Preparing for SRCCON 2021
As SRCCON approaches, here’s everything you need to know to prepare for the conference and get setup. Once SRCCON is up and running, you’ll spend most of your time on our SRCCON 2021 Participant HQ on Eventbrite, and in our conference Slack.
- ⭐️ SRCCON 2021 Participant HQ on Eventbrite ⭐️ — Where Zoom links for all SRCCON programming lives, as well as links to our Virtual Bulletin Board. Once SRCCON starts, you’ll have this page open ALL the time. (Only SRCCON participants will be able to access this link.)
- Public Schedule
- Code of Conduct
- Care and Support
- Setting up for SRCCON
- SRCCON Program
- How do I get help if I’m having issues?
- How much of SRCCON will be recorded and available after the conference?
- What parts of SRCCON can I share publicly on social media, or privately with people who are not SRCCON participants?
- How can I be a great SRCCON participant?
SETTING UP FOR SRCCON
Accessing SRCCON 2021 talks and sessions
If you don’t have a ticket yet:
Fill out our call for participation form here. Within 24 hours (if not sooner), we’ll email you a link to buy a ticket to the event or grab a scholarship ticket, if we still have space available. We’ll be checking this form at least once per day, so you’ll have the opportunity to join mid-event.
If you have your ticket:
Make sure you’ve installed Zoom, and jump to the next section, our virtual registration booth, to get setup!
Once SRCCON starts:
You can log into Eventbrite to access the event. (Be sure to use the same email address you used when you registered.) From there, you will see individual Zoom links you can click to join each talk or session.
All registered? Step right up to the virtual registration booth!
Normally, you might be picking up your welcome packet and pronoun pins when you arrive, so we wanted to give you a short, digital orientation too.
Step 1: Grab your name tag.
Starting Tuesday, you can sign-up for our conference Slack. We’ll post this link permanently at the top of our Eventbrite page, and we’ll be emailing it to you directly too! Once you’ve signed up, edit your Slack profile! At in-person SRCCON events, we always feature your name prominently, and we do not display the name of your organization. Help us maintain our focus on each of you as people and not as employees, and leave your organization name off your Slack profile. (We’ve already hidden email addresses from all Slack profiles.) You can put in three of your passions or interests into the “What I do” section of your Slack profile as conversation starters instead!
Step 2: Add your pronoun pin.
In lieu of physical pins, you can display your pronouns digitally this year! In your SRCCON Slack account and on Zoom, we invite everyone who’s comfortable to add their pronouns to their display names so they’re always visible. For example, “Sisi Wei (she/her).” Additionally you can add pronouns to your profile’s “pronouns” field too. Displaying your pronoun even if you don’t feel like you need one helps create a welcoming space for our colleagues who do (and please, respect other people’s pronouns).
Step 3: Your map of our facilities.
This year, SRCCON will have direct Zoom links for all our talks, sessions, and meetups, and we can create more of them as you sign up to lead your own meetups. Getting a hold of your bearings will be easy though. We’ll be posting direct Zoom links to every event on our Eventbrite page. Consider it your digital map. Please bookmark it!
Step 4: Our contact info for questions.
If you’ve got general questions about anything, post your question in these two Slack channels:
- #00-tech-support — For anytime you need help with the tech we’re using for SRCCON
- #00-questions — For any and all other questions you might have
If you have private, safety-related questions, please check out our Code of Conduct and Care and Support page for information about how you can bring up those concerns throughout SRCCON.
Use Slack to network and connect during SRCCON
Every SRCCON is a community—this year’s just happens to be connecting online. Our weeklong event Slack is a space to meet other participants, share and discover projects, follow up on sessions, and find emergent conversations.
Starting Tuesday, you can grab the direct sign-up link from our Eventbrite page. Sign yourself up ASAP (including before the conference) so you can start participating right now. This Slack community will also be a special place that only exists during SRCCON and a couple of days after. Once the conference is over, we’ll give everyone a few extra days to save any resources they’d like from the Slack, and afterward, we’ll close down the Slack.
Talks (Participate live, or on your own time)
Each day of the conference, talks create a common, shared foundation to build upon during our conversations throughout the conference.
Our talk speakers at SRCCON 2021 are:
- Carla Murphy (@carlamurphy) and Aaron Williams (@aboutaaron) on toggling between hope and resignation regarding the journalism industry’s prospects of change.
- Kavya Sukumar (@kavyaSukumar) and Soo Oh (@soo_oh) on moving into and out of management in journalism and tech.
- Yoli Martinez (@yoli_martinez) and Anna Flagg (@AnnaFlagg) on how we don’t have to be satisfied with the way things are.
There are two ways to interact with talks: live, or on your own time. We know that there are many reasons why you might need to miss a talk live, even if you want to see it. That’s why all of our talks will be pre-recorded and have live transcriptions after. Here’s how it’ll work.
- Watch talks on your own time. If you can’t watch a talk live, you can watch it ahead of time and submit early questions for the speakers all from our Eventbrite page. As a SRCCON participant, you’ll get access to recordings for each talk beforehand.
- Live session, with intros and Q&A: Before each talk, we’ll introduce the speakers, and then play the recorded talk. As we’re watching, the speakers will be in the Zoom chat with you, and you’ll be able to ask questions during the talk in the chat. Afterwards, we’ll also do a moderated, live Q&A with the speakers on video.
- Overflow Q&A: Right after our live Q&A, if there are still more questions for the speakers, we’ll be porting them over to our SRCCON Slack. We’ll have a single channel (#talks-qa-overflow) dedicated to overflow questions from all our talks, and the speakers will hang out there for as long as they can to answer more questions.
- Catch up on the Q&A later. We’ll record the live event, complete with live Q&A. If you want to catch the Q&A, or just want to watch the talk again, you’ll have access to those recordings and transcripts for the duration of SRCCON, also via our Eventbrite page.
If talks give us a shared foundation to build upon, then sessions are where we do the building.
Just like in previous years, SRCCON is built around three days of peer-led conversations and hands-on workshops. All the sessions on our schedule are proposed and led by community members who want to help people learn new skills, explore tough questions, or develop new resources to share.
Each day, there will be two blocks of sessions:
- To view sessions and decide which to attend, see the full schedule.
- To join a session during its scheduled time, click on the designated Zoom link on the Eventbrite page for participants.
Sessions at SRCCON 2021 focus on important change — whether that’s for the journalism industry, for our workplaces, or for ourselves. We’ll be talking about going beyond performative allyship, the need to radically change elections coverage, what real accountability looks like in journalism, how to build our own resilience, and so much more. SRCCON sessions, too, are usually formed by a single question or problem that people want to take on together—if you’ve been struggling with just about any aspect of your work, you can bet others have dealt with it, too.
This year, 80% of our sessions have facilitators who identify as women, and over 70% have facilitators of color. Session facilitators represent backgrounds and organizations from across the community, and they draw on the experience of participants in the room to guide conversations and collaborative work. At SRCCON, it isn’t about the person who starts the presentation — it’s about everyone who showed up and is in the room.
As a participant, you should be ready to be active in each session. With 75-minutes set aside, there’s plenty of time for discussions, reflection, and even sometimes group exercises and other activities. Every session will have a volunteer welcome person, so if you have to jump in a little late, they’ll help orient you. You can also follow along or catch up in the session Google Docs, also listed on the Eventbrite page.
More informal, social sessions
We’ve set aside an hour every day of SRCCON to specially feature a set of sessions about life at work and outside of it — hobbies, games, and other activities. These sessions cover a mix of topics and are in different formats, some conversational, some active, some more just listening. Many of you shared your interests with us in the call for participation form, which helped us organize these sessions. Just like other sessions, these will be on Zoom, and links are listed on the Eventbrite page.
How do I get help if I’m having issues?
The fastest way to contact our team will be within the Slack workspace. If you’re having tech problems, post in #00-tech-support. If you have a general question, post in #00-questions. We’ll follow up as quickly as we can. You can also DM anyone with “staff” in their display name, but we’ve got dedicated folks helping us field questions in the designated Slack channels, so posting there may get you an answer faster. You can also reach our team via email at email@example.com. Response times may be a bit slower during the event.
How much of SRCCON will be recorded and available after the conference?
We’ll be recording our opening staff welcome, and we’ll make that available to everyone ASAP afterward, to help everyone get oriented to SRCCON and how it works at your own pace!
All of our talks will be recorded too, and available to participants during the conference.
We will not be recording any of our sessions, though some of them will have live transcription during SRCCON itself. Transcripts will be available during SRCCON and only to participants.
What parts of SRCCON can I share publicly on social media, or privately with people who are not SRCCON participants?
These parts of SRCCON are for participants only. Please do not share:
- Zoom links to SRCCON talks/sessions
- Talks/session google docs
- Talks recordings
- Our virtual bulletin board
What can be shared:
- Anything that’s already public, for example, links to articles.
When it comes to direct quotes, anecdotes, and the knowledge we share with one another as peers, it gets a little more complicated.
At SRCCON, we seek to create a space where people can speak openly and bravely, and learn from each other. That can’t happen if people don’t feel safe sharing their ideas because anything they say could end up online. At the same time, we want SRCCON to be a place that creates real change in our industry. That’s a lot harder if people can’t share anything they hear or learn. Finally, we also believe strongly in crediting people for their ideas, so we cannot default to erasing that credit. So, to the best of our ability, we’re trying to balance these three goals, and we need your help doing the same. With that in mind, here’s our guidance:
- If at any time, anyone says what they’re sharing is off the record, do not share what they say under any circumstance. This also means you cannot share what they say even if you anonymize them.
- During our talks and sessions, you’re welcome to share any quotes from the speakers and facilitators (unless they say otherwise), since they’ve come to SRCCON prepared to share.
- During any moment at SRCCON, if you’re interested in sharing something you’ve heard from a fellow participant who is not acting as a facilitator at that moment, please default to asking them explicitly for permission. An example ask could be: “Would it be okay if I share that story with my colleagues/on Twitter/in my work Slack and give you credit?”
How can I be a great SRCCON participant?
Just like previous years, SRCCON 2021 is a unique, accessible, and inclusive event that hosts frank, challenging, nurturing, and creative conversations that need to be had. There are tons of ways for all participants to help us create and reinforce this environment.
How we always hope you’ll participate:
- Be part of hands-on workshops that reimagine newsroom tech, teamwork, leadership, community, and journalism itself — not panels where you sit back and listen, but sessions where you participate and learn.
- Connect with people who share your hopes and dreams for journalism — not just making professional acquaintances, but creating personal relationships that last.
- Bring who you are into a conference that thinks about the program, the schedule — even breaks & activities — as ways to celebrate everything you have to share.
Create a welcoming digital environment:
- Be generous with +1s and emojis. During talks and sessions, speakers and facilitators won’t be able to see your expressions as clearly, or hear your claps or snaps — so give them positive feedback digitally in the chat, and be generous!
- Help us maintain our focus on you, the community, and not your employer. At in-person SRCCON events, we’ve always made the decision to never show a person’s place of work on their name badge. We’re carrying that over to SRCCON online by hiding your emails in Slack (which often reveal your employer), and by encouraging you to talk about your interests and passions first when making connections.
- Support one another. In-person, we like to follow the pac man rule. Digitally, we can support each other by following the same spirit. Especially with a video chat setup, it can be hard to get a word in. If you see someone else trying to get a word in, help make sure they get a chance to speak. If you see someone looking for help in Slack, lend an ear.
Only share links with participants
At previous SRCCONs, some parts of our programming have usually been publicly accessible, such as a live transcript of a session, or our etherpad notes. This time, we’d like to ask for your help to make sure that all of our programming is only shared with participants. There’s two main reasons for this:
First, it’s extremely important to us that all SRCCON participants are held accountable to our Code of Conduct. While it’s easy to share a Zoom link to a session or talk with a colleague or friend, unless that person registered for SRCCON, they will not have agreed to our Code of Conduct, which puts the community in a difficult position.
Second, just like in-person SRCCON, we’re here to create a smaller environment where you have a chance to get to know each person in your sessions, and so people can feel comfortable sharing about and workshopping difficult challenges in their work or personal life. We deliberately decided to put a similar cap on the number of participants at SRCCON online, just as we would an in-person event, because we want to maintain that same sense of comfort so participants can still be vulnerable with one another. Similarly, our facilitators are also all preparing for a normal-for-SRCCON sized session. Even if a handful of SRCCON participants invited extra folks, that’s enough to increase our session sizes by 50% or higher. Please help us avoid this situation.
We don’t anticipate this being a problem at SRCCON, but we wanted to make sure we were both upfront and transparent about our thought process.
Be aware of our power dynamics and privilege
As we get ready to share space together online, we suggest all participants check out this resource about power dynamics and inclusion online to get a sense of the different levels of access and power we’ll all bring to this event.
Hosting a virtual conference is also an opportunity for us to reflect on the racism inherent in the digital systems that we rely on for SRCCON and in our day-to-day work. In some Minneapolis neighborhoods (a few miles from our usual venue), many households — over 50% in some areas — go without an internet subscription. Accessing a digital space for SRCCON is a privilege that we must recognize and it is one we get to explore and experiment with together to dream big and talk about the challenges facing journalism and the communities we serve.
I’ve got another question!
If you’ve joined our Slack already, go ahead and post it in our #00-questions channel! During the live event, the best way to get your question answered is to go to that channel. The OpenNews team will be keeping an eye out there, plus, many times someone else has already asked the same question, and the answer will be there already! You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, but during SRCCON, we’ll be much slower to answer via email.