A lot of the brightest minds in journalism have been thinking for some time about how the newsroom of the future might operate as we move from legacy print and broadcast operations into a more converged, Internet-centric world. I’ve taken a couple stabs myself at how a “New Newsroom” might operate, both in a guest post on PressThink in 2004 and on a recent post on MediaShift.
And now there are a series of discussions taking place called Journalism That Matters, where various deep thinkers are trying to literally invent “the next newsroom” prototype. Here is the blurb describing what they’re going to try to accomplish in Washington, DC, in early August:
Our goal is to facilitate critical discussion on the future and sustainability of journalism. Our unique approach is to first assemble editors, publishers, writers, researchers, academics, entrepreneurs, public advocates, independent and citizen journalists for fast, focused discussion. We’ll then define the ownership, management, location and sustainability of a ‘next newsroom’ prototype in at least one U.S. community, to launch in early- to mid-2008.
We’re going to answer this call: Pick an ideal location, and start a news organization from scratch, using the best-available technology and ideas, and without the obligations or burdens of legacy processes or infrastructure. Where will it be, what will it look like, who will own it, and how will it run.
As much as I would like to be at the conference, I have other plans at the time and won’t be attending. However, I wondered if perhaps MediaShift readers could help me build one possible scenario for this “next newsroom” prototype. I’ll ask a series of questions for you to fill in. You can answer via the comments below or use the Feedback Form. I’ll then insert your comments into the blanks and then send along the final blog post by the conference’s start on August 7 and 8 (if we get enough input). I will credit and link the folks who contribute. So without further ado…
The Next Newsroom Prototype
[cubicles in an open room; virtual offices…]
[professionals; amateurs; editors; producers…]
[advertising; donations; paid content…]
Areas of Coverage?
[hard news; investigations; features…]
[forums; town halls; citizen journalism; blogs…]
[RSS feeds; mobile; print; broadcast…]
Transparency and Bias?
[top down; bottom up; combination…]
[map mashups; micro-blogging….]
There’s obviously a lot to discuss at this conference, and a lot for people to consider when trying to truly build a newsroom from scratch. We always tend to think about newsrooms in the same way as we are used to them, so it’s hard to really start from scratch.
Anyway, I hope you’ll leave some thoughts in the comments. Even if you just have one idea that fits under one of these headings (or if you have your own heading) I hope you’ll share your ideas in the comments or on your own blog linking back to this post, and I’ll update it over time.
Photo of CNN’s DC newsroom by Lee Hughey.