The Future of Digital Longform

New York, NY

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Everyone's raving about longform journalism. BuzzFeed has a longform editor. Now so does Business Insider. Startups are popping up left and right. It seems like every other week there's a new "Snow Fall," and stories seem like they're becoming more of an event, an experience, and less of a single narrative. 

On Friday, December 6, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism will host the Future of Digital Longform, a one-day conference. Speakers will include David Remnick (The New Yorker) and Joe Sexton (ProPublica), in addition to Mark Horowitz (Matter), Noah Rosenberg (Narratively), Srinija Srinivasan (formerly Yahoo!), Max Linsky (Longform), and Jefferson Rabb (The Atavist).  

The conference marks the culmination of Anna Hiatt's research about longform journalism for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University (@TowCenter). Hiatt is also the publisher of a new longform narrative nonfiction startup called The Big Roundtable (@BRTable). 

WATCH THE CONFERENCE LIVE! | Friday, Dec. 6 9am (EST) - 5:30pm (EST): http://cuj.tw/1c9siym

Send your questions for the speakers and panelists via Twitter: #Longform


8:30 to 9 a.m.
Breakfast & Sign In

9 to 10:30 a.m.
Is Form Following Function? Or Is the Medium Cannibalizing the Message? | Panel 1

Why go to the time and effort to brainstorm and code a digitally-enhanced piece? Does enhanced or immersive design add to the storytelling? We're at moment where we've re-embraced longform online, but we now need to ask: Just because we can design another "Snow Fall," should we?

10:45 to 12 p.m.
David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker
, in conversation with Michael Shapiro

As editor of one of this country's preeminent magazines since 1998, Remnick has overseen The New Yorker as digital quickly became the mode of the day. 

12 to 1 p.m.
Lunch

1 to 2:30 p.m.
How Are You Making Money?
| Panel 2

The longform world is filthy with startups, like Epic, the Atavist, Narratively, and The Big Roundtable, and they're all trying to find an answer to the question, How do we pay writers, and how do we keep funding the journalism?

2:45 to 4:15 p.m.
Longform's Longtail
| Panel 3

Sites like Longreads, Nieman Storyboard, and Longform help to give longform stories a longer life. Meanwhile, companies like Pocket and Chartbeat are measuring how readers read. What can these two types of companies—the curators and the measurers—help us understand about who our readers are, and what they find worthwhile to read?

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Joe Sexton, senior editor at ProPublica
and former sports editor for The New York Times, in conversation with Emily Bell

During Sexton's 25-year career with The New York Times, three of the projects he worked on won Pulitzer Prizes, including the much-lauded digitally-enhanced piece "Snow Fall." Sexton advocates strongly for breaking institutions unwritten rules. 

5:45 to 7:30 p.m.
After-Hours Digital Salon

Enjoy refreshments and mingle with the panelists and the conference attendees during an expo-style reception. Companies like Scrollkit, Readrboard, and Creativist (built by the Atavist) will demo their products and help you think through which digital tools you might use to create and monitor longform stories online.

Follow @TowCenter for conference updates, and for more news about Tow Center events. On the day of the conference, we'll be using the hashtag #longform.