Unconference Session – Is Tumblr the New Time, Inc.?

Once upon a time, the jobs in journalism were all at what we would consider traditional outlets — Time, Newsweek, ABC News, the Washington Post, etc. But these days, journalists who’ve had their pick of those publications are flocking to tech companies like Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter to create stories — content that competes, in breadth and scope, with the highest-caliber traditional publications. As print suffers a slow and painful decline, it’s not just the web that’s changing journalism as we know it — it’s tech companies like Tumblr and Facebook who are launching what could be the new new media movement. But what does this mean for the future of traditional journalistic outlets? Can a journalist remain objective when she’s employed by a company? Are journalists’ future homes in places that aren’t primarily about journalism, and should it be?

Panelists:
Jessica Bennett, Executive Editor, Tumblr
Xana O’Neill, Managing Editor, WNYC.org
Allie Townsend, editor at Facebook

Jessica Bennett is the executive editor of Tumblr, overseeing original content as part of Tumblr’s new initiative to produce narrative journalism. Previously, Bennett was a senior writer and editor at NEWSWEEK and The Daily Beast, where she wrote feature stories on social issues, culture and gender, and where she remains a contributing editor. Bennett’s work has been honored by the New York Press Club, the Society for Professional Journalists and the Newswomen’s Club of New York, among other organizations.

Xana O’Neill is the managing editor of WNYC.org, where she directs digital coverage and acts as liaison between digital and broadcast in the newsroom. Prior to WNYC, Xana worked at NBC as senior editor and special projects manager helping coordinate national news, culture and entertainment coverage for affiliate news sites across the country. She has also worked as a reporter at The New York Daily News and as an investigative researcher at The Village Voice.

Allie Townsend is an editor at Facebook Stories, a look into the extraordinary ways people are using Facebook around the globe. She came to Facebook from Time Magazine, where she served as the social media editor and technology writer. She attended Indiana University.