John Baiata

Sr Dir Digital Newsgathering

I’ve been a working journalist for 30 years, covering national and international news for the first two thirds of that time as a traditional broadcast journalist. The last 9-10 years of that time I’ve spent largely on the digital side. So I sit very much at that intersection where traditional, trusted media brands are trying hard to cut through the noise and engage their audiences in the places and platforms where they are most comfortable. (Some of our efforts toward that end have been busts, while others have borne fruit. I can speak to some examples of both.) Having spent the entirety of my career with one organization, I’m probably not a good fit if you’re looking for someone to talk intelligently about “media trends,” in general, although I can certainly speak to those that inform the current state of newsgathering. I can definitely speak to the all-too-real consumer/societal quandary re what can be trusted vs what is fake, and what I believe needs to change from both a news content creator and a news consumer standpoint. In my current position I sit over three different teams: a Social Discovery team made up of social media reporters who use social media platforms to help report out stories. These days, a fair amount of their time is spent either verifying or debunking what we see on those platforms and on the web every day. A video team who are responsible for creating original digital news content for our web properties, social media platforms, OTT and other partners, and a photo desk that is responsible for static image placement and curation on our web properties, and assisting broadcast producers with the same.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.