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The return of the multimedia mafia

February 11, 2008

It was a simple idea for the Philadelphia conference. A few of us would get together, talk about blogging and audio, how to get stuff from your statehouse beat online, show some examples, no big whoop.


“Surviving the multimedia mafia” turned out to be one of our best attended sessions and generated some of the most vocal conference participation that I’ve seen. So much so that it has convinced those of us planning this year’s conference that we probably need multiple sessions on multimedia that break out various topics.

At a basic level, we want to give people who still need an entry point into the multimedia world – and yes, we know you’re out there – a place to come and learn. At the same time, we want to give those of you who are already blogging, posting video and sourcing through Facebook a place to ratchet up your game.

But the question remains: what should those sessions look like? What do you need to know? The conference committee has some ideas but we’d like to hear from you, our members. It’s your conference after all.

What’s the cool new Internet application that you’ve heard everyone talk about but can’t quite figure how to make use of? Would you like to hear more about the nuts and bolts of recording video and audio? Do you need hands on time with cheap and easy field recording gear? Does anyone still need a primer on how to set up a blog? Would you like to hear from folks who are building entire beats around social networking? Anyone need ideas for using Twitter? Do you simply want to spend some time with folks who are doing this sort of things to swap ideas and decompress?

Although these can be disparate topics, they all involve using the internet in ways to tell the statehouse story as well as gather input from folks who are interested in your beat. It’s a cousin, although still distinct, from what has been called CAR or computer assisted reporting, which is more about crunching number to support and find a story. (And yes, we plan to do some CAR sessions at the conference as well.)

So let’s hear it. You can used the comments link at the top of your post and discuss your thoughts here. Or you can e-mail them to me at

-mark binker
News & Record

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