V3con 2014: Preview of Workshops and Panels

By Eugene Hung

This post is part of a series that will introduce 8Asians readers to some of this year’s V3 Digital Media Conference (V3con) honorees, speakers, panelists, and performers. The V3con Opening Awards Reception will be held on Friday, June 20, 2014 and the V3 Digital Media Conference will be held on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles.


Hopefully, in our first three posts previewing V3con, you learned a bit about each of the award honorees that you didn’t know before. And hopefully, for those of you who’ll be in attendance on Friday evening (tonight!), this will help you appreciate even more what Ann Curry, Jonathan Gold, and Judith Hill have accomplished and continue to strive toward.

Saturday of V3con will bring a plethora of opportunities to expand and sharpen your own skills as journalists, bloggers, artists, and activists.

Four workshops and several panel discussions are available for you to choose from. Each of these sessions will be assigned its own hashtag in order to organize both that day’s comments and post-conference discussions on social media (and to avoid the Hashtag Apocalypse.)

We begin with the workshops. First, it’s important to note that workshops are by RSVP only; you have to sign up ahead of time either online via a link provided after you register, or at V3con itself. To minimize distractions and interruptions, attendees will not be permitted to simply “drop in” on the one-hour-and-fifty-minute workshops and then leave to attend another session. If you attend a workshop, you’ll be asked to remain for its duration. (It’s kind of like Hotel California – you can’t leave! But it’ll be much, much more enjoyable!)

There are two morning workshop options. They run concurrently, so you’ll have to pick. KPCC’s photo and video journalist Maya Sugarman will lead “Can I Take Your Picture? A Photo Workshop,” which will focus on improving the quality of your photos, especially those you take on your phone. Los Angeles Times editors Henry Fuhrmann and Steve Padilla will serve as writing coaches in their session “Write Better, Write Fast: A Writing Workshop”; they’ll do so with a particular eye toward writing for the Internet.

There are two concurrent afternoon workshops. Seattle Times editor Sharon Pian Chan and Los Angeles News Group editorial board member Rachel Uranga will lead “Share Your Own Story with Guest Opinion Columns.” This will especially be intended to help nonprofits and bloggers build public awareness of their work. Investigative News Network editor Luis Gomez, who has worked for many different news outlets, will lead the workshop “Hijack Your Way Into a Media Job.” The focus of his session will be to strengthen the ability of media job seekers to get their foot in the door, presumably without advocating for the commandeering of passenger vehicles.

Several panel discussions, each running fifty minutes, will take place while the workshops are going on. Unlike the workshops, however, you won’t need to sign up for these ahead of time. And if you choose to divide up your time and visit more than one panel chat, you can. (Just say to yourself, “You are now free to move about the conference.”)

Phil Yu, the Angry Asian Man himself, will moderate a panel discussion that’s less about fury and much more about creative fundraising called “Moving People, Moving Funds”. He’ll be joined by film director and producer Masami Kawai, content producer and hip-hop artist Dan Matthews, and I Can Has Cheezburger? founder and startup consultant Eric Nakagawa.

2013 Voice Award honoree Gil Asakawa leads the panel chat called “Secrets, Online: Topics That Are Taboo in Real Life.” This conversation will center on things people reveal about themselves in the virtual world. The panel will consist of Evergreen Baptist Church pastor Ken Fong (who hears the secrets of many), Los Angeles Times reporter Frank Shyong (who recently revealed his living arrangement), and comedian and commentator Kristina Wong (who has shared many of her secrets, including her crush on Jeremy Lin).

Consultant and AAJA national governing board member Denise Poon will facilitate the conversation entitled “Covering Disasters Home and Abroad,” which will be of special interest to reporters. Against the backdrop of the modern continuous news cycle (in which a major news outlet will soon break and retract a report that Where’s Waldo has been found), she’ll talk with journalist/activist/entrepreneur Sean Bonner, Southern California Edison social media manager Nancy Casanova, and Emmy Award-winning CBS News correspondent Bigad Shaban about how to cover news stories accurately and effectively in crisis contexts.

Fox 11 News anchor Susan Hirasuna will lead a tasty discussion featuring Los Angeles Times reporter and restaurant scout Javier Cabral, food writer and Kamikaze Kitchen host Eddie Lin, and Los Angeles Magazine’s nightlife and bar blogger Caroline Pardilla. They’ll cook up helpful ideas for getting your food writing noticed in a world where “Everyone’s a (Food) Critic.” WARNING: This panel convo will make you HUNGRY! (It ends at 12:20!) Fortunately, lunch follows immediately afterward.

Melissa M. Geisler, who directs the Yahoo! Sports website, will moderate “How Asian Fans Are Changing Sports.” Her starting lineup: Steve Han, a switch-hitter who writes in English for KoreAm and Goal.com and in Korean for Sports Chosun; Koji Steven Sakai, program manager for the Japanese American National Museum and a movie screenwriter; and Angela Sun, the first Asian American female sportscaster for ESPN and Fox Sports, and the do-everything point guard for the film Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

ABC7 News health specialist Denise Dador will lead the panel chat called “Made for Us: Fashion and Beauty That Represent All of Us.”  The arbitrary and rather homogeneous beauty standards in fashion, advertising, and media have a more profound effect on us than we realize. So professional fashion model and photographer Daniel Liu, journalist-turned female body and sexuality blogger Diahann Reyes, and fashion lawyer-turned style and beauty blogger Jenny Wu will join Denise in this discussion about advancing diversity in those arenas.

All this can be yours for the amazing low price that I hope you’ve already paid! But wait, there’s more! Stay tuned for the upcoming final installment in this series previewing V3con!

And if you haven’t yet registered, there will be limited registrations available at the door! Visit V3con.com/registration/registration-rates for more info.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A feminist dad, Eugene Hung is the new SoCal organizer for the Man Up Campaign, which advocates globally for gender equality and against gender-based violence. He writes for Asiance Magazine, which also hosts his blog, Raising Asian American Daughters.

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