Overholser to grads: The journalism you’re helping reinvent is just coming into its own

Photo Courtesy of Geneva Overholser

Photo Courtesy of Geneva Overholser

Ed. Note: As the academic year comes to a close, the job market will be flooded with new graduates. Many of those leaving J-school may feel trepidation over the heavy downsizing that has afflicted nearly every major media outlet in the country in recent years. But there are reasons to be encouraged. Last Friday, Geneva Overholser, director of the journalism school at USC Annenberg and a veteran journalist herself, shared many of those reasons with the graduating class in her commencement speech. The core of her message was optimistic: Journalism is an industry that is being reinvented for the better, and today’s graduates are going to help shape it. Overholser herself will be retiring as director of the school, but she offered much hope — and a few bits of wisdom — for one more batch of bright-eyed students ready to become professionals. Following is the complete transcript of her speech, as prepared for delivery. [Read more...]

From “mojo” to data viz: Five takeaways from the International Symposium of Online Journalism

Mobile journalists, or "mojos," in training. (Credit: Allissa Richardson/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Mobile journalists, or “mojos,” in training. (Credit: Allissa Richardson/Flickr/Creative Commons License

On April 19 to 20, more than 300 journalists from around the world descended on Austin for a sold-out conference on online journalism. The International Symposium of Online Journalism, hosted by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, featured a host of new media gurus discussing everything from “mojos” to data visualization. A selection of takeaways: [Read more...]

Journalism’s problem of scale demands a rethinking of the news product

The newsroom at The Daily Telegraph

The newsroom at The Daily Telegraph. | Credit: victoriapeckham/Flickr


I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to untangle the mass of conflicting visions about the future of the news industry. But recently I heard a phrase of unusual clarity: “Traditional journalism, as a process, does not scale.”

The person who spoke this line was Matt Berger, the director of digital media at Marketplace. What he meant was there is no business model that will support an organization with 100 reporters writing 100 stories (or, as we used to refer to the newsroom, 100 monkeys at 100 typewriters). [Read more...]