Where journalism gets reinvented

BCNI Philly sessions board

Image by jacklail via Flickr


Image by jacklail via Flickr

A group of what Stowe Boyd calls Edglings gathered at Temple University in Philadelphia on Saturday for a day long Barcamp focused on news innovation.

This group was far from the hotel gatherings of American Society of News Editors, the Newspaper Association of America and the National Association of Broadcasters, all of which were held earlier this month.

A Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism survey of top newspaper and broadcast newsroom managers found, according to the news release, “fewer than half of all those surveyed are confident their operations will survive another 10 years–not without significant new sources of revenue. Nearly a third believe their operations are at risk in just five years or less.  And many blame the problems not on the inevitable effect of technology but on their industry’s missed opportunities.”

Grim realism, perhaps, but not a hospitable petri dish for culturing innovation.

Reinventing journalism and reinventing media (two different undertakings) is a colorful crazy quilt mix of strategies, ideas, and experiments.

At the Temple gathering, called BCNI Philly, there were 118 or so from Los Angeles to New York who showed up at the university’s Annenberg Building. They were eclectic: Young news and technology geeks, seasoned traditional journalists trying to refashion careers, software developers with visions of the future, mainstream journalists looking outside their box, enthusiastic journalism students full of hope and ambition and others just eager to carve a space in the media landscape.

They talked about revenue models, mobile software, social media, web design and new projects.   Here are some links to detailed coverage:

In addition, the Twitter stream from the event is recommended reading.

It was a great reminder that innovation in media and journalism will happen at the fringes where the Edglings play. BCNI Philly is one of the outward signs that journalism and the business models that fund journalism are being refashioned in exciting and previously unthought of ways.

More photos on flickr tagged bcniphilly

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22 weigh in on Web site comments

Maybe it started with a weekend Twitter discussion by Howard Owens and Mathew Ingram a few weeks ago, but however it began, there’s a lively new debate ongoing about Web site comments, particularly on news sites, a topic we’ve written about previously.

I’m sure the current systems used by most news site that allow for users to have “handles” or “nicknames” or “avatars” could be improved upon..

Here’s a thought (fleeting): In addition to real names: add real addresses or current location and display comments on a Google map. Either civility would improve or assaults would rise. It could make for some fascinating looks at the spatial distribution of opinions.

Need to catch up? Here are my most recent Delicious links tagged “comments.”

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Mary Meeker: Mobile to pass PCs as way to get on Internet before you think

Mary Meeker

Image by jdlasica via Flickr

Pay attention to what Morgan Stanley‘s Mary Meeker says.

That bit of advice Bill Tallent, CEO of Mercury Intermedia, passed along to the audience last Friday at the “Smart Phones for Smart Journalists” workhop at the John Seigenthaler Center on the Vanderbilt campus in Nashville.

Coincidentally on Monday, Mathew Ingram of GigaOM, did a post on Mary Meeker’s predictions about mobile, a space in which the firm of Tallent makes its living developing applications.

Meeker presented her latest “State of the Internet” at Google’s headquarters on Monday afternoon.

The two big ideas of her presentation are that in five years more people will connect to the Internet on mobile devices than desktop PCs and that social networking is already bigger than e-mail.

Her whole presentation is in embedded in Ingram’s post. Like Tallent said “pay attention” or you might end up with those who, as Meeker said on a slide, “Will Wonder What Just Happened.”

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Newspaper editors seeing more upside than broadcast counterparts

It’s tough in newspaper newsroom, but it may be tougher in broadcast newsrooms. A Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism survey done in association with the American Society of News Editors and the Radio Television Digital News Association finds:

Broadcast news executives are noticeably more pessimistic about journalism’s future than editors at newspaper-based operations. Broadcasters think their profession is headed in the wrong direction by a margin of nearly two-to-one (64% versus 35%). By contrast, editors working at newspapers were split (49% wrong direction versus 51% right direction). A year ago, journalists who were members of the Online News Association surveyed by PEJ fell in between these two, 54% wrong direction, 45% right.

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SEO links for news editors

Google Inc.

Image via Wikipedia

I collected these links on search engine optimization (SEO) for news writing and editing in preparation for speaking to a news editing class at the University of Tennessee this morning. I’m going to talk about how SEO and journalism are not mutually exclusive.

Others may find these useful as well.

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The iPad as “transformative device”

Bill Tallent, CEO of Mercury Intermedia, talks about how Apple’s iPad will transform culture. His company is a maker of applications for iPhone, iTouch, iPad and Android devices. The iPad application it built for USA Today has been getting rave reviews.

Tallent, a fascinating serial entrepreneur, spoke Friday, April 9, 2010, at the “Smart Phones for Smart Journalists” workshop held at the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn., on the edge of the Vanderbilt University campus.

The day-long workshop was sponsored by the Online News Association and the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute and was underwritten in part by Cell Journalist, a Nashville company with a photo and video platfrom used by hundreds of media Web sites, and the Scripps Howard Foundation.

Here is a link to Tallent’s slide deck.

I was able to do a couple other clips:

Unfortunately, I missed getting Ray Meese, photo director of the Ventura County Star, who gave an amazing presentation on tools and applications that you can use to shoot, edit and upload videos with the iPhone.

Here is the Twitter coverage of the workshop.

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