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Reimagining journalism
in the age of Social Media
Un presentation especial at El Mercurio
Santiago, Chile, Aug. 25, 2011




                                          JD Lasica
                                          Founder
                                          Socialmedia.biz
                                          Socialbrite.org
What we’ll cover today
1. Changes in mediasphere

2. Questioning 9 assumptions

3. Imagining new skill sets

4. Trailblazing publications
Hashtag
                                        Creative Commons
                                        photo on Flickr
                                        by Prakhar




   Tweet this talk! Hashtag: #gda_caf
Socialbrite Sharing Center




    http://socialbrite.org/sharing-center
Start with a blue sky
                                              Flickr photo by
                                              jonrawlinson




   Be open to new approaches
   Launch pilot projects
   Silicon Valley mantra: Fail often, fail fast
   Rules of social media are still evolving
News is undergoing biggest,
messiest change — ever
Everything about news is changing:

The way it’s produced
The way it’s distributed
The way we consume it
Who’s a trusted news provider
Conventions of journalism (NPR as
advocate for Haiti relief efforts)
What “news” means
Social journalism
Elements of social media applied to journalism:
Blogging ... Twitter ... Facebook ... Comments ...
Widgets ... RSS ... Video sharing ... Photo sharing ... User-
created content ... Ratings ... User reviews ... Tagging ...
Social bookmarks ... Live streaming & chat ... Presentation
sharing ... Geolocation services ... Forums ... Community
membership ... Social news sharing sites ...
Wikis ... Texting ... Meetups ...
Shared calendars
But trustworthy news still vital
                    “Information is as vital
                         to the healthy
                         functioning of
                    communities as clean
                    air, safe streets, good
                      schools and public
                             health.”
                      Knight Commission on
                     the Information Needs of
                         Communities in a
                            Democracy
Old media values          Social media values
News as finished product   News as a process
Lecture, authoritative    Conversation, participation
Passive consumers         Empowered users
Trust in experts          Trust in peers
Corporate                 Democratic, collaborative, messy
Closed                    Transparent
Exclusive                 Shared
Centralized               Distributed
Elite professionals       Grassroots, peer-focused
Institutional voice       Personal voice
Heavily filtered           Unfiltered/lightly filtered
Platform dependent        Cross-platform
Will this be the new news?
Question assumptions!
ASSUMPTION 1



Objectivity is our sacred goal
¡PERO!



Transparency is new objectivity




    Invite public into story meetings. Live-stream them.
ASSUMPTION 2



Content is all that matters
¡PERO!



Conversation & curation
      Conversation follows content
ASSUMPTION 3



Mobile has limited appeal
¡PERO!



Geotag everything!
    http://charitywater.org/projects/map/
ASSUMPTION 4



Journalists must wear blinders




         Creative Commons photo on Flickr by stars alive
¡PERO!



Why not allow citizens
to take action?
                     A role restored
                     Point users to events
                     or community and
                     advocacy groups
                     relevant to an issue.
                     Also enable them to
                     make a difference by
                     signing petitions,
                     which offer an outlet
                     for community
                     engagement.
ASSUMPTION 5



Journalists don’t promote
¡PERO!



Promotion is part of
the Social Web’s essence
Think of a story, blog post, event
or idea as a ‘sharable object.’ In
some cases, decouple media.
The most effective sharable
objects are portable, evoke
emotion and can be easily copied
and reproduced in many channels
and formats.
Use genuine conversation, not a
marketing sell, to share.
ASSUMPTION 6



It’s OK to ignore the numbers




        Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Woodlouse
¡PERO!



‘Data is better than gut’
                Gather, analyze, act




       Photos on Flickr by Emran Kassim, left, and Vee Dub (CC-BY)
ASSUMPTION 7



Citizen journalists = competitors
¡PERO!



The crowd can be collaborators
 Talking Points Memo won
 a George Polk Award
 using distributed network
 of volunteer reporters who
 delved through thousands
 of emails and documents
 released by the U.S.
 Department of Justice,
 leading to the resignation
 of the Attorney General.
ASSUMPTION 8



We must find new audiences
¡PERO!



We must build community

here’s an amazing difference
    between building an
  audience and building a
community. An audience will
watch you fall on a sword. A
  community will fall on a
       sword for you.


      — Chris Brogan
   Author,“Trust Agents”
ASSUMPTION 9



We must do all the heavy lifting




          Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Jason Means
¡PERO!



Your community can help


  Find the big kahunas in your sector/beat. Use
  listening tools. Then, influence the influencers.
  Connect with other social media influencers
  through their blogs, Twitter, Facebook.
  Use flickr.com/creativecommons to find 55 million +
  photos for commercial use. And give back.
  Use ‘social love handles’: Facebook social plug-ins,
  Share This, Tweet this buttons.
The tools aren’t important.
The storytelling is.
Let’s imagine these new skills
  Storyteller & reporter, yes, but also:

  Conversation facilitator
  Multimedia guru
  Evangelist, promoter
  Community builder
  Curator
  Metrics nerd
  Geek!
  Innovator/strategist
                 Photograph by Tristram Kenton
                 © The Really Useful Group Ltd.
Study the trailblazers
             TexasTribune.com
             TBD.com: Washington DC hyperlocal site
             BayCitizen.org
              ProPublica, nonprofit investigative
             journalism, winner of 2010 Pulitzer Prize
             Politico.com for political news
             TechCrunch.com for tech news
              Huffington Post creating a nonprofit
             investigative journalism arm.
             TalkingPointsMemo.com
             MinnPost.com, nonprofit news site
             VoiceofSanDiego.org, nonprofit news site
             Spot.us, crowd-funded journalism
Create your own path
                  Storyful.com
                  uses social
                  networks to
                  create authentic,
                  cooperative &
                  socially useful
                  journalism.
Embrace those blue skies!
 News has become a social act & shared experience

 Build things that are useful & have value

 Study the marketplace, define goals, write business plan

 Embrace risk, launch pilot projects

 Measure results

 Make tough choices, listen to your market

 Iterate! Iterate! Iterate!

 Make mistakes, forgive yourself, move on
To innovate is to iterate
            Facebook in 2005




     “The idea is launch early and iterate. Early on, I didn’t just
     start Facebook as a company. It was a project that I
     wanted to exist. It’s amazing how much stuff we messed
     up.” – Mark Zuckerberg, 10/09
Closing thought

If you do not change
  direction, you may
  end up where you
     are heading.


      — Lao Tse
¡Muchas gracias! ¡Let’s talk!
              JD Lasica, founder
              Socialbrite.org:
              Social tools for social change
              email: jd@socialbrite.org
              Twitter: @jdlasica


  Thank you for all your valuable work
     during this time of disruption!

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Reimagining Journalism in the Age of Social Media

  • 1. Reimagining journalism in the age of Social Media Un presentation especial at El Mercurio Santiago, Chile, Aug. 25, 2011 JD Lasica Founder Socialmedia.biz Socialbrite.org
  • 2. What we’ll cover today 1. Changes in mediasphere 2. Questioning 9 assumptions 3. Imagining new skill sets 4. Trailblazing publications
  • 3. Hashtag Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Prakhar Tweet this talk! Hashtag: #gda_caf
  • 4. Socialbrite Sharing Center http://socialbrite.org/sharing-center
  • 5. Start with a blue sky Flickr photo by jonrawlinson Be open to new approaches Launch pilot projects Silicon Valley mantra: Fail often, fail fast Rules of social media are still evolving
  • 6. News is undergoing biggest, messiest change — ever Everything about news is changing: The way it’s produced The way it’s distributed The way we consume it Who’s a trusted news provider Conventions of journalism (NPR as advocate for Haiti relief efforts) What “news” means
  • 7. Social journalism Elements of social media applied to journalism: Blogging ... Twitter ... Facebook ... Comments ... Widgets ... RSS ... Video sharing ... Photo sharing ... User- created content ... Ratings ... User reviews ... Tagging ... Social bookmarks ... Live streaming & chat ... Presentation sharing ... Geolocation services ... Forums ... Community membership ... Social news sharing sites ... Wikis ... Texting ... Meetups ... Shared calendars
  • 8. But trustworthy news still vital “Information is as vital to the healthy functioning of communities as clean air, safe streets, good schools and public health.” Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy
  • 9. Old media values Social media values News as finished product News as a process Lecture, authoritative Conversation, participation Passive consumers Empowered users Trust in experts Trust in peers Corporate Democratic, collaborative, messy Closed Transparent Exclusive Shared Centralized Distributed Elite professionals Grassroots, peer-focused Institutional voice Personal voice Heavily filtered Unfiltered/lightly filtered Platform dependent Cross-platform
  • 10. Will this be the new news?
  • 12. ASSUMPTION 1 Objectivity is our sacred goal
  • 13. ¡PERO! Transparency is new objectivity Invite public into story meetings. Live-stream them.
  • 14. ASSUMPTION 2 Content is all that matters
  • 15. ¡PERO! Conversation & curation Conversation follows content
  • 16. ASSUMPTION 3 Mobile has limited appeal
  • 17. ¡PERO! Geotag everything! http://charitywater.org/projects/map/
  • 18. ASSUMPTION 4 Journalists must wear blinders Creative Commons photo on Flickr by stars alive
  • 19. ¡PERO! Why not allow citizens to take action? A role restored Point users to events or community and advocacy groups relevant to an issue. Also enable them to make a difference by signing petitions, which offer an outlet for community engagement.
  • 21. ¡PERO! Promotion is part of the Social Web’s essence Think of a story, blog post, event or idea as a ‘sharable object.’ In some cases, decouple media. The most effective sharable objects are portable, evoke emotion and can be easily copied and reproduced in many channels and formats. Use genuine conversation, not a marketing sell, to share.
  • 22. ASSUMPTION 6 It’s OK to ignore the numbers Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Woodlouse
  • 23. ¡PERO! ‘Data is better than gut’ Gather, analyze, act Photos on Flickr by Emran Kassim, left, and Vee Dub (CC-BY)
  • 25. ¡PERO! The crowd can be collaborators Talking Points Memo won a George Polk Award using distributed network of volunteer reporters who delved through thousands of emails and documents released by the U.S. Department of Justice, leading to the resignation of the Attorney General.
  • 26. ASSUMPTION 8 We must find new audiences
  • 27. ¡PERO! We must build community here’s an amazing difference between building an audience and building a community. An audience will watch you fall on a sword. A community will fall on a sword for you. — Chris Brogan Author,“Trust Agents”
  • 28. ASSUMPTION 9 We must do all the heavy lifting Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Jason Means
  • 29. ¡PERO! Your community can help Find the big kahunas in your sector/beat. Use listening tools. Then, influence the influencers. Connect with other social media influencers through their blogs, Twitter, Facebook. Use flickr.com/creativecommons to find 55 million + photos for commercial use. And give back. Use ‘social love handles’: Facebook social plug-ins, Share This, Tweet this buttons.
  • 30. The tools aren’t important. The storytelling is.
  • 31. Let’s imagine these new skills Storyteller & reporter, yes, but also: Conversation facilitator Multimedia guru Evangelist, promoter Community builder Curator Metrics nerd Geek! Innovator/strategist Photograph by Tristram Kenton © The Really Useful Group Ltd.
  • 32. Study the trailblazers TexasTribune.com TBD.com: Washington DC hyperlocal site BayCitizen.org ProPublica, nonprofit investigative journalism, winner of 2010 Pulitzer Prize Politico.com for political news TechCrunch.com for tech news Huffington Post creating a nonprofit investigative journalism arm. TalkingPointsMemo.com MinnPost.com, nonprofit news site VoiceofSanDiego.org, nonprofit news site Spot.us, crowd-funded journalism
  • 33. Create your own path Storyful.com uses social networks to create authentic, cooperative & socially useful journalism.
  • 34. Embrace those blue skies! News has become a social act & shared experience Build things that are useful & have value Study the marketplace, define goals, write business plan Embrace risk, launch pilot projects Measure results Make tough choices, listen to your market Iterate! Iterate! Iterate! Make mistakes, forgive yourself, move on
  • 35. To innovate is to iterate Facebook in 2005 “The idea is launch early and iterate. Early on, I didn’t just start Facebook as a company. It was a project that I wanted to exist. It’s amazing how much stuff we messed up.” – Mark Zuckerberg, 10/09
  • 36. Closing thought If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. — Lao Tse
  • 37. ¡Muchas gracias! ¡Let’s talk! JD Lasica, founder Socialbrite.org: Social tools for social change email: jd@socialbrite.org Twitter: @jdlasica Thank you for all your valuable work during this time of disruption!