Session Transcripts

A live transcription team captured the SRCCON sessions that were most conducive to a written record—about half the sessions, in all.

SRCCON 2016 Closing Session

Day & Time: Friday, 5:15pm

Room: Commons

DAN: Hey, everyone. Wow. That’s loud. Somehow, there are many people here right now, than at any point. It’s unbelievable. Thank you all for sticking around. And thank you—thank you for SRCCON. Thank all of you for being here, you know, and not just physically here, but really, I mean, it’s two long days, you know? But two invigorating days. And thank you all for sticking through all of it. You know? We certainly have been to conferences before where the final session is a few people standing with suitcases and everyone else jetted a long time ago. And, um, it’s really wonderful to see all of you here, and kind of overwhelming. I think I already told Brian Brennan, that I’m going to totally fucking cry up here, but I’m going to totally cry at some point. So just spoiler alert on that. But really, thank all of you for coming. Thank you to the facilitators who really, without SRCCON, would be nothing. The facilitators put in an incredible amount of work. All of them bought tickets to come here. You know. And so if you were in a good session today, just gives those folks a round of applause.

[ Applause ]

Thanks also to Bea, and Danny, and all the staff at the PNCA who have been incredibly welcoming to us, and allow this Motley Crew take over a this session over the last couple of days. They have been an amazing partner and the space that they shared with us, is really, just an incredible space.

[ Applause ]

And thanks to the folks at Crave Catering, who, not only did they do a wonderful job of feeding all of us but by the fact that we didn’t eat all of it, we did a pretty wonderful job of feeding other folks. Again, all of the uneaten food went to the Mission downtown to help feed people there yesterday and today. So thanks, Crave for doing that.

[ Applause ]

A special shout-out. I think she’s downstairs packing up, but to Liz, our amazing coffee person who helped all of you… help all of you brew and drink well over 600 cups of coffee. So thank you, Liz. Thanks to Norma and Stan and Chase, the incredible stenographers.

[ Applause ]

And thanks to Paul, the videographer who’s been around interviewing some of you, and capturing this event. And thanks to the folks who are not here but are over there, taking care of your kids at Kiddie Corp who have done just an amazing job that for those of us who are parents can be over here, and not worry—that our kids were in good hands. So thanks to them.

[ Applause ]

And thanks to the OpenNews staff. Erika and Erin and Ryan are easily the best team I have ever worked with, and Erik, who makes SRCCON happen and it’s just—it’s an honor to be able to work with them and these things could not have happened with them. I’m just some asshole. It’s them that make this incredible. So thank you all.

[ Cheers and Applause ]

And thanks to the many red-shirted volunteers who helped all of this run smoothly, especially a shout-out to Sarah, who, literally, like, read our minds over the last couple of days, and, of course, to Cody, our first volunteer and our greatest volunteer, and to Roosevelt, our youngest volunteer.

[ Cheers and Applause ]

And most importantly, thanks to, again, to all of you for being open, and sharing, and willing to put in the work these last couple of days. SRCCON is really—is really about all of you, and all of the people that you represent. So thank you all.

And I said it yesterday, but it’s well worth repeating. Doing something like this, is an incredible amount of people involved but it is also an incredible amount of money involved. But we are grant funded but the cost of OpenNews—or sorry, the cost of SRCCON versus the line item in the OpenNews budget for SRCCON is about 10:1 and it only really happens because of sponsors, so thank you, Condé Nast, our lead sponsor, thank you WordPress VIP, who covered scholarships for people to get here. Thank you to the New York Times to covered the costs of our transcribers physiology thanks to the JFK fellowships who covered child care. Thanks to MailChimp who covered the coffee and tea hack. And Google and news lab. Thanks to the Dow Jones news fund and Vox Media who are news sponsors and to civil comments who’s our local sponsor and also our supporting sponsors, Alley Interactive why can and Mapbox and the CUNY school of journalism. I’m not a great salesperson. And it turns out that sponsorships to SRCCON are really easy to sell. And that’s because many of these folks are represented here by people who wanted to be here, right, whose the value in this, and, you know, they put real money in to make sure that this happens. So thanks to all of our sponsors for making this happen.

[ Applause ]

I said it earlier today but we really do want write-ups of sessions and, also, of the ideas that grow out of your sessions. We want those for source, which is again And we also want you to be able to talk to this on our community call which happens every other week, the next one is August 11th. You know, source and community calls, is this, happens year round. And year round is what matters. These conversations can’t begin and end at SRCCON. And we really don’t want them to and we know that you don’t want them to. Remember that, within the schedule, every session had an etherpad attached to it, which is a place that notes went into. During the session, before the session, and, potentially, after the session, you’re going to be able to pull all those pads up, as you look through the schedule, which will remain up for perpetuity. Next year, it will be at But it will still be there. Additionally, the job board emergeent and apparently has gotten quite a lot of play. Source has source jobs and we will make an effort to make those jobs reflected on the board that is already on source. And just as a reminder that are already on jobs, that’s there. And we know you want jobs because we know you want to fill them.

One last thing. Much of how we run SRCCON, we all learned from the Mozilla Festival, which is an amazing participatory festival. It happens in London every year. We run the journalism track at MozFest. The same set of participatory sessions that you experienced here happen there. And the deadline to pitch them is this coming Monday at We would love to see some of you in London and have seen some of you in London in the past. So please do take a moment and think about proposing in.

All right. News is a unique calling for a lot of reasons, right? But part of what makes it unique is that it’s an industry, and all of us is a part of it, it’s built on the knowledge that the future is unknowable.

You know, 2016 couldn’t possibly be a bigger reminder…

[ Laughter ]

… of the fact that something can happen at any moment that we didn’t know. And that we, as journalists, are the first line in helping people to understand what just happened, even when we’re struggling with it ourselves. You know, the—we choose to do this work, you know? We choose a calling that is all about embracing the unknown.

And, yet, the industry is full of unknowns, as well, right? How many of you were in a news organization this year that had layoffs or reorg? Just raise your hands really fast? How many—keep your hands up, how many didn’t do that had a news org did a strategy rethink, or had a rename from Whatever Publishing, to something else?

[ Laughter ]

So we aren’t just an industry that covers unknowns; we’re an industry that is something of an unknown, too. And that’s hard, right? Like, constantly being on the edge of your seat, either because you’re worried that a bomb is going to go off in the world, or a bomb is going to go off—a metaphorical bomb is going to go off in your industry is a hard place to be. It is hard, yet we all do it. And we do it because we know that it’s important. But we also do it because we know something really important, which is the only way to face the unknown, right, the only way that we can actually go into the future is because we go in together.

You know, you know that on your flight back tonight, if something happens in the world, you’ll hit the ground and there’ll already people that you know you can rely on to have gotten the ball that far before you can pick it up and take it that much further. We all know that we have teams that we can turn to and we know that we all have colleagues that we can turn to. And we know that around this room, there’s a community we can turn to.

To embrace the future together. You know that the ideas that you’re having have people, here in the room, that can help make them happen, right? You know that the problems that you’re facing have people here, and the people represented by the people here that can help you overcome them. This community, you know, this community that we’ve spent two days among, it’s here for you. We don’t navigate that future alone—or at least we shouldn’t, right? We navigate it together. So, this time—so this is it.

You know, the real problem with Hamilton is, is that fucking teach you how to say goodbye song… because every time I think of it, I become a mess. And now it’s… it’s made the word “goodbye” toxic in my head, because even that word triggers it.

Anyway, it really is time to say goodbye and all of you had conversations these last two days, conversations with people that are gonna stick with you. You know, there are people that you know now that you didn’t know just yesterday morning and those are people that you’re already hatching plans with, or that you’re already swapping email addresses, or Twitter IDs, or whatever, so you can stay in touch.

You know, there are folks that you played a game with, or folks that you got real serious in a session with, that you’re going to stick with, and that they’re going to stick with you, and that you’re going to grow together.

So I am gonna say goodbye but that’s not the end of this close, right? I’m going to say goodbye, and then I want you to just think for a minute, about a person that sticks out from the last two days, and then I want you to turn to someone near you and just tell them about that person, and then on your way out, if you see that person, let them know, too. Because that’s how we grow. That’s how a community builds. It builds person-by-person.

So, goodbye.

[ Applause ]

[ Cheers and Applause ]

Think, talk, and then head out to this beautiful city on a warm night.