Lessons from The Next Newsroom ProjectPresentation Transcript
The Next Newsroom Project Designing the ideal newsroom for the next 50 years
Duke University Chronicle Staff, 1950
Knight Foundation’s News Challenge
Funded through a Knight News Challenge Grant in 2007.
Program awards $5 million a year for “innovative ideas using digital experiments to transform community news.”
Of 10,000 applications, they chose 33 winners.
Winners included academics, bloggers, community journalists, database programmers, video game developers, entrepreneurs.
What we proposed
“ The prospect of building a new facility on campus gives the newspaper incredible freedom. It can consider the attributes of such a space, and the role it should play in fostering community throughout Duke, in the most expansive way possible…
“ A university campus is an excellent place to examine the ideal role of news organizations in their communities.”
What we did
Researched and proposed the “ideal” newsroom. (Submitted Dec. 2008)
Created a website on newsroom trends.
Staged a conference on the “newsroom of the future.” (April 2008)
Built a version of the newsroom in Second Life.
How we did it
Recruited 30 volunteers.
Interviewed journalists, architects, media advisers, newspaper executives.
Profiled 20 newsrooms (professional, college, and community).
Looked for ideas outside journalism.
Stata Center at MIT
Designed by Frank Gehry.
Home to Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence Lab, Linguistics, Philosophy.
Noam Chomsky and Tim Berners-Lee have offices there.
Space, flow promote collaboration.
Stata Center, MIT Campus in Cambridge, MA
San Mateo, CA- based innovation consultants.
Designed their offices to promote innovation.
Key ingredient of innovation: Food (and other social spaces)
Visual stimulation. Tactile experiences to stimulate all senses. No computers. Just Post-it Notes.
A few takeaways…
There will be many “next newsrooms”
Disruptive at first; healthy in the long run.
Moving away from homogenous model.
No single “ideal” newsroom.
Richer diversity of news and information.
If you’re building a space…
It should be extremely adaptable and flexible.
Nothing bolted down.
Assume it will blown up every five years.
It won’t solve all your problems.
The newsroom of the future exists
It’s being built outside the U.S.
Europe, Far East, Latin America, investing in new facilities, equipment, people and products.
Tend to be more family owned, or independent media abroad.
Some exceptions in U.S.: NY Times.
Russian news agency's RIA Novosti
The Daily Telegraph of London, U.K.
El Heraldo newsroom, Bogota, Colombia
Do you need a newsroom?
There are good reasons to have a newsroom
We are social animals, and have an instinctive need to gather. Just look around.
Nothing replaces human contact. Just visit Silicon Valley.
It helps create culture.
Done right, it also boosts innovation.
Five principles every newsroom should embrace. The “newsroom of the future” should…
1. Be Multi-Platform
Embrace all platforms.
Don’t kill print; innovate around it.
Multi-platform is different than “online first.”
Understand which platforms your community is using and go there. Don’t try to get them to come to you.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile, Mobile.
2. Be a Center of Innovation
We don’t know what’s next, but we know it’s coming.
Plenty of online pioneers failed to continue innovating:
Era of continuous change.
Must have capacity to experiment, evolve.
Change rewards, attract different people.
New York Times: Dedicated lab looking five years out.
Cedar Rapids Gazette: Blowing up structure.
Google: 20 percent rule
Scripps Howard venture fund
Chronicle: Student media incubator
3. Place community at the center
Old model: Manufacturing
New Model: News is a continuous conversation
Community: Physical and Cultural
Create spaces for:
Practice crowdsourcing: wikis, Twitter.
Community will have a range of roles, from passive to commenter to contributor.
4. Learn to collaborate
Co-opetition: Co-operate and compete.
Chauncey Bailey project in the Bay Area
Find your place in the ecosystem of news.
An ecosystem of news Metro Non-profits Bloggers Ambient
5. Promote transparency
Consumers are drowning in news and information.
Who can they trust?
Build trust through transparency.
Physical Transparency: CBC in Vancouver
Share source material
Link to documents
Common Language Project
The problem with Yelp
Businessweek editor tweets
Spokesman-Review blogged and Webcast news meetings
Single, unified structure
Conversations start with story first, platform second.
It’s still about storytelling
New jobs for the newsroom
“ Cybrarian” (via the Newsplex)
Dedicated multi-media team
Social media manager
Content Ninja (via Cedar Rapids Gazette)
U.S. newsrooms to watch
Cedar Rapids Gazette (Iowa)
Las Vegas Sun
Lawrence World Journal (Kansas)
New York Times
Jennifer Carroll, vice president of Gannett
“We need curious thinkers, people who think critically, and have a love of the business. My view is that we can teach the tools, but we need innovative minds who are passionate.”
Twitter: @sjcobrien or @nextnewsroom
A new Chronicle Newsroom
Fully integrated multi-media newsroom
Large open spaces for adaptability
Media incubator for programs and spaces to experiment
Set within a larger media center shared by other journalism and new media groups
Building designed to foster interaction and collaboration