Monday, June 24, 2013

"Media innovators shaping the future of news" at MIT Media Lab

 Also check out 8th World Conference of Science Journalists

 Knight Foundation and MIT's Center for Civic Media: "Insiders and Outsiders." The conference is the leading gathering of media innovators shaping the future of news and information.  Tune in for a live stream beginning at 9 a.m. ET on June 24, and follow the hashtags #civicmedia and #newschallenge 
on Twitter.

A sampling of the live blog:
  • Moderator, Elise Hu, Digital Editorial Coordinator at NPR
  • Emily Bell, Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University
  • Jennifer Brandel, Senior Producer of CuriousCity and Interactive at WBEZ
  • Laura Ramos, Vice President Innovation & Design at Gannett
  • Dan Schultz, Knight Mozilla Fellow
Emily Bell: This is more of an observation than a directive from reporting: resource is not the biggest issue. We have talked about journalism's ability to be sustainable -- and that's important -- but the essence of that is not resources but process. Future of news looked in 2006 like the newsroom of the The Daily Telegraph. Kind of a hub and spoke setup. Now it looks more like the image of Slugline from the Netflix series House of Cards. Out of the steels mills and into the beanbags.
Jennifer: At CuriousCity, they let people vote on issues that WBEZ should be investigating. They also try to show readers what reporters are doing and give them a chance to offer questions, etc... Blow up the publishing wall.
Laura: Laura has been thinking about ways of measuring things -- pageviews, bylines, etc... don't measure engagement, which is what Gannett wants to do. “Our counts are wrong."
Dan: I suggest that you take all of your developers and a bunch of straws. Whoever gets the shortest straws is the only person responsible for the CMS. Everyone else should become a newsroom developer. Essentially, a huge amount of energy is put into supporting legacy. Instead of spending time maintaining this, people should focus person power on newsroom and working with journalists.
Elise: So if we're blowing up everything, who is putting out the news? When we get excited about changing things, the resistance is that there is still a core product that we are responsible for.
Laura: What's off is what we want in our products and what the consumers want in the products.
Emily: You make a good point because the thing that journalists do that no one else does is report stories all the time. And to take journalists away form that is undermining what you can do that no one else does better. But that can become a default. As soon as something happens, it's like watching six year olds play soccer -- everybody just follows the ball -- but eventually they learn to stand in different places on the pitch. The problem is about process: process fits the story-production cycle. Journalists will change the process if it gets them to the story quicker. What you do as a manager/editor is move things out of their way. It's hard for managers to do. Tech struggle with this too because they've been told security is the most important thing. If you don't do some of it and move it into the core, you will never change. We did it at the Guardian with Cricket.
Cricket is a great sport.

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