Imagine a room full of 150 people bursting with bright ideas about how to transform online journalism – and they are not just talking but doing it, too. That was the Networked Journalism Summit at City University New York today. I was hugely impressed by the diversity of the enterprises on show and the determination of the journalists to make them work and to make them pay. This was no academic talking shop. Instead media blogger and lecturer Jeff Jarvis led a concentrated effort to share best practice, brainstorm new ideas and to create fresh partnerships.
It was a rich mixture of independent enterprises and innovative mainstream media organisations finding a new way of working. Networked Journalism is a mixture of good old-fashioned journalism with new media and citizen journalism. It makes the public a partner in production throughout the editorial process.
So we heard from a Florida newspaper that forced a government agency to hand over data about relief payments to citizens after Huricane Katrina. They invited their readers to inspect the vast amount of data online. 60,000 searches were made by members of the public throwing up hundreds of stories about people who had missed out on help to rebuild their homes. This was classic ‘crowd-sourcing’, using the public as part of the investigative process. Go to the conference website for many more inspirational ideas like that.
I am writing a book on Networked Journalism to be published next year and POLIS will be publishing a policy report on how it can happen. I have also co-authored a more academic article called Crossing Boundaries which tries to define its potential that you can read here. Please tell me about any examples you know of Networked Journalism and we will publicise it through POLIS.