Building Live Journalism for Digital and In-Person Audiences
6:00PM Jun 23, 2021
Host (In Video Clip)
Oak Felder (In Video Clip)
Michelle Ma (Video Clip)
Helen Aboah (Video Clip)
Tracy Chou (Video Clip)
Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to "Building Live Journalism for Digital and In-Person Audiences audiences with the Wall Street Journal. I'm Kim Last, Editor of Live Journalism and Special Content here at the Journal. I've spent the last decade of my career working at the intersection of live events and news coverage for media outlets, joining the Journal three years ago as deputy editor on our team. I'm here today with my colleagues news editors, Ellie Austin and Michelle Ma, and event video and new formats producer, Emily Prapuolenis to share some of the insights, the live journalism team has unlocked this last year, as we transformed our portfolio of live events for the Journal, into a robust digital offering that engaged current subscribers, and also reached new audiences. So let's start with a really simple question. What is live journalism? For the Journal, it's always been centered on unscripted news generated interviews, delivered to our audiences in real time. And before COVID, the Journal produced events around the world, ranging from small dinners with high-profile executives to multi-day, multi-stage events hosted by our news staff that are underwritten by advertisers and supported by membership and ticket fees. Last March, we had to put the brakes on a very busy calendar of events and reassessed with a digital event looks like. And this last year, we put an emphasis on digital distribution and coverage, and we reached our widest audience in the 10 year history of events produced by the Journal. The Journal has a number of live journalism franchises that reach a pretty broad cross-section of subscribers and also audiences. Our CEO Council is our premier network of CEO leaders who now gather monthly to debate issues that impact the economy, the workplace and trade. CEO Council is a paid membership program that is invitation only, with annual events that serve as a focal point in the offering. And we also have other executive memberships for the full C suite that leverage that membership and revenue model for CFOs, CIOs, CMOs etc. We also produce a number of industry forums such as Tech Live, our premier technology conference, and our Health Forum, Women in the Workplace and the Global Food Forum. Each of these events have a defined audience category within the program and caters to executives who are looking for both information and connection amongst their peers. Franchises like Women in the Workplace and Tech Live also have other connected news products like email newsletters and also podcasts. In recent years, the Journal has also launched franchises in an effort to reach new audiences. Our Future of Everything Festival, which we'll talk about in greater detail today is a multi-platform franchise at the Journal. The physical event was the largest in audience size prior to the pandemic and its virtual manifestation was also the largest event that the team has pulled off to date. And this last year we also launched another new franchise for job seekers, which was called the WSJ Job Summit. This event highlights a new model for developing event franchises, which we'll also dig into today. So Ellie, Michelle and Emily are part of a team of journalists here in the newsroom who set the vision for our events. They build the agendas for our live journalism programs, and also drive the connected news coverage. We view our sessions at our events as stories, and our events as just another edition of The Wall Street Journal, so the same rigorous standards and ethics, apply across the board to what we do. And like journalism, I should add is also, it's a team sport, not just across the newsroom but also across the whole business. And we work very closely with our commercial side colleagues to execute our projects. Our team works with our conference group, a team of producers and programmers who partner with us to execute our live events. That's everything from tech checks, speaker arrivals, stage and sets, and the in-person, on-site experience. This team also has a group of sales specialists who work with us on sponsorship activations for example. We also collaborate very closely with our marketing team, and they drive the audience development for all of our live events, but ticket sales, and also those professional memberships that I mentioned just a short while ago. So now that you have a breakdown of revenue models, a little bit about our mission. We want to spend this time diving into the new formats that work for digital distribution, the products that build audience and coverage strategies to reach those who maybe didn't tune in to one of your events live. So with all of that Ellie, it's over to you.
Thank you Kim, as you mentioned, I'm Ellie Austin, I'm one of the news editors on the live journalism team and I oversee the Future of Everything Festival, which is a three-day festival in May, we've just sort of come out of that and then also we have monthly episodes throughout the year. So as we started thinking, last fall, about how we were going to execute this year's three-day festival in May in the virtual space, there was one particular challenge we had in mind and that was how after a year of Zoom calls and webinars, can we create a festival where attendees, really feel that they are part of something, rather than just being a passive viewer. We also wanted to replicate the different types of discussion and pacing, which you might see at an in person event, and at the same time, our goal was to develop formats in the virtual space, which could in the future, when we attend to in person programming, also work. So in the next few minutes I'm going to talk you through three of the format's which we developed to help us tackle these challenges in different ways. So the first, if we could just jump to the next slide, thanks Michelle, is classrooms. We knew that we wanted to create something intimate and conversational the large majority of festival programming takes place on what we call the mainstage, and that's why we have our big flagship conversations between CEOs, big culture figures, athletes, and WSJ reporters and editors, and those sessions tend to be a one on one or two on one, maybe a panel discussion at times, but our challenge was how do we create something more intimate and conversational to shake up the pace. And also to give attendees, the opportunity to be informed and leave the festival having learned something in the hands on their way. So our answer to this was the classroom where we asked, industry leaders such as the chefs Brandon Jew and Rodney Scott. The music producer Oak Felder and Nicolas Britell, who is the man behind the Succession theme tune to lead workshops, really, which would be attended by a small number of attendees who would pay a premium price to access those sessions so when I say small number, we capped the sessions anywhere between 10 to 25 people, having had a conversation with the person leading it and based on what they felt was appropriate. So whilst being involved in the session itself came at a premium, and was an exclusive experience, we did stream the sessions to all ticket holders at the festival, meaning that you could tune in as more as a passive observer and get the general sense of what was going on without having the opportunity to interact with the person leading the session. The structure of these classrooms was that we would kick off with a 10 to 15 minute interview between the Journal host, and then we would dive straight in to the hands on part. So for Rodney Scott and Brandon Jew, they in advance let attendees know what recipes they were going to be cooking on the day. So Rodney Scott for instance made a fried catfish and a tomato salmon salad so attendees for that session were told in advance, go buy your catfish in advance, go get your tomatoes in advance and tune in at this time and he will talk you through it. So Oak Felder, he came up with a particularly interesting challenge was that he wanted the 10 to 15 people attending his workshop to compose a few bars of music in advance of the session, submit them to him, and he would then pick the one that he felt was strongest to build up into a track really throughout the class, we've got a video clip here now which I want to show which is Oak explaining how he layers his tracks.
What's the sort of tech backbone that you use to build a hit song?
Well, I'm glad you asked. So I'm going to switch my screen here so that you can see my workflow a little bit. Okay, so you should be seeing me in the bottom right hand corner. And what you see in front of you is the workstation that I use to do production. It's called Logic Pro X. It's a digital audio workstation so basically what this is like this gives me all the tools that I need as a producer to be able to make tracks. And right now what I have here is Michael ... production. And what I'm gonna do is I'm going to single out a section of it because I want to take a piece of it out. I don't want to elaborate on that piece. So the section that I'm going to grab is this front intro. Now, for all you producers out there, this section, basically, we would refer to as the perfect blue. And so what I'm going to do is I'm going to grab that section I'm going to repeat it over four times so that we have a loop that goes four times. Alright.
So that was Oak in his classroom. And let's move on to the second type of format, which we wanted to talk you through today, this was the town hall. So the challenge here that we were trying to solve was how can you bring together multiple voices in the virtual space in a slick and clear format, which doesn't result in everyone talking over the top of one another, and how can we invite attendees to be part of, and at times steer the direction of a robust debate. The subject that we chose for this year's town hall was diversity and inclusion, and the future of company culture in America. And as you can see we brought together four speakers, and the panel was hosted by Barbara Chai, our Wall Street Journal colleague. I just use the word panel or they strictly speaking that isn't the right word to describe this and how we would differentiate what happened from the town hall, from what you would see in a normal panel is that a large proportion of the session was as I said, driven by the audience. So we asked them to submit questions in multiple ways. They could write questions in the chat live in real time, they could send written questions in advance via reform, which we submitted to them when they signed up for the event, or they could log on to the festival platform and submit a video question via a tool called Capture which is something that we have been piloting at a few of our events. It's incredibly easy to use, you log on, there's a press PLAY button and as long as you have a video on your laptop or your phone, you can record your question straight to camera it then automatically gets branded with the WSJ festival logo, and is made to fit our production values. So that was a very slick way, an easy way for both us and the audience, which we found of integrating face to face, audience participation. And one final note on the town hall is how did we choose our speakers, both for this session, and more broadly across the festival. I always say that the festival we are aiming for a combination of those big flagship names Marc Benioff Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union, Ed Bastian, Whitney Wolfe Herd, and then also because it is the Future of Everything, we want to really spotlight those up and coming names. Those people who will be the headliners in that industry in years to come, and who are maybe changing the way that their industry works. And an example of that is that we had a discussion about CRISPR, and we actually rather than go to CRISPR pioneers, we went to some of the scientists who are training in their labs at the moment, and who are starting to make waves and possibly going to steer the course of gene editing and CRISPR over years to come. The other thing to mention is that we were completely committed to diversity, this year, as we are every year across the entirety of the festival and by that I mean diversity of age, of race, and also of gender, and this year's festival had 55% men in its lineup, 45% women, and of those women, 53% were women of color. We were also very intentional in bringing in younger moderators into our kind of moderator pack on the newsroom side of things, so that the diversity which we aim for on the speaker side is also reflected in the moderating team. Michelle if we could go to my final slide. So thank you, so the drive-in was, it was a completely new concept for this year. And it was because we knew from speaking to attendees and also just from gauging the sense within the team that there was an appetite for a COVID safe piece of in-person programming. So we thought long and hard about how we could execute this, obviously safety being the utmost concern here, and we ended up partnering with the Skyline outdoor drive-in movie theater in Brooklyn. We knew it was safe because Skyline had been open throughout the pandemic, and it's a contactless experience where you turn up in your car, you watch the film you don't have to leave your car if you don't want to. You don't have to interact with anyone. So the next question was, what are we going to show at this screening. We knew it had to be something exclusive so I spent a lot of time as did Kim talking to studios and networks to find the right project. And in the end we went with a screening of Judas, and the Black Messiah, which although it had had a streaming release had not been shown very widely at all in movie theaters across the country, and our festival screening also came about two weeks after it won at the Oscars. And so there was a good degree of buzz around it. In addition to the screening we scheduled an exclusive conversation with the writers, and it was here that we came up against a bit of a rights issue, in that we were able to stream the conversation with the writers through our virtual platform to our virtual viewers watching all over the world, but we did not have the rights to stream the film itself. That could only happen at Skyline in the location to the people who were there. So what we decided to do is we, we went ahead with the writer conversation on the platform and the film screening remained an exclusive in-person element and I really think that this could be a sign of things to come as we start to flesh out the hybrid format in more depth over the coming months. And then the final thing to say is that for the whole festival, we had a catch up hub, which was available to all ticket holders, where our sessions were available for 30 days after they went live at their convenience to access in whatever time zones, they might be.
So I'm going to talk about the next section. My name is Michelle Ma, I'm a news editor that I work, alongside Ellie and Kim and Emily on a lot of our new franchises, including the WSJ Jobs Summit, Women in the Workplace, live Q&A's. You know, one thing that we also want to do beyond what Ellie mentioned which was expanding into new formats that can better entertain and serve audiences, we also wanted to think about what subjects, what topics are really top of mind for audiences right now and also for new audiences that we haven't hit. So what does that mean? That means service journalism that responds really quickly to the moment, and, you know, during the pandemic something that was really top of mind for us was there just the record high jobless rates, you know, millions laid off, millions furloughed. And what we were thinking at that time was, you know, what can the Wall Street Journal do? Who's hurting? Who's impacted? How can we serve them with our content, our expertise? You know we already cover a lot of the topics that are related to the job search, throughout our news coverage, but how do we make that, you know, more servicey and also more interactive since that's something that we can really do with live journalism in a way that we can't really do with the rest of our platforms. So, you know, our news coverage tended to describe you know what was happening during the pandemic, the jobless rates, the layoffs, you know the situations around working parents being impacted by lack of caregiving for example, but you know there wasn't so much around what to do if you're that person in that position. And you know I also run a portion of our coverage, which is around live Q&A's and which I'll talk about in a second but one of our live, we had a couple of live Q&A's that were about small business owners impacted by the pandemic and, you know, it was an enormous response to those live Q&A's. So many questions that came up around what to do in terms of applying for PPP loans etc and I think it really made us realize well you know we could do something similar for job seekers, because there's so many questions right now around how to get a job in this really great time of crisis. So what we did is we set up this event that was really focused on audience interaction and answering those questions directly in a service oriented way. So that meant workshops, town halls, networking opportunities. You know, we wanted this to be a real service to our readers and to new audiences that we hadn't reached so it was a completely free event. I think we received almost 10,000 registrations for our first edition of the summit. And while Wall Street Journal reporters and editors were obviously driving the show and moderating most of these sessions, there was a really huge emphasis on direct audience interaction, and what was great was so much of the content that came out of that event is content that actually lives on and is really evergreen. You know, so I think it kind of showed to us that when you're meeting audience needs and you're meeting the needs of your readers, you're also kind of serving news objectives at the same time. So you know a lot of our video clips from the summit, we repackage them in a hub on Apple News and which ended up generating over a million views, and continue to generate views because this is advice that is just always relevant no matter what stage of the job search you're in now, you know things like how to craft a resume, how to negotiate an offer, you know, our biggest moment at the last job summit was when Jerome Powell, the Fed Chairman came to speak, and he really came because he wanted to talk to audiences about what the economic outlook meant for job seekers, but we were also able to use that as an opportunity to ask him about issues that were really top of mind for us news wise, you know, like whether the central bank would be making any moves in terms of stemming a recent rise in Treasury yields and, you know his remarks were really market moving and other outlets subsequently reported on that so I think it really showed for us that when you're doing things that audiences need and audiences want, you're also serving your news objectives at the same time. Another example of kind of trying to meet our audiences where they were at was what we did with our Women in the Workplace series during the pandemic. You know, Women in the Workplace was primarily for us for a long time, a once a year forum, gala, you know, kind of a sort of cocktail attire evening where people had dinner and you know, it was, it was a once a year gathering for our community but we really wanted to make sure we were keeping those community members engaged during this time, even though we couldn't meet with them in person. So what we ended up doing, we expanded it to a monthly series. And we also wanted to kind of keep them engaged topically too so while Women in the Workplace has always been traditionally focused on equity and advancement in the corporate sphere, we thought about and we really expanded into other topic areas that we felt the Women in the Workplace community really wanted to hear from us on and you know that included everything from investing to personal finance to not only looking into the gender dynamics at work but race. And those were hugely popular so unlike the Job Summit, you know, that was targeting a whole new audience, this was really a case study for us and how to kind of keep and build an existing audience, and keeping them engaged, while we couldn't come together. And what that meant for us is, we'd really experimented with a lot of different things with the Women in the Workplace audience. One thing we did was a Slack channel we kind of created a Slack community for everyone to keep in touch and online and you know, network and exchange details and share information and another thing we really did is during the actual events themselves, we really tried again, like we did with the Job Summit and like Ellie's mentioned with the other events that we've done like festival, we've really tried to integrate the audience and so we really focused on breakout sessions after the mainstage panels and things like that where everyone's on Zoom, you can really learn from everyone, not just the the speakers that we invited but from the actual members of the community themselves who are, in this case you know, oftentimes really high level leaders within their own industries within their own companies who have done some experimenting in terms of workplace flexibility and, you know, things that they've tried that other people can try out and say you know and they give each other honest advice and feedback and we also get to learn from them as journalists, which I think is something that's really special about live journalism is that you really get to know your audience in a way that you don't really get to with other formats, and you can, I have heard many of our reporters and editors who moderate our events say that oh actually I got an idea for a story or I didn't realize that this is something that so many people were curious about until I heard from them in one of our live events, so that's something that Women has really shown us this year. And then the last thing that I wanted to mention is just our live Q&A, which is a new tool that we've also implemented during this past year. They're basically live videos featuring WSJ journalists and sometimes newest newsmakers that on the right side of the screen have a moderated stream of live questions submitted by our readers. And this was really our way of creating a sense of community and loyalty by bringing our reporting closer to our audiences so giving them again, a chance to tell us questions, tell their own stories, give us ideas. And you know, we do several different things. We do a lot of service journalism as well, you know, we had a whole Q&A on what to know about the COVID vaccines, managing a small business in a crisis like I mentioned before, navigating childcare and schools reopening. But we've also done, and this is another tool that's been really great for breaking news so that since these events are so much easier to produce than our other series like the Future of Everything Festival, we can do these really quickly so we've done ones on you know, the Texas power outages for example, the day after the election we did we did a recap. We've done really, really successful ones on markets related use like Gamestop when that happened, so people really turn to these as a way of okay, what should I make of this thing that's happening right now and what can I learn from a Wall Street Journal journalist who's literally reporting on it right now and it's also kind of a window into how we do our reporting, which I think sometimes can be really valuable for people who don't know the work that goes into this. And then I think I'm gonna let my colleague Emily now talk about video.
Thanks Michelle. My name is Emily Prapuolenis, I'm one of two video producers on our team, I focus on original series and new formats. And I think that video has always been a really important thing in live journalism, but especially this past year. And as we sort of move into this hybrid event space, it's become an indispensable tool. You don't mind when the next slide Michelle -- the biggest way that we use video is we clip our live events. We have a team of editors who are looking for, insightful or newsworthy sound bites to embed in our articles or sort of live alone as video on demand. And we love having as many eyes as possible on our work and sharing highlights with people who maybe didn't have the opportunity to attend. Our newsroom loves the increased engagement they have in mixed media offerings like articles embedded with our videos, and our audience really likes the extra connection, that they get by hearing the voices and seeing the faces of the people that we're covering, and maybe getting a little bit more of their perspective, then you can really see in a eight word quotation in an article. Another way that we use video, is we set up our sessions with them, especially for topics that are better seen than heard. We have a clip of an intro video that we used for a session on augmented reality.
The George Floyd Project is me taking a 3D model of a bust of George Floyd and creating an AR experience with it, where I can build the app, put it on my phone, and then go out into Portland, like during COVID and during all the craziness and install 30 foot monuments in the hotspots of Portland. And there's a video of people walking around and interacting with it. And there's pictures of it actually in these real world locations.
I think we can all agree that... I think we can all agree that seeing a video clip about augmented reality is a more efficient way to understand what it is, then hearing two people talk about it. Another way that we like to use video is sort of as a way to transport our audience outside of the physical event space, or in this past year outside of their homes. We have another example here of a video we think does that
The Library of the History of Human Imagination is one person's attempt to try to encapsulate 1,000 years of human history in one room. On the pages of this small little book, you see the beginnings of the vaccination revolution that will change the course of mankind, and eventually eliminate smallpox from the planet.
One thing that I appreciate about video is that it can offer a deeper level of storytelling than is common in a live conversation between two people. And these stories and their imagery, are a really wonderful way to sort of offer your audience an experience that they may never get to have otherwise. Like, in that case that was a private museum full of treasures that chronicle the history of mankind. And these videos and other video interstitials can also help enhance event pacing. So it doesn't matter how interesting the content is after a certain point, when you've heard enough sit down interviews, it's easy to sort of stop being able to retain the information. So introducing a new format like a video interstitial can sort of re-energize your audience and just offer a break, and sort of wake people up a little bit. I have an example of a video that we like to use that way.
I felt like I had hit a growth ceiling there, and I wasn't excited to do that for the next 30 years of my career. My previous career was in marketing and production world, doing a lot of work for other brands and other people's products, services. I was one person on a team, and there were many teams for certain clients across many different cities you know, I liked it and I was I was good at it but I was never terribly passionate about it.
So that clip was from a series that we internally called our Real People Series, we asked WSJ subscribers and past attendees to share their stories of professional success that they were able to achieve during the pandemic. And I really think that video is a great place to sort of spotlight some of the more relatable voices and advice from real people to real people. And, you know, new voices and new formats, often mean new audiences. Video is one place that we've had success, sort of getting new people who maybe don't identify with our traditional sort of WSJ legacy products. And this opportunity to sort of share, you know, meet new audiences help audiences meet each other and find new avenues to engage with them are really some of I think the most fun objectives of any live journalism team.
So I want to talk a little bit about how this all connects back to the broader mission of the newsroom. I think as you guys have seen here, we have a real emphasis on newsmakers and convening newsmakers on our stages, whether they're physical or virtual and also around pursuing service-related ideas that can really help audiences. So we collaborate across the newsroom to power coverage across the Journal's platform. Let's head to the next slide and talk a little bit about the Future of Everything franchise, which is a great example. The event is actually one part of a larger platform that includes a print section, which you can see on the left that's Abby Wambach who is a speaker at this year's festival, a website you can see some of the clippings from the event with walkups to each day of the festival teasing out the stories and what to expect, and some of the big headlines that were that were made on stage with, you know, just this past May, Bill Ackman acknowledging Dominoes and the 6% ownership in the company. You know we really leverage, you know, all the different verticals around the Future of Everything so that it's all sort of interconnected and that the festival doesn't sit in a silo. The Future of Everything is also a award winning podcast and we actually ended up featuring a couple of our speakers in a couple of episodes of the podcast that aired around the time of the festival so it was actually a great vehicle to promote the event to listeners who maybe didn't know that there was a festival coming up, and also a great place to sort of explore big ideas with those speakers almost as a follow up if you did catch, catch them at the live events. On top of that, other things that we do is that we leverage other parts of the Journal platforms. So, you know, we talked a little bit about Apple News that's one vertical that we really explored from a coverage perspective. We also stream a number of our sessions on Twitter. You can see here a clip from the festival which featured Paris Hilton and that clip in particular I believe went viral because she acknowledged she was tinkering with NFT's well before we all were back in March of 2020. So I think the whole goal and takeaway here is, you know, really leveraging franchises that have some sea legs to them and finding all of the homes and places that content and coverage can live in and tailoring it for that benefit and for those readers who are tuned in there. You know and I think we can head to the next slide, you know, as Michelle sort of pointed out here. There's sort of two North Stars that power that collaboration across the newsroom: how we serve our audiences and how we need our news objectives. So like I said earlier, the power and reach of newsmakers is really critical for us here at the Journal, we feature newsmakers across everything that we do. We love things to be market movers if possible, we work really hard with our moderators and our editors here on the team here really serve as, you know, session editors, story editors crafting and working with our editorial team around making sure those questions do break news when we do have a newsmaker involved with us. And like I mentioned just a few minutes ago, tapping into partnerships to expand news reach so if you don't have those partnerships with Twitter, or Apple, or YouTube, or LinkedIn. They're great vehicles to be able to distribute the work that you're doing on your events team and in live journalism. Another thing here is cultivating communities, leveraging those repeat attendees, building out formalized networks and audiences, finding ways to connect technology into what we do and building and finding some of the resources to dedicate to keep those conversations moving along, whether that's in email newsletters or in a Slack channel and community. And I think you know the other thing here is, like I mentioned before, capitalize on those franchises every newsroom has, you know, probably a couple of franchises that they're really passionate about, and usually those are great seeds for a live event series to sort of bloom out of that. So I know we've only got a couple more minutes left with, with everyone here and we're going to move to five tips to really getting started in live so Ellie I think it's back over to you right now.
Yeah, thanks Kim. So Michelle and I actually earlier in the year, we ran a training session for reporters in the newsroom, on the differences between live interviews and the print interviews that they tend to do for their day-to-day jobs, and two stand out points I would make here are, number one, it really matters how you ask your questions, whereas in a print interview, no one's going to hear your side of things other than you listening back to your tape recorder, that's not the case in life, just as it wouldn't be in broadcast television. And so it's really worth thinking about how you're going to switch up the pace of your questions it's absolutely fine to have some long thoughtful questions, but you maybe also want some that are much shorter. Where are you going to put the hard questions? You don't necessarily want to throw them in at the top of the interview to jolt the audience and the speaker, but you also don't want to run out of time. The other thing that we think a lot about is how can we incorporate visuals into these sessions so as I said at the start, we don't want them to feel, we don't want our interviews to feel like webinars and Zoom calls, we want them to feel more like news segments and so we speak to every speaker to ask, you know, what would be good visuals that support what you think you're going to be saying on stage, would there be a video clip to back up this piece of tech that you're talking about which feels quite intangible. And I think we've got an example here of the integration of good visuals.
So the idea of hacking the Department of Defense, you know when I first heard it, I thought okay maybe we're talking about a recruitment website like I don't know if we have an image of one here, you know, something like that okay I get it, it's out there hackers can pound on that thing maybe something even a little more tricky like say a payroll website. Sure, okay. But then I found out talking these guys, they're not just talking about this of course there's tons of websites like this that are being tested by these hackers all the time but they're also talking about hardware and when the DOD is talking about hardware they're talking about ... can someone try to hack this utility vehicle with the robotic gas emission on the back?
So that was one example that Ellie ran through, we wanted to have good visuals. And I know we don't have too much time, I'm just going to quickly talk about another thing that you want to think about, which is also mixing up like Ellie mentioned, the pace of your questions you want to have some longer questions but you also want to have some shorter ones. A really good way of getting shorter questions in is consider doing something like a lightning round. So this is an interview that I did with two CEOs about pay transparency and pay equity and this is an example of a lightning round. Okay, looks like we're having trouble.
Okay so, tax incentives for companies that can document equal pay. Good idea, bad idea?
Good. It's accountability.
I'll say good as well.
Okay, including your salary ranges in a job ad.
Okay, what about one of those crowdsource Google Docs where people self-report anonymized salary ranges or salaries.
I would still say good idea although I would add the caveat of for all of these is, like, generally more data is good, but there's always potential downsides as well so none of these are complete, yes, but you can probably tell from our hesitation in answering.
So data with context is good.
Accurate data, right?
Accurate data with context.
So the point of that is, you know, you want to keep your panelists slightly off balance in order to capture the most spontaneous, least rehearsed answer and the more time that they have to prepare for a question that they know is coming, the better they can avoid answering the question directly, and they get to their predetermined message and it's like when you have a lightning round, and kind of shake that up a little bit and also shake up, you know, just the length of an interview sometimes. And then the next tip we have is something that we think, whoops, who's going to talk about next, Ellie.
Yes, Kim mentioned this earlier, so I'll just be really brief. If you're thinking of delving into like journalism in a newsroom, a really great place to start is, what are the big franchises that we have or what are the regular slots that we have, which really lend themselves to being translated into live. And then beyond that, when you're thinking about engaging the rest of the newsroom, I think it you know live journalism really rests on the enthusiasm of the reporters and the editors to get involved, and a way to really sell that to them is, it is an opportunity to broaden their relationship with sources, to develop multimedia skills which will be applicable in all other areas of their career and also to break news, which they will then be able to cover themselves across platforms. So that's how we speak to reporters and editors about coming on board and giving up their time in their very very busy days to come and do an interview for us or to give us a good idea for a possible conversation.
The third tip is something that Kim also mentioned earlier, which is just collaborate, you really don't have to reinvent the wheel, or become an expert in every single thing that you cover, you should lean on the seasoned leaders and well sourced beat reporters at your organization, and this isn't only efficient, it's also fun. I know that as a journalist, it's easy to sort of feel siloed and your beat and your only day to day interaction ends up being with maybe your editor or one or two other reporters, but live journalism is a wonderful place to network within your organization. And, you know, I've been at the Journal for over a decade now in a number of different jobs, and I've never had the opportunity to collaborate with as many people from as many different departments as I've had while on this team, and overall these conversations just end up being a wonderful resource for new ideas, new sources and new projects.
The fourth thing is just, you know, like we've mentioned again and again. Think audience first. When you engage with them, with interesting formats structures, video, and you meet them where they are and what they're interested in topic wise, that they come, and, you know the selling point here for, for the newsroom is you, you get to engage and meet your readers and your audiences in a way that really few journalists get to do and it's really special on a personal level and on obviously on a journalistic level too.
And the fifth tip which just appeared. Hold your live journalism to the same standards that you hold your articles, and the rest of the newsroom. So as I mentioned in the introduction, while like journalism is a revenue driver for news organizations sticking to standards is key and it's key for us at the Journal, our events are another edition of the paper so we place the same rigor and the same no surprises journalism on stage and at the event, and also transparency is really key across sessions, and what to expect and what's sponsored and not sponsored and where the newsroom is involved in curation and also not involved so translating that in the same way that you would translate to one of your print products, or one of your digital products is also key in the live space as well. So I think that's everything on our teams end here I want to thank everyone for listening in. I know we've got just a couple of minutes left for any audience questions, should anyone have any.
I think Kim has an audience question in the chat, already.
Phil Brady, and he's asking how do you approach continuing to engage managed platforms like the Slack community that Michelle mentioned from a bandwidth resource perspective, especially between and after the actual events.
Yeah, this is actually a great question that we have wrestled with quite a bit, and I don't think we have a perfect solution to it but we have dedicated some newsroom staffers who have worked on the Slack community who serve almost like, ambassadors, if you will, who have scheduled prompts for the group to tune in and tune out to, who have connected with folks and actually created you know introduction cues for members to sign on in the days leading up to the event. In total transparency, the Slack community has been the most engaged and surprisingly around the live events itself. I think we still have some more work to do in between from event to event. Just with what that pickup looks like. But typically what it's been, it's been members of our audience moderation team or audience voices team we call them in the newsroom, and a couple of our strategy editors who have really partnered with us in live to really own that vehicle and begin to develop and pilot it.
Do we have another question that came in? I think this one is from Lirio he got and I'm sorry if I'm mispronouncing anyone's names... as it becomes safe to meet IRL. What elements that you adopted by necessity, will you retain permanently? I don't want to totally take that one. Ellie, Michelle, Emily, I feel like Emily you might, you might want to talk a bit about what we've been thinking on the video side of things.
Yes. So I mean I think from a production standpoint, you know, we've moved a lot of our sort of clipping operations off site and I think that's something that will sort of keep, keep going off site. I do think that the world has reached a little bit of zoom fatigue and I think we are done watching people, you know interviews on Zoom, if we can avoid it, but you know I think that it's mainly from the video standpoint just sort of like being able to sort of streamline production and minimize the number of actual humans that we have on set and at the event without sort of you know, without losing our like feel of being at the place.
Yeah, and I guess the other thing I'll add into this too is this last year we've streamed more live journalism sessions than we've had in the past and when I say stream, not just to Twitter or, you know to publish on YouTube but also really to stream on the Journal's homepage and app, and really leveraging that the Journal platform as a tool to promote a newsmaker sitting down with Matt Murray our Editor in Chief, for example. I think we're going to really continue to leverage that. It's a great way to highlight live conversation and to really highlight the Journal's sort of power of convening.
I think technically that awkward silence means I think we're now at time. So I just want to thank everyone for listening and for tuning in. We do also have, if any of this is interesting to you. We did circulate in the group chat ways to get in touch with our team, please do. We also have if any of this sounds intriguing to you, and you want to learn more and potentially come work at the Journal and work with this, you know, excellent group of journalists. We do have a job opening right now for a tech news editor on the team. So if that job is of interest to you. Also, please get in touch. But thanks to everyone for listening and we hope you enjoy the rest of the conference.