This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Audience-Centric Media: Wants and Needs in News

#sxsw #ACN

The big dilemma for digital news publishing platforms is how to balance what people “want” to know with what people “need” to know. Most algorithms learn readers’ news consuming habits but have no ability to predict people’s interests when the next tsunami strikes. Likewise, publishers around the world are learning their assumptions of how, when and where people want their news are all wrong. For example, tablets have given a second life to long-form reading, thought to be dead because of the move towards shorter stories online. We will discuss the right formula for news publishers – both platforms and news media companies – to help them define the content they push to readers. We will examine readers' wants, needs and desires based on their consumption patterns, or touch points: when, where and how they want to get their news and how to create the right mix of news offerings to satisfy a reader that has more choices – and more control over those choices – than ever. And we will discuss the topic of serendipity: how to accurately predict interests ahead of time without missing something important, fascinating or plain interesting that’s out of people’s favorite topics. Panel includes executives from Pulse, Evri and Hearsay plus experienced media observers.



Adrian Klein VP of Prod

Boston-baked web enthusiast, now working out of the Emerald City. I shine the semantic light of clarity into the dark content basement of the Internet.

Cristina Cordova Business Dev Alphonso Labs (Pulse)

Cristina leads business development and marketing for Pulse, an award-winning application that makes it easy to consume news on mobile phones and tablets. She has led partnerships with over 200 publishers including USA TODAY, Al Jazeera, Car and Driver, Inc., The New Yorker, MSNBC, The Atlantic Media Company, Salon, Vanity Fair & Slate.

Gabriel Sama Co-Founder Rest of the World Media

Gabriel Sama is a co-founder of Rest of the World Media, a consulting firm that helps media companies understand and implement new digital tools in their newsrooms.
He was a Knight journalism fellow at Stanford in 2010 and received his master's from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2000. He was the founding editor for the Rumbo chain of Spanish-language newspapers in Texas in 2004, a project financed by Pearson Group, publisher of the Financial Times. Gabriel has also worked as an editorial and digital consultant in projects in the US, El Salvador, Dubai, Russia, Greece, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela and Mexico, rethinking and reinventing media companies.

Mandy Jenkins Digital Projects Editor Digital First Media

Mandy Jenkins is the Digital Projects Editor for Digital First Media, where she coordinates engagement projects and digital training across the company's more than 150 news sites.

She was previously Social News Editor for The Huffington Post, where she managed social media efforts for the politics channel and coordinated the company's citizen journalism program, OfftheBus. Mandy was formerly the social media editor for Washington, D.C. local news startup TBD and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Mandy is an adjunct journalism professor at Georgetown University and blogs about news and social media at

Staci Baird Internet & Social Media Strategist Stanford School of Engineering

I'm a media specialist with more than ten years of experience working with a variety of traditional and non-traditional media outlets. I'm a skilled user and avid champion of social media.

I'm currently working for Stanford University School of Engineering where I'm responsible for formulating and executing a comprehensive web and social media communications strategy. I have worked as a content producer for CBS Interactive and SFGate, taught digital media classes, and served as tech advisor for student newspaper, television, magazine and online publications. As Internet Marketing Manager for Lucasfilm, I launched LucasArt’s first social media campaigns on Twitter and Facebook. Before moving to San Francisco, I helped develop business plans and content strategies for E.W. Scripps Newspaper Interactive, and managed a team of multimedia journalists who produced stories for

Our Awesome 2012 Sponsors