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Sree Sreenivasan, ‘tech evangelist and skeptic,’ brings energy and education to EIJ12 opening night


For Immediate Release

Christine DiGangi, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 205,

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Sree Sreenivasan, the first chief digital officer at Columbia University, opened Excellence in Journalism 2012 Thursday evening with an interactive session on social media and its prominent role in effective digital journalism.

"Any influence I have in social media is because of the people who are following me and the people who are following them," Sree said. He highlighted the importance of deep social-media engagement: listening to followers, understanding one's audience and thoughtful messaging at all times. During the super session, which lasted 1 ½ hours, 605 tweets mentioned @sree and #EIJ12, the official hashtag for the conference.

The Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association co-host the Excellence in Journalism conference from Sept. 20 to 22, offering training, networking and recruiting opportunities for journalists, educators and news organizations.

Sreenivasan teaches in the digital media program at Columbia University, where he was named SPJ Campus Chapter Adviser of the Year in 1998. He specializes in explaining technology to journalists and the general public, and in 2012 Poynter named Sreenivasan one of the 35 most influential people in social media.

“All of this is an evolutionary process; we’re all learning together,” Sreenivasan said after the session. “I would just say we’re in 1996 as far as where we were with the Internet and where we are with social media. A lot of new technologies are about to come and we need to know where to pay attention and what to ignore, and the only way to do that is to participate.”

Throughout the conference, Sreenivasan will engage with EIJ12 attendees through extra sessions and conversations to “help people cut through some of the confusion of social media.”

Excellence in Journalism is in its second year of collaboration with SPJ and RTDNA. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information on SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.

RTDNA is the world's largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession, consisting of more than 3,000 news directors, news associates, educators and students. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, the association is dedicated to setting standards for newsgathering and reporting. Learn more about RTDNA at www.rtdna.org.


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