March 11, 2020
An important note about ISOJ cancellation
With a heavy heart, we’ve decided to cancel the in-person component of this year’s International Symposium on Online Journalism due to COVID-19. We’ve been monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely over the past few weeks and have decided that convening in person would not be prudent at this time. We are, however, going to try to create a virtual ISOJ, where sessions would be available online.
We’ll share more details soon.
The decision to cancel the in-person conference did not come lightly, but it became increasingly clear in recent days that cancelling would be in the best interest of ISOJ attendees and the conference as a whole. Over the past week we heard from various speakers and attendees who had to back out due to travel bans within their organizations, which caused logistical challenges.
There are now reported cases of COVID-19 here in Austin. The City of Austin cancelled South by Southwest last week and other local events have since been cancelled. Here at the University of Texas at Austin, spring break has been extended by one week and the university is developing mitigation plans and protocols to determine whether mass gatherings should be maintained, rescheduled or canceled.
We apologize for any inconvenience that the ISOJ cancellation may cause. We have contacted the two hotels where we have room blocks — the AT&T Center and the DoubleTree Suites — and they have confirmed that you can cancel your reservation free of charge as long as you do so within 72 hours of your original arrival date.
We’re happy to answer any questions you might have, and we will keep you posted as we have more details about the virtual version of ISOJ 2020.
Rosental Alves, ISOJ director and founder & Mallary Tenore, associate director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas