ONA conference : A look back and (brief) round up

So the first ONA conference I’ve been to in 2000 years ended tonight–what was my take?
On the plus side, this organization has some very passionate people and is truly trying to be more inclusive and diverse than in the past.
On the minus side, they’re operating within a reactive, fear-driven culture that–as many pointed out–doesn’t reward risk and/or innovation.
Final words–I’d be happy to participate again–this group wants and needs to change from within–it would be unfair to care about online news, citizen journalism, participatory media and media, period and not want to help, if possible.
So what’s the blogosphere have to say? Curiously, not much–not only does it seem as though Jeff, Rafat and I are were the only participants actively blogging–outside of a few student posts–but few outside the conference had much to say–and those who did blog were skeptical.

Some of the discussion:
Rafat Ali: “….at ONA, where was the passion? Where was the excitement about working in the most innovative time in the history of media? In its place what I see is self-doubt, existential crisis, a siege mentality.” (Note–read the comments on this post, especially John Granatino’s.)
Vin Crosbie reminds us all that every voice on the SuperPanel no longer worked in a traditional news organization–they’d all left.
Terry Heaton questions whether ONA isn’t too full of people who are “scared shitless of anything they can’t command and control and profoundly confused by what they view as chaos.”
Jeff Jarvis: “What the ONA should be doing is inviting in all the barbarians at their gates inside to challenge them: all the bloggers and vloggers and programmers and 2.0 publishers. who are reinventing news. I don?t know why they?d bother coming but the online news machers should be begging them to.”
Susan sez: Maybe it’s because I work with people in the industry, but I think most of the smarter people in online news grasp the sea changes going on–my sense is that the problems are not (just) about the people, but about the profitable, hard to refocus legacy businesses called print media that publishers are loathe to abandon till the money goings straight down the drain.
Also, it’s ironic to see some of the condescension now flowing the other way.
Update: Notes from a teacher, aka Mark on Media–and Mash a list

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  1. Terry Heaton says:

    Well said, Susan. Thank you.

  2. Jackson West says:

    I’m a young buck, but I worry about the reverse flow of condescion, too. Granted, I didn’t go through an academic training in journalism, but I think that puts me in a place to really thirst for education and experience from real reporters on the other side of the divide.
    I have nothing but respect and sympathy for the writers, largely members of unions, who are losing their jobs as the result of obvious miscalculations on the part of their boards and business people.
    I’d just like to say that I’m here to listen and learn, and, to a much smaller extent, advise.

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