2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

If Content Is King, Who Is Sheriff?

#sxsw #SXsheriff

Thanks to the Internet, the proliferation of low-cost publishing has changed what journalistic integrity means to digital content, affecting the quality—and ethical integrity—of online “news.”

With bad—and wrong—online content, readers don't always know what to believe online. “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it’s very hard to verify their authenticity,” Abraham Lincoln said. Didn't he? Readers can't always tell the difference between a "journalist" and a "blogger," and it may not matter. Technology can be leveraged to solve some of the same problems it creates, by helping us navigate the high seas of crap content or aiding content creators with automated infringement protection.

This panel is for publishers wanting to understand unwritten professional courtesy and rights, artists and writers looking to protect their content, and readers wondering who—and how—to trust online. A publisher, professor and marketer debate: Who is the new sheriff in town?



Gail Marie 2



I’ve worked as an editor since 2004, now in advertising. For a few years before that I tried to teach college students how to avoid the passive voice and get their verbs to agree with their subjects. And I spent the late ‘90s reading and writing a lot to earn a master’s degree in English. An agency thought leader on grammar, writing and online content, I write and edit content for multiple lines of business, including websites, social media and print, ensuring the text follows prescribed and client-mandated standards while remaining accessible to its intended readers. This is a fancy-pants way of saying that I know grammar but will break the rules to strengthen the text. To make it pop. Style guides be damned — I'll snap and crackle it if it's best for the reader.


Kristina Eastham

Digital Strategist

Digitaria Interactive

Kristina Eastham joined Digitaria's growing digital strategy team after two and a half years as a digital practitioner for the agency's own brand. Her rapid rise in corporate communications reflects her success strategically managing the agency's content, events programming and social media presence while helping to establish the digital marketing firm as a smart, upbeat and openly communicative place.

Kristina's previous experience as a journalist made her career evolution to strategy and content a natural one. She has been published in the UCSB Law & Society Review, reported on Sundance Film Festival and manages and has spoken at various digital marketing forums. She spoke at SXSW in 2013 on how technology shapes our language. She's an ultimate frisbee player (yes, really), triathlete and skier.


Mike Schmidt

Multimedia Dir

National Geographic

Mike Schmidt is the Multimedia Director at National Geographic where he leads production on video and animated content for the web and digital magazine experiences. His varied background as a Digital Art Director, Designer and Filmmaker with 12+ years creating interactive experiences and multimedia content while working in various industries including: journalism, advocacy, broadcast, public relations, education, and even a little advertising. He was Associate Creative Director of the experimental iPad news publication The Daily. He is generally happiest when joining forces with a talented team of reporters, editors, artists, designers, illustrators, videographers and photographers to develop content for digital distribution. Highlights: Adjunct Professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism; freelance design and video for The New York Times’ Olympics coverage, etc.


Robert Hernandez

Assoc Professor of Professional Practice

USC Annenberg School for Communication

Robert Hernandez, aka @WebJournalist, has made a name for himself as a journalist of the Web, not just on the Web. His primary focus is exploring and developing the intersection of technology and journalism – to empower people, inform reporting and storytelling, engage community, improve distribution and, whenever possible, enhance revenue. He is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, but he’s not an academic… he’s more of a “hackademic” and specializes in “MacGyvering” Web journalism solutions. He connects dots and people. He has worked for seattletimes.com, SFGate.com, eXaminer.com, La Prensa Gráfica, among others. Hernandez is also the co-founder of #wjchat and creator of Learn Code for Journalism with Me project. He is currently serving on the Online News Association board and a lifetime member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He has Glass, but is not a Glasshole. b-)

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