For the first time in over two years, yesterday I went to an actual, real-world conference. It couldn’t quite escape the touch of Zoom: one speaker had to use it to join her panel, due to a dose of COVID-19. But it was great to sit and listen to people talking intelligently about journalism again.
Of course, as with so many conferences, the “lobby con” was one of the best parts. It was great to catch up with people like Sarah, Greg, Nic, Alistair, and many others, including a couple of people who might be reading this now… I also got to meet MoJo mastermind Robb in person for the first time.
Ironically, I’m fairly sure the last event I attended before the pandemic hit was also in News UK’s building by London Bridge. So, it was nice to be back above London, hearing Times editor John Witherow call this a “golden age for serious journalism” to what I think it would be fair to call a mixed reaction.
That’s one thing you miss when a conference is on Zoom. The whispered discussions, the intakes of breath, that distinct feeling of stillness when a speaker has everyone’s attention — and the feel of the room when they disagree with what you’re saying.