Preview: Disrupting J School with Digital Culture
Robert Hernandez is not your typical journalism professor. He teaches as an associate professor of professional practice at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, but he doesn’t necessarily consider himself an academic.
“I am what’s called a practitioner,” Hernandez said. “There are academics that are boring and hypothetical about what the media landscape is. I am more practical and do work for a living. I’m constantly experimenting.”
This stems largely from the fact that Hernandez is an online journalism pioneer, if his reputation as the web journalist wasn’t a big enough hint. You might already know him as the co-founder of #wjchat, a weekly chat on Twitter about web journalism.
“My entire professional career has been in digital journalism,” he said. “Trying to elevate the newsroom, digital culture and innovation. My specialty at USC is emerging technology, so I teach classes currently on virtual reality, journalism (and) I did a class on wearables and Google Glass.”
It should come at no surprise that Hernandez will join our professor Cindy Royal for their panel Disrupting J School with Digital Culture.
Traditionally, the well established news industry has been resistant to the changing force of digital media. Transforming this industry to embrace the web, virtual reality, app development, drones and other innovations is the central theme of this panel.
“What we aim to do is to … share our lessons, what we’ve done from the front lines,” he said. “We often have to kind of go around the traditional bureaucracy and infrastructure at a traditional academic institution like ours. We’re going for conversational.”
Something Hernandez stressed was that the news industry needs people to tell journalistic stories with new technology. Without having somebody to properly utilize it, new technology does nothing to bolster the field.
“There’s VR, and I think augmented reality is the long game,” he said. “It’s mobile first, it’s real time, it’s social, it’s immersive. For every one of those technological platforms there’s content to be created.”
When and Where:
Sunday, March 12
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Hyatt Regency Austin – Texas Ballroom 1-3 / 208 Barton Springs Rd
Find out more: Disrupting J School with Digital Culture