What is Journalism imageThe University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication’s (SOJC) “What is Journalism?” conference was held April 9-11, 2015 at the George S. Turnbull Portland Center in Portland, Ore.

The conference kicked off with the 2015 Johnston Lecture featuring Ken Doctor from Newsonomics presenting “Five Truths, Four Paradoxes and The Long Road Ahead.” Doctor addressed the decline of print journalism, and reinforced the basic fundamentals of journalism — to educate and inform.

Watch the full 2015 Johnston Lecture online.

With more than 220 attendees and participants representing 15 countries, the two-day conference was filled with shared ideas on where the profession has been and where it needs to go in the future in order to not just survive, but thrive and increase its contribution to democracy and civic engagement.

“Three days of brainstorming, arguing, preaching and learning from peers worldwide helped me refine my own answer to our conference’s theme question: What is journalism?” says Peter Laufer, conference co-coordinator and SOJC James N. Wallace Chair of Journalism. “By the conference’s end, as we all worked to move from the question to finishing the statement: this is journalism, I announced, ‘Everything is journalism.’ And, indeed, I remain convinced that definition is best.”

Throughout the conference, a dedicated team of seven SOJC students and their faculty advisor worked tirelessly documenting all that transpired through the emerging publishing platform, Medium.

Find out more about the conference through the SOJC student Medium documentation.

Evan Hansen, head of content labs for Medium and former editor-in-chief of Wired.com, was the opening plenary speaker. During his session, he talked about Medium and how it’s simply, “a better way to read and write on the Internet.” This powerful platform is a content management system, publisher and “community of communities” all in one.

Watch the full Opening Plenary session with Evan Hansen.

As part of the discussion of the future of journalism, many took to their mobile devices documenting the conference as it happened by using #sojcWiJ and #ThisIsJournalism. Some key Twitter takeaways include:

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The conference concluded with a discussion surrounding the social media campaign, #ThisIsJournalism, which was started by Andrew DeVigal, conference organizer and SOJC Chair in Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement. This viral conversation is a public collection of work that “challenges our definition of journalism and yet continues to serve the functions of journalism to enhance public knowledge and enrich civic life.”

Watch the full Closing Plenary session with Andrew DeVigal and Mike Fancher.

An early report on the #ThisIsJournalism campaign and conversation can be found on the Agora Journalism Center website.

Story by Amy Pinkston.