First, thanks to all of OJR’s long-time readers for coming back. We are grateful for your loyalty, and we hope you will join us regularly in this new quest to help journalism find a sound footing in the digital age.
I am the new director of the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California. My four decades in newspapering may have helped land me in this position, but it’s my gusto for the future of information in the public interest that defines my work now. We hope — here at Annenberg, and here at OJR in its new Knight Digital Media Center home — to help figure out what it is about journalism that is most important to carry forward. And, we hope to do what we can to ensure that it does indeed GET carried forward.
Those are no small goals, and they will require the lively participation of new contributors to OJR, as well as the continued enthusiasm of old OJR hands.
This website will be different from the “old” OJR in a couple of ways: First, as you’ll see, it is integrated with the Knight Digital Media Center. Also, we want to ensure that Annenberg faculty, friends and students play an important role in the conversation. What remains the same is that Robert Niles (called by The Guardian “one of America’s top media academics,” and we quite agree) will be around. We also will eagerly continue to accept comments and suggestions from readers. And the archives will remain in place.
We propose four main areas of discussion:
1. Reporting and writing in a conversational environment. How can, and should, we report the news when publications are now a two-way conversation, instead of a single-direction monologue?
2. Investigative reporting in the Internet era. How can news organizations, and individual journalists, harness the power of modern computing and networking (including crowdsourcing) to investigate public data?
3. Entrepreneurial journalism. The old business model for news is broken. How do we prepare journalists to develop new ones?
4. “Guerilla-marketing” the news. This builds from topics 1 and 3, and addresses how journalists ought to be thinking about making their content “viral,” optimizing for search engines and using promotional techniques to draw audience to their content, at minimal financial expense.
We’ll be publishing twice a week on the “new” OJR, on Wednesdays and on Fridays. But you will also find fresh posts on other topics other days of the week on the KDMC website, http://www.knightdigitalmediacenter.org/.
Robert will be writing the next piece, on Friday. See you after that.