment by looking at what customers are saying.  Part of SCE’s toolkit is building relationships with sources and knowing what happens in the company.  They also offer press releases in six languages to reach all customers.

During Japan’s nuclear disaster, there were struggles to keeping radiation news current, transparent and accurate.  There needs to be a balance between getting the news out quickly and accurately.  Social media can be used to generate leads, but one still has to go through everything and fact check.

Effective crisis management keeps people happy by consistently updating because people tend to assume the worst when they are not updated on the situation.  When dealing with hashtags, you can leverage them to promote your message and get it out to everybody.  You must also put in the effort to ID hashtags by searching online and see what is trending.  When you’ve hit twitter overload, get off the computer and make calls instead.  In the end, twitter must accentuate reporting, not replace it.

Notes on this panel courtesy of Andy Bradford.  (I was busy taking photos).

Photos by Laylita Day.

After that was lunch and then instead of attending another panel, my boyfriend and I (who volunteered with me even though he is a geography nerd) went to see the exhibits at the museum (since we could see them for free).  One was on the Japanese tradition of tattoo art and the other about the history and diversity of the Dodgers.

Photos by Laylita Day.

After that, I was photographing for the rest of the conference.  It ended with an announcement that the museum would have a Hello Kitty exhibit later this year and then there were door prizes. The first was an iPad, which went to the person who completed a twitter bingo board.  Then there were food gift bags and finally a play station, which my boyfriend won!

Photos by Laylita Day.

This was truly an amazing and wonderful experience and I recommend it for all journalists interested in digital media.  Volunteering made it an even more special and exciting event.  I hope to go again to next year’s on June 27.

Bigad Shaban
Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). – See more at: http://v3con.com/about/#sthash.aagMVgoT.dpuf
Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). – See more at: http://v3con.com/about/#sthash.aagMVgoT.dpuf

Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). – See more at: http://v3con.com/about/#sthash.aagMVgoT.dpuf
Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). – See more at: http://v3con.com/about/#sthash.aagMVgoT.dpuf
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One thought on “V3Con: Experiencing the Best of Journalism

  1. Pingback: V3Con 2015: Where Photog Meets Journo | GeoMaster

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