Conference Narrative Journalism goes Digital

Two days of monologue and dialogue on narrative journalism in a digital age.

This year’s conference was all about narrative journalism going digital. Journalism is about empathy – about understanding other people. Distributing information has for long been a commodity. Today, with everybody always having access to information, it isn’t anymore. The skill that makes a bringer of news a journalist, is his ability to tell a story. It’s about authentic communication. And empathy is the thing that changes people’s minds.

If you couldn’t make it to the conference or just want to relive it, check out these links and reports:

– Watch the livestream that was recorded in the main hall during the afternoon, with the sessions of Edecio Martinez, Kat Chow and Julie Shapiro and the closing session, ‘Amy’s talkshow’

– On our own website you’ll find reports written by Emy Koopman (in Dutch) and Alba Leon (in English).

– Fleur Born took pictures of the day. You’ll find the album here.

– Yasmin Visser wrote a report on the day for De Verhalenbar (in Dutch).

– Merel Driessen reviewed the day for the Stimuleringsfonds voor de Journalistiek (in Dutch).

– Gerard Smit shared his insights on the lessons learned in one picture for Journalismlab.

– Jair Stein, Laura Stek, and their colleagues at Solaparola shared some of their insights on video during the conference (in Dutch). You’ll find the clips on Solaparola’s facebookpage (scroll down a bit).

– During the masterclasses on the day before the conference, Paulien Bakker interviewed Amy O’Leary. Listen to the interview here. Julie Blussé interviewed Julie Shapiro and Martin Johnson during their podcast masterclass. That interview can be found here.

– Do you want to use the Google cardboard you got at the end of the conference to dive into the world of Virtual Reality? Find out how and where to start here.

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Speakers

Amy O’Leary is Editorial Director at Upworthy. She worked for The New York Times for seven years in a range of roles. In 2014 she was on the team that wrote the New York Times’s Innovation Report. She’s been a reporter, a multimedia producer, as well as a digital editor for news; she also helped manage print-digital newsroom integration. Before coming to the Times, she worked in public radio at This American Life and elsewhere. Her work is best described as digital journalism strategy, new approaches to storytelling and trends in reader behavior that impact news organisations’ effectiveness and reach. She has spent her career focused on narrative structure, attention management, and how principles in each discipline are applied to new platforms. Amy is also a gifted speaker who dazzles her audiences both at home and abroad.

Kat Chow is a founding member of NPR’s Code Switch, an award-winning team that covers complicated stories about race, ethnicity and culture. Her role includes reporting online features for Code Switch and on-air pieces for NPR’s shows like Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She finds delightfully creative ways like @todayin1963 to build communities and tell stories. She’s also serving on the selection committee for Air Media’s incubator project, Localore. Every now and then, she’s a fourth chair on the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour.

Martin Johnson is an award-winning radio producer, sound designer and journalist. Together with colleague Anton Berg, he produces Spår, a Swedish radio series inspired by Serial, the most successful podcast of all times. Johnson produces both personal work and investigative journalism. In 2008 he was awarded the Prix Italia for ‘My father takes a vacation, a radio documentary about his own father. In 2013 he was nominated for the Prix Europa for ‘The Echo Chamber: The story of Jihad Jane, a co-production with Irish radio about an American housewife turned Islamic terrorist. In 2013 Johnson also won the Swedish Union’s Radio Prize for his work as a producer. Johnson works for Swedish public radio and the BBC.

Suzanne Raes (1969) graduated from Cultural Studies and went to work as editor for different television shows. She has worked as an independent filmmaker since 2002. As ‘fly on the wall’ she filmed schools, hospitals and social services, and made portraits of writers and musicians. She has also worked as a director in historical series like De Gouden Eeuw, De IJzeren Eeuw and Na de Bevrijding. Films such as De Huizen van Hristina, The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island and last year’s Boudewijn de Groot-Kom Nader premiéred at the Amsterdam documentary festival IDFA, where they have won diverse nominations and awards.

John Keefe is Senior Editor for Data News at public radio station WNYC in New York City. The Data News team supports WNYC’s newsroom and other properties of New York Public Radio with data reporting, visualisations, interactive maps and charts and crowd-participation projects. Keefe previously led the station’s news department. In addition to his work at WNYC, Keefe runs workshops on sensors and journalism, is part of small hardware-hacking group called Team Blinky and is writing a book tentatively titled “Family Projects for Smart Objects,” which will be published by Maker Media later this year. He was a WVU Reed College of Media Innovator in Residence in 2015, currently teaches at The New School in New York, and has taught journalism classes at Columbia University and the City University of New York. Keefe blogs at johnkeefe.net and tweets as @jkeefe.

Edecio Martinez is an award-winning digital media professional with extensive reporting, writing and editing experience in breaking news situations, and a track record of utilising technology in the coverage and presentation of news events. He is a data-driven editor, with an eye for the perfect image to tell a story, who is familiar with all facets of content creation, from conception to delivery, and who has a passion for audience engagement. His reporting has appeared on The Weather Channel, CBS News, NBC News, CNET, The Huffington Post and other news sites.

Hay Kranen is an Amsterdam-based art and technology hacker. Using web technologies like HTML5 and Javascript he explores the boundaries of the medium, operating on the thin line between art, technology and narrative. Kranen worked as a front end developer for Dutch public broadcaster VPRO, and as Wikipedian-in-Residence for the National Library of the Netherlands. He is currently working as a newsroom developer for de Volkskrant, leading quality press in the Netherlands.

Elja de Lange is editor of TV dramas (Hertenkamp, Willemspark), feature films (Ja Zuster Nee Zuster, Lang en Gelukkig) and documentaries (De Baby; Ajax, Daar hoorden zij engelen zingen; De IJzeren Eeuw). He has worked together with Suzanne Raes, as his film editor, for the past 25 years, and has participated in the montage of, among others, The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island; De Dijk, hou me vast en Boudewijn de Groot, Kom nader.

Julie Shapiro is executive producer of Radiotopia from PRX – a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven podcasts. In 2014 – 2015 she was the executive producer of ABC RN’s Creative Audio Unit. Between 2000 and 2013 she was artistic director of the Third Coast International Audio Festival, which she co-founded. Since starting her career in 1993, she has worked for and with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Storylines America, and independent record stores in Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, North Carolina and Illinois. Julie can occasionally be heard on the public radio airwaves, in podcasts, and presenting live listening events around the globe. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her family, is still a horse girl at heart, and keeps a silly blog about personified teeth dental signs.

Linda Polman is a writer and investigative journalist who has made long-term projects the focus of her research. Her stories and columns are regularly published and reviewed in The Guardian, Granta, de Groene Amsterdammer, NRC Handelsblad, The Nation and Geo magazine, among others.
She has five books under her belt. In De varende stad and Bot Pippel she writes about her travels through Africa and Haiti, and in We did nothing she shares often bizarre accounts of the daily life of UN Blue Helmets in Rwanda and Somalia. The book has been translated into five languages. ‘Excellently written, very sad and devastating,’ according to Ryszard Kapuściński. And The Guardian had this to say: ‘This book recalls the reportage of Kapuscinski, the black humour of Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene’s fiction.’
For The Crisis Caravan Linda immersed herself in the international operations of the humanitarian aid industry and their consequences for the local people in countries like Sierra Leone, Congo and Afghanistan. The book has been translated into ten languages and was presented and reviewed in media outlets like Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and BBC World’s Hard Talk, as well as in  The New Yorker, the Times Literary Supplement and the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
For her latest book Death Row Dollies,  published in May 2015, she followed the lives of European women who entwine their fates with those of men on Death Row across the ocean in Texas. The absurdist, often heart-wrenching stories of  Dutch, British, German and Italian ‘death row dollies’, are followed in careful detail, down to the cheap motels around the execution chambers somewhere in the Texas boondocks. She also trails the tireless women of the minuscule Texan anti-death penalty movement, and the widows and orphans who must deal with the inheritance, almost always limited to a bunch of letters and a table fan, after the execution of their husbands and fathers. And she meets those on death-row as well. Twitter: @linda_polman

Mark Kramer was writer-in-residence at Smith’s College between 1980 and 1990, writer-in-residence and Journalism Professor at Boston University from 1990 to 2001, and writer-in-residence, founder and director of Harvard University’s Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism from 2001 and until 2007. His work has appeared in NYTimes Sunday Magazine, National Geographic, and The Atlantic Monthly, to name but a few. Kramer is co-author of Telling True Stories and Literary Journalism, two leading books about narrative non-fiction. In addition, he has written four other books: Mother Walter and the Pig Tragedy, Invasive Procedures: a Year in the World of Two Surgeons, Three Farms, Invasive Procedures, and Travels with a Hungry Bear.

Here’s an article on narrative journalism he wrote for us a few years ago.

Alexander Pleijter works as a professor “Journalism & Innovation” at Fontys School of Journalism in Tilburg. He also has a temporary appointment at the VU University Amsterdam in education journalism. Alexander is also coordinator of the project (and website) New Journalism, a project of the Fund for Special Journalistic Projects (Fonds Bijzondere Journalistieke Projecten) in which several journalists investigate exciting developments in journalism. He is also editor of The New Reporter, a blog that offers everyone the opportunity to publish on developments in journalism (www.denieuwereporter.nl).

Lam Thuy Vo is a storyteller. She recently moved to the Wall Street Journal from Al Jazeera America. A multi-hyphenate by choice, she works as a designer-coder-videographer-photographer-writer, and tells stories about social justice issues, economics and poverty. In her spare time, she makes data visualisations with emotional data or produces fancy audiovisuals. Lan is also a journalism educator. She wants to make multimedia and interactive storytelling accessible to journalists of all backgrounds.

Tim Verheyden is Chief Storytelling at het Journaal–the daily news feature of VRT– and presenter of Panorama. Before then he worked for local broadcasters TV Limburg and VTM. During his career he has travelled within the Netherlands and abroad for news and current affairs programmes, to report on, among others, the Arab Spring, the Haiti earthquake, and the consequences of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. Verheyden studied Entrepreneurial Journalism and Video Storytelling at the City University of New York. He co-wrote How To Story, storytelling voor journalisten, together with Tom Rumes and Andries Fluit.

Henk Blanken is a journalist and non-fiction writer. He has contributed to newspapers such as Het Vrije Volk, de Volksktrant, and Dagblad van het Noorden, where he was Deputy Editor-in-Chief until 2011. In 1996 he published Hotel Almere, a literary non-fiction book about the Dutch polder. In 2014 he published the Handbook Narrative Journalism, together with Wim the Jong. Blanken’s autobiography Pistoolvinger, a literary non-fiction book about the challenges of fate, the solace of writing, the art of falling and the irony of stumbling, was published in 2015. He has received many awards throughout his career, most notably Het Gouden Pennetje for young talent, in 1998, and De Tegel Prize in 2013, for his investigation into “Project X, the reconstruction of a party run wild together with a team for Dagblad van het Noorden. That story also got him and his colleagues the NL Award, the prize from regional broadcasting companies. For his story on the Parkinson’s sufferer undergoing brain surgery while conscious, he won the Groninger Persprijs and the European Health Prize for Journalists. Henk Blanken was a member of the Raad voor de Journalistiek (Journalism Council), and a member of the jury for the Tegel award. He is currently jury member of the Loep, the annual prize of the Dutch Society for Investigative Journalists VVOJ.

Schedule

Podcasts Visuals & Data The Digital Newsroom Coaching
10.00-12.00
Masterclass
Julie Shapiro: How to Build a Crowd John Keefe: How Can Data Help My Storytelling? Amy O’Leary: How does the Internet Change the Newsroom? Mark Kramer’s Kitchen workshop. Mark gives individual coaching for people working on book projects
12.00-12.40
 Interview Interview Julie and Martin: How to Fund your Podcast (or spend less making it) Interview with John Keefe and and Lam Thuy Vo Interview with Amy O’Leary
12.40 – 2.00
Lunch
2.00 – 4.00
Masterclass
Martin Johnson: How to Create a Narrative Arc for a Serial Lam Thuy Vo: Storytelling with Visuals Kat Chow: Diversity in the Newsroom
4.30

Involve me | Viewing session

Tell me, I’ll forget

Show me, I’ll remember

Involve me, I’ll understand

Narrative journalism wants to pull in readers, viewers and listeners. The literary techniques it employs are not only meant to engage the brain, but also the heart.  And preferably all senses, without compromising journalistic standards.

On the evening of 21 April, international journalists will present their most beautiful stories so a broader public can hear them, see them, and feel them. Short interviews will show the story behind the story. What considerations went into the creative process? How much blood, sweat and tears? And what are they most proud of?

17.30 – 18.45 Part 1 (in Dutch) with, among others:

TV journalist Tim Verheyden (BE), chief storytelling at VRT news. He will show three narrative news reportagess that he made for Flemish news media.

Writer Henk Blanken (NL). He will read from his book  Pistoolvinger, about living with Parkinson’s disease.

18:45 – 19:45 Pause / Buffet

19:45 – 21:00 Deel 2 (in English) including guests as:

Martin Johnson (SE), the Swedish radio producer behind the hit true-crime podcast Spår, which followed the all-time popular Serial as template. He will let the audience hear some fragments – radio in translation!

Edecio Martinez (VS), visual editor at Weather.com, who will show how virtual reality and 360˚video make new forms of storytelling possible.

Julie Shapiro (VS), executive producer at podcast giant Radiotopia, will let you hear a couple of unmissable podcasts.

Host: radio journalist and storyteller Saar Slegers.

During the break, there is the possibilty to have a buffet dinner at De Brakke Grond.

Amy’s Hall Hall 2 Hall 3 Hall 4
English English Dutch English
09.30-10.10 Opening Amy O’Leary: Storytelling in the Digital Age
10.10-10.45 Keynote 1 Lam Thuy Vo: New Stories to Tell, New Ways to Tell Them
10.45-11.15 Break
11.15-12.00 Keynote 2 John Keefe: Telling Your Story With Your Audience.
12.00-1.00 Concurrent Sessions Linda Polman: The Narrative Traitor Martin Johnson: On the success of Spar (audio) Suzanne Raes & Elja de Lange: Nader tot Boudewijn Hay Kranen en Alexander Pleijter: Scrollstories: best practices
1.00-2.00 Lunch
2.00-3.00 Concurrent Sessions: Round 2 Edecio Martinez: Stories Everywhere: from the day’s weather to Virtual Reality Hay Kranen: Code for collaboration Henk Blanken: What Franklin and Hart told me about writing a book of literary non-finction Tim Verheyden: Telling stories in broadcast news (TV)
3.10-4.10 Concurrent sessions: Round 3 Kat Chow: Diversity in Storytelling Tim Verheyden: Telling stories in the news (TV) Linda Polman: The Narrative Traitor Martin Johnson: On the success of Spar (audio)
4.10-4.30 Break
4.30-5.00 Keynote 3 Julie Shapiro: “So, you have an idea for a new podcast?”
5.00-5.30 Closing session Best Tips for What You Can Do Today: In the closing session of the day, our talkshow-host Amy O’Leary invites speakers and other guests on stage with her. How does everything you  heard during the conference effect your work? How can you innovate in your work, starting Monday morning?
5.30 Drinks

This schedule is subject to change. Big changes, if necessary, will be announced on this website and on social media.

Masterclasses

Podcast is the new thing and we all want to make one. But making great radio is not enough when switching to podcast. How do you build an audience, what idea works when thinking in a series of episodes and how do you finance your plan? This masterclass will help you develop your own podcast idea.
Speaker Julie Shapiro is Executive Producer at Radiotopia, that just launched its own Podquest, looking for a new podcast. You can send in your idea and she will discuss all plans and explain which ideas she considers most viable. She will also discuss how Radiotopia works on building audiences.
After the lunch break, Julie Shapiro and Martin Johnson (of the popular Swedish Serial, Spår) will be interviewed together on how to get the funding – or just not spend so much money – when building your own podcast.
In the afternoon Martin Johnson talks about how he builds a narrative arc in his story that draws listeners in and keeps them listening.

Time & place

Time: 10 am – 4 pm (including a 1 hour lunch break and a Q&A with Julie and Martin.)
Location: UvA Mediastudies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, Amsterdam
Costs: 110,- / friends of SVJ 75,- (including lunch) Buy your ticket here
Send in your podcast idea: info@verhalendejournalistiek.nl

We live in an increasingly visual age. As technology changes, audiences around the globe get used to receiving information and stories in various formats. From watching raw video clips of protests to discovering in-depth interactive data visualizations on Twitter — stories are consumed and travel in novel ways. How do you capture the attention of your audience in meaningful ways using visual media? In this hands-on masterclass, Lam Thuy Vo will give you a look of what makes for a compelling visual story. Lam is now working for the Wall Street Journal, previously for Al Jazeera. Using the example of the Syrian refugee crisis, she will get you to find new ways to tell the story.

Time & place

Time: 2 pm – 4 pm (with a 1 hour lunch break and a Q&A with Lam and John.)
Location: UvA Mediastudies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, Amsterdam
Costs: 60,- / friends of SVJ 45,- (including lunch) Buy your ticket here
Do you come to this masterclass with a specific question in mind? Send your question to: info@verhalendejournalistiek.nl

Data can help you find stories, express complicated concepts, follow ongoing narratives and bring an issue close to home for each person in the audience. John Keefe, our second speaker of the day, has examples of all of these. John taught himself how to code and created a whole new department at public radio station WNYC in New York that uses data to tell stories and quantify stories. The now 45-head-strong newsroom now consists of six data journalists that help not only put the stories in context but also explores innovative ways to present stories. John will talk about how he uses data in storytelling and will share some hands-on techniques you can use right away. He will ask participants to bring in their story ideas and will offer ideas on how to tell these stories in new, innovative ways.

Time & place

Time: 10 am – 12 am
Location: UvA Mediastudies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, Amsterdam
Costs: 60,- / friends of SVJ 45,- (including lunch) Buy your ticket here
Do you come to this masterclass with a specific question in mind? Send your question to: info@verhalendejournalistiek.nl

How does the Internet change the Newsroom?

How do you bring a “traditional” newsroom into the digital space? In the first section of this masterclass, Amy O’Leary will walk the audience through some lessons that she learned during her time at both Upworthy and The New York Times.
Amy is currently the Editorial Director for Upworthy, which reaches almost 10 million readers a month, of which a third from outside of the US. She worked for The New York Times for seven years in a range of roles. In 2014, she was on the team that wrote the New York Times’s Innovation Report. She’s been a reporter, a multimedia producer, a digital editor for news, and helped manage print-digital newsroom integration. Before coming to the Times, she worked in public radio at This American Life and elsewhere. Her work is best described as digital journalism strategy, new approaches to storytelling and trends in reader behavior that impact news organizations’ effectiveness and reach. She has spent her career focused on narrative structure, attention management, and how principles in each discipline are applied to new platforms. Amy is also a gifted speaker who dazzles her audiences both nationally and internationally. She moved to Upworthy last year because she was intrigued by their state of the art knowledge on how to use data to find an online audience for stories.

Time & place

Time: 10:00-12:00 pm
Location: UvA Mediastudies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, Amsterdam
Costs: 60,- / friends of SVJ 45,- (includes lunch)
What are you hoping to learn from this masterclass? Let us know send an email to: info@verhalendejournalistiek.nl

Digital editor Kat Chow will talk about recruiting for and considering diversity in the newsroom, a topic that is currently hot in the US media sector. More and more newsrooms are realizing that they are missing out on stories and losing readers due to lack of diversity on their staff. She’ll answer a pressing question: How do you include other backgrounds and views in the newsroom, and how can that improve your content?
Kat Chow is a founding member of NPR’s Code Switch, an award-winning team that covers the complicated stories about race, ethnicity and culture. Her role includes reporting online features for Code Switch and on-air pieces for NPR’s shows like Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She finds delightfully creative ways like @todayin1963 to build communities and tell stories. She’s also serving on the selection committee for Air Media’s incubator project, Localore. Every now and then, she’s a fourth chair on the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour.

Time & place

Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Location: UvA Mediastudies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, Amsterdam
Costs: 60,- / friends of SVJ 45,- (includes lunch)
What are you hoping to learn from this masterclass? Let us know send an email to: info@verhalendejournalistiek.nl

Work on your own project

Our conference’s founding father Mark Kramer, co-editor of the book Telling true stories, is available again for personal coaching sessions, for journalists working on their own narrative project.
Mark is the organisor of the big American conference on narrative journalism
at Boston University (https://www.bu.edu/com/narrative/). He’s had a hand in guiding and editing books of award winning writers like Tracy Kidder and Adrian Nicole Leblanc and hosts “the kitchen workshop” for Boston-area professional writers at his house.

Are you wrestling with a promising narrative project? And would you like to win expert advice? Sign up for his session. Participants share texts in advance, and Mark gives each workshop member extensive advice. Participants discuss their work and stay on to join the discussion of others’ work in turn.
To attend this mini-kitchen workshop, Amsterdam edition, you need to send in a book or longform proposal. The proposal should consist of two pages and be written in English. (We can help you connect to an affordable translator/corrector.) Your work will be shared confidentially with others in the group. Please send in your proposal before April 15th.

CV
Mark Kramer is the director of Boston University’s Power of Narrative conference and writer-in-residence and clinical professor of practice in the department of journalism. He was writer-in-residence in Smith College’s American Studies Program from 1980 to 1990, and writer-in-residence and founding director of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University from 2001 to 2007. Kramer has written for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, National Geographic, and The Atlantic Monthly among other places. He’s co-edited two leading textbooks on narrative nonfiction: Telling True Stories and Literary Journalism, and has written: Mother Walter and the Pig Tragedy, Three Farms, Invasive Procedures, and Travels with a Hungry Bear. He’s at work on a book about revision. the dozen or so midcareer writers in the “kitchen workshop” that has met at his home for the past seven years has resulted in many published books and articles.

Here’s an article Kramer wrote for us a few years ago on becoming a narrative journalist.

Time & place

Time: 10 am -1.00 pm
Location: UvA Mediastudies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, Amsterdam
Costs: 45,- / friends of SVJ 35,- (includes lunch)
Maximum attending: 15 Buy your ticket here
What are you hoping to learn from this masterclass? Let us know send an email to: info@verhalendejournalistiek.nl

Conference Sessions

New Stories to Tell, New Ways to Tell Them
Lam Thuy Vo is a visual storyteller who translates data, video footage and photographs into content that tells compelling stories. She will explain how she finds stories – and what goes into deciding the right way to tell them.

Telling Your Story with Your Audience
John Keefe will give quick examples of crowd-driven stories, and he’ll delve into a recent project. His session will include easy ways to achieve crowd-driven story gold at your own publication, as well as a live demo where he’ll use SMS to bring *his* audience into the keynote session!

The Narrative Traitor
The dilemmas of coming too close. Linda always looks for topics she expects can keep her intrigued for several years. She immerses herself in strange new worlds, gluing herself to the right person(s) to explain what she’s looking at. She seduces them to confide in her and show themselves for who they really are. All the time she dreads the inevitable moment she’ll have to betray her protagonists by writing it all down for an audience to enjoy. The moment when a book or article is published, has been compared to that morning when the elderly widow wakes up to find her young lover and all her savings gone. It is only now that the protagonist realizes why the journalist was such a good listener. But there’s no point in seducing the widow and not stealing the jewelry, or is there?

Stories Everywhere: From the Day’s Weather to Virtual Reality
Every day, weather.com brings the most interesting and engaging stories about the natural world to its audiences. And the proliferation of smartphones, dashcams, prosumer cameras – the lowering of barriers of entry for capturing the world around us – means that there are more stories for weather.com to tell, and more richly, than ever before. Every story – whether painful or playful – can now be captured from multiple angles, and the “one in a million,” truly transportive shot, is becoming more and more commonplace. This powerful change in our relationship with the world around us might reach its apex in 360-degree video, when one can be immersed in a place one has never been and see things in a way one never could before, Edecio will show us.

Diversity in Storytelling
This fast-paced presentation will include what Code Switch, NPR’s race blog, does, and why Kat is committed to telling diverse stories. Kat will also show examples of her most innovative work (and work from other outlets, too), and give tips to use at your own publication.

So, You Have an Idea for a New Podcast?
Julie Shapiro, Executive Producer of Radiotopia, discusses what works in podcast pitching, what doesn’t work, and why…. all on the heels of reading through 100+ real pitches. She’ll also look into the certain taxonomy of podcasts – ie. the different categories and genres that seem to be taking root – and she’ll play examples of the best pieces, talking about the impact those podcasts have and discussing who they appeal to.

On the Success of Spår (Audio)
Finding a Narrative Arc for Series. Inspired by Serial, Martin Johnson developed the popular Swedish podcast, Spår. How do you create a good podcast with a gripping narrative arc, whilea lot less money than the Serial team?

What Franklin and Hart Told Me about Writing a Book of Literary Non-fiction
Henk Blanken gives a breakout session on what he learned from writing coaches Jack Hart (‘Storycraft’) and Jon Franklin (‘Writing for Story’), and how he applied those lessons to his own book, Pistoolvinger, a narrative account of his own dealing with Parkinson’s disease.

Henk will also be available during the break as one of the conference’s Story Doctors

Scroll stories: Best Practices
Alexander Pleijter and Hay Kranen show best practices on scroll stories: extensive online stories the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant published in the past year. Programmer Hay will show which projects proved successful and why. Alexander Pleijter will focus on the question: How do readers perceive scroll stories? Alexander will present highlights of the qualitative study he carried out among some 60 readers, with a group of students from the Vrije Universiteit.

Code for Collaboration
Creating Stories with Developers. Journalists tend to involve programmers only after the concept has already been developed. It’s more interesting to let technique and concept influence each other. Working with digital means requires structuring your story in a different way. De Volkskrant, the leading quality newspaper in the Netherlands, moves away from the monumental ‘Snowfall’ stories. The large complex productions that require people to linger longer. The newspaper invests in smaller projects.

It remains difficult for freelance journalists to raise such projects off the ground. Programmers are expensive, and it is difficult to find the right match between journalist and programmer. You’d better use existing tools to tell your story. Hay will look for the right tools so freelancers can tell stories in new media, on the spot.

Telling Stories in Broadcast News (TV)
Tim Verheyden explains how he uses storytelling to tell hard news for Belgium’s main daily news feature on TV. What are the criteria for a good news story? What can the traditional media learn from online storytelling?

Nader tot Boudewijn
A Workshop on the Dramatic Build-up and Structure of the Documentary Boudewijn de Groot-Kom Nader. Director Suzanne Raes and Editor Elja de Lange talk about the feature documentary Boudewijn de Groot-Kom nader, which premièred at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). The documentary was also broadcast on NPO2. Raes and de Langue will elaborate on the struggles the different storylines presented. The present, and the biography and discography of the main character were meshed together towards a dramatic build-up that could take the viewer closer to Boudewijn de Groot. It is highly recommended to watch the film before the workshop.

Locations

Pakhuis de Zwijger
Piet Heinkade 179
1019 HC Amsterdam
Tel. 020 – 624 63 80
UvA Mediastudies
Turfdraagsterpad 9, kamer 1.04
1012 XT  Amsterdam
Tel. 020 – 525 29 80
Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond
Nes 45
1012 KD Amsterdam
Tel. 020 622 90 14 (niet voor kaartverkoop)

Social

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