Knight Center
Knight Center


New York Times’ editor Jill Abramson, Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith to discuss multimedia journalism at ISOJ

By Rachel Knapp*

Jill Abramson, executive editor at The New York Times. Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief at The Texas Tribune.

The executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson, will kick off day two of the International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ) with a keynote speech on the use of multimedia narratives by online news sites.

Abramson’s discussion, to be chaired by Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief at The Texas Tribune, will mark the start of the second day of the 14th ISOJ conference to be held April 19-20 at the University of Texas at Austin in the Blanton Museum of Art’s auditorium.

In December, The Times unveiled an ambitious foray into multimedia journalism called Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek. The visually stunning feature attracted 2.9 million visits and more than 3.5 million page views, Abramson said in a memo to The Times’ staff re-printed by Jim Romenesko.

“We succeeded in creating a destination online that only increased in popularity when we put it on our home page,” Abramson told her staff.

The Times recently followed up the Snow Fall interactive story with a multimedia look at the Higgs Boson, which received a lukewarm review from The Atlantic Wire.

Abramson became the first woman to assume the post of executive editor at The Times when she succeeded Bill Keller on Sept. 6, 2011. She previously worked for The Wall Street Journal before she joined The Times in 1997. While at The Journal, Abramson was a deputy bureau chief and an investigative reporter. In 2010, Abramson began working on The Times’ online presence by integrating the digital and print staffs.

Smith leads The Texas Tribune, an Austin-based online news organization that has received four Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, a general excellence award from the Online News Association, and a Knight-Batten award for innovations in journalism. Before helping to launch The Tribune in November 2009, Smith spent almost 18 years at Texas Monthly.

Smith also hosts “Overheard with Evan Smith,” a show that airs on PBS stations featuring one-on-one interviews with newsmakers, artists, musicians and authors. This will be the format for  Smith and Abramson’s discussion of multimedia journalism starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 20, in the Blanton Museum auditorium.

The International Symposium on Online Journalism is a program of the Knight Chair in Journalism, the UNESCO Chair in Communication at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin. ISOJ is a unique conference that blends industry-oriented discussion and academic research. Since 1999, it has attracted journalists, media executives and scholars from around the world.

* Rachel Knapp is a student in the class "Entrepreneurial Journalism" within the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin.


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