Rory O'Connor

Rory O'Connor is an author, filmmaker and journalist whose work centers around media and politics. Author of Shock Jocks: Hate Speech & Talk Radio (2008), and co-author of Nukespeak (2nd ed, 2011) his broadcast, film and print career has been recognized with two Emmys, a George Orwell Award, a George Polk Award, a Writer's Guild Award among other honors. Co-founder of the independent media firm Globalvision, Inc., O'Connor has been a key figure in the production of dozens of documentary films and has also been the executive in charge of three weekly television series. Globalvision films and television programming have aired on leading broadcast and cable networks in more than one hundred countries ñ from ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and FOX domestically to the BBC, RAI, NHK, National Geographic and many others internationally. O'Connor has been managing editor and columnist at the media watchdog site MediaChannel.org for a decade, as well as the founding Editorial Director of the social news network Newstrust.net. A longtime blogger and critic for sites such as the Huffington Post, AlterNet, and others, including his own Media Is A Plural blog, he has also appeared as an on-air commentator and 'vloggerí on international broadcast systems such as Al Jazeera and the CBC.

Session: Opening Keynote: Can Publishing Really Be Replaced by A Button?
(Featured Speaker)

Date: Thursday, Sep 13

Time: 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

It's no surprise that the publishing industry is in a state of chaos and disruption now, largely as a result of the ongoing digital information revolution. Earlier this year Internet guru Clay Shirky, a professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU who is regarded as one of the "foremost minds studying the evolution of Internet culture,” added insult to injury and shocked the publishing world with his comments made in response to a seemingly simple interview question: "How is publishing changing?"

"Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away," Shirky replied. "Because the word 'publishing' means a cadre of professionals who are taking on the incredible difficulty and complexity and expense of making something public. That’s not a job anymore. That’s a button. There’s a button that says “publish,” and when you press it, it’s done."

Can publishing really be replaced by a button? If so, what does that mean for publishers and the rest of us involved in some way in this centuries-old industry?
Keynote speaker Rory O’Connor, co-founder and president of the international media firm Globalvision and author of several books, including the recent Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media, will look at how publishers can find a way profitably to stay in business supplying needed services, and avoid being left behind by the digital revolution.