2020 Collaborative Journalism Summit

Code of Conduct

CJS SAFETY HELPLINE: Members of the CCM team will be available by email at [email protected] if you need help or assistance in any way during the Summit.

The Center for Cooperative Media is committed to providing a welcoming and harassment-free environment for attendees of all races, genders and trans statuses, sexual orientations, physical abilities, physical appearances, and beliefs. This code of conduct is necessary not because we expect people from our community to behave badly — if you know anything about this community, you know it is generally caring and kind — but because we believe that a clear code of conduct is necessary when it comes to building a respectful space for the whole community.

Summit participants must all agree to:

  • Be considerate in your speech and actions, and actively seek to acknowledge and respect the boundaries of fellow attendees.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech. Harassment includes, but is not limited to: deliberate intimidation; stalking; unwanted photography or recording; sustained or willful disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; use of sexual or discriminatory imagery, comments, or jokes; and unwelcome sexual attention. If you feel that someone has harassed you or otherwise treated you inappropriately, please alert any member of the conference team in person, via the team phone/text line, or via email.
  • Take care of each other. Alert a member of the conference team if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this code of conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.

If any attendee engages in prohibited behavior, Summit staff and organizers may take any lawful action we deem appropriate, including but not limited to warning the offender or asking the offender to leave the conference. (If you feel you have been unfairly accused of violating this code of conduct, you should contact the conference team with a concise description of your grievance; any grievances filed will be considered by the entire CCM team.)

Our code of conduct covers the entirety of our time together for the Collaborative Journalism Summit, including evening and supplemental activities. We understand there could also be experiences or interactions that happened before, and independent of, our event that may affect your capacity to participate fully. We request that if you have such concerns, and feel comfortable doing so, let us know about them in advance, during, or after the Summit.

During the Summit, we will publicize a contact email, in addition to identifying our staff members and CJS helpers so you know who to contact if you see or experience an issue. We welcome your feedback on this and every other aspect of the Collaborative Journalism Summit, and we thank you for working with us to make it a safe, enjoyable, and friendly experience for everyone who participates.

About this whole ‘virtual Summit’ thing:

At this year’s Summit, things will run a little differently than they would if we were still hosting it at Queens University in Charlotte like we originally planned. The biggest difference, obviously, is that all of the sessions, panels, presentations, and networking events will be hosted online via Zoom due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

That being said, the spirit of collaboration and cooperation that has fueled this community over the last four years has not changed. If anything, it’s grown larger and more powerful than before. We’re excited for the cascade of thought-provoking panels and captivating sessions we have lined up this year, but it’s important for all of us to be on the same page when it comes to how to behave, engage, and participate during these next two days.

Please note: All sessions and panels will use Eastern Standard Time.

We’ll be using Zoom Webinar most of the time

You’ll all be watching and participating from the comfort (and chaos) of your own homes, which comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. As you may already know from your own Zoom sessions with family and friends, it’s basically impossible to maintain any sense of order or structure when you have more than a few dozen people on the same Zoom Meeting room. With more than 600 people registered at the time of this writing, there’s just no way to manage that many people at once while also highlighting the speakers on each panel without severely restricting the ability of other attendees in the process. So we decided to use Zoom Webinar instead of Zoom Meeting.


How to participate as an attendee

As an attendee in Zoom Webinar, you will be able to interact with and participate in each session in the following ways:

— Chat publicly with all attendees and panelists or chat privately with the panelists and Summit staff
— Raise your hand and be counted (or called on by a panelist, depending on the session)
— Ask questions for the panelists to answer
— Comment, vote, and respond to questions asked by other attendees

In general, we decided not to let attendees show their video or use their audio during the sessions except in certain circumstances. We did this to avoid creating opportunities where bad actors might exploit them to display explicit or offensive images and sounds in order to disrupt the panel. There will be opportunities for attendees to use video and speak with others via Zoom, but the majority of the sessions will only require you to watch, listen, or participate using one of the channels described above.Outside of Zoom Webinar, attendees can also participate or follow along with each session in the following ways:

— Help out with live note-taking in Google Docs
— Highlight quotes and keywords in our live transcription, provided by Otter.ai
— Tweet or post about the Summit on social media using #collaborativej

Taking care of yourself

  • Listen to yourself. If your body is telling you something, listen to it. We encourage you to listen to other needs you may have too—feeling an urge to stretch? Feeling your neck tense up? Want to go for an impromptu walk? Go for it.
  • You don’t need to ask permission to meet your own needs. At this conference, we follow “the rule of mobility.” The rule goes like this: If you aren’t participating in a session, or no longer want to participate, you can and should go to a session or somewhere else where you feel like you can contribute. You don’t have to ask or apologize or delay. Just get up and go!
  • We are here for you. You’ll probably find plenty of people here who are facing similar challenges and are available to strategize or distract, if that’s what you need. You can lean on this community and network – and our staff. You are not in this alone! If you need someone to talk to, our team is here for you and you can reach us through our help line or find one of us in person.

Taking care of each other

We hope you’re in the mood to take care of your own needs and to connect with others. With that in mind, remember the following:

  • Hear others. None of us knows everything, but together we know a lot. We’ve got a wonderful opportunity over these two days to listen and learn from one another. Listening is a chance to hear invitations and boundaries that allow us to better understand one another.
  • “Speak from the I, name the we.” It can be helpful to be explicit about sharing from your own perspective: When “speaking from the I,” you’re clear that you’re sharing from your own personal experience. If you use “we” language, please name who you are referring to in that group. Is the “we” you are a part of in that statement your team, your news organization, your neighborhood, your social group? Being explicit about these perspectives can help ensure the listener understands what you’re saying and doesn’t have to guess.
  • We all have support. The entire event is backed by our code of conduct and safety plan, and our support team is available to help us take care of one another, too.

Sections of the above text are licensed CC BY-SA 4.0. Credit to Citizen Code of Conductthe Django Project’s code of conduct and Theorizing the Web code of conduct from which we’ve extensively borrowed, with general thanks to the Ada Initiative’s “how to design a code of conduct for your community.”