Lessons from The Next Newsroom Project

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Text of Lessons from The Next Newsroom Project

  • 1. The Next Newsroom Project Designing the ideal newsroom forthe next 50 years

2. Duke University Chronicle Staff, 1950 3. Knight FoundationsNews 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.
  • Auditorium
  • Space, flow promote collaboration.

8. Stata Center, MIT Campus in Cambridge, MA 9. 10. Jump Associates

  • San Mateo, CA- based innovation consultants.
  • Designed their offices to promote innovation.

11. 12. Key ingredient of innovation: Food (and other social spaces) 13. Visual stimulation. Tactile experiences to stimulate all senses. No computers. Just Post-it Notes. 14. Zen Room 15. A few takeaways 16. 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.

17. If youre building a space

  • It should be extremely adaptable and flexible.
  • No wires.
  • Nothing bolted down.
  • Assume it will blown up every five years.
  • It wont solve all your problems.

18. The newsroom of the future exists

  • Its 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.

19. Russian news agency's RIA Novosti 20. The Daily Telegraph of London, U.K. 21. El Heraldo newsroom, Bogota, Colombia 22. Do you need a newsroom? 23. No, but 24. 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.

25. Five principles every newsroom should embrace. The newsroom of the future should 26. 1. Be Multi-Platform

  • Embrace all platforms.
  • Dont kill print; innovate around it.
  • Multi-platform is different than online first.
  • Understand which platforms your community is using and go there. Dont try to get them to come to you.
  • Mobile, Mobile, Mobile, Mobile.

27. 2. Be a Center of Innovation

  • We dont know whats next, but we know its coming.
  • Plenty of online pioneers failed to continue innovating:
    • CNET
    • Salon
    • Yahoo
    • eBay
  • Era of continuous change.
  • Must have capacity to experiment, evolve.
  • Change rewards, attract different people.

28. Innovation Strategies

  • 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

29. 3. Place community at the center 30. Old model: Manufacturing 31. New Model: News is acontinuous conversation 32. Community: Physical and Cultural

  • Create spaces for:
    • Training
    • Meeting
    • Conversation
  • Practice crowdsourcing: wikis, Twitter.
  • Community will have a range of roles, from passive to commenter to contributor.

33. 4. Learn to collaborate

  • Co-opetition: Co-operate and compete.
  • Link
  • Share resources
    • Chauncey Bailey project in the Bay Area
    • Joint planning
  • Find your place in the ecosystem of news.

34. An ecosystem of news Metro Non-profits Bloggers Ambient 35. 5. Promote transparency

  • Consumers are drowning in news and information.
  • Who can they trust?
  • Build trust through transparency.

36. Physical Transparency: CBC in Vancouver 37. Cultural Transparency

  • Share source material
  • Link to documents
  • Common Language Project
  • Whitehouse.gov
  • The problem with Yelp

38. Businessweek editor tweets 39. Spokesman-Review blogged andWebcast news meetings 40. Workflow

  • Rapidly evolving
  • Single, unified structure
  • Conversations start with story first, platform second.
  • Its still about storytelling

41. New jobs for the newsroom

  • Community/Conversation manager
  • Aggregator
  • Cybrarian (via the Newsplex)
  • Journalist programmers
  • Dedicated multi-media team
  • Social media manager
  • Content Ninja (via Cedar Rapids Gazette)
  • Innovation director

42. U.S. newsrooms to watch

  • Cedar Rapids Gazette (Iowa)
  • Las Vegas Sun
  • Lawrence World Journal (Kansas)
  • New York Times
  • Washington Post

43. 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.

44. Contact me

  • [email_address]
  • Twitter: @sjcobrien or @nextnewsroom
  • M: 415-298-0207

45. 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
  • Plenty of public spaces: Food!
  • Serving as a beacon on campus