Innovations
 
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News about the News

 

CATCH UP ON NEWS INNOVATIONS

 

The Nieman Journalism Lab calls its Encyclo a "resource on the most important organizations and issues in journalism's evolution."  The site says it includes both traditional news organizations that are making influential changes, and "a lot of newcomers."

 

 

NewsLab, an online resource for journalists, hosts a page about news media innovations. For example, the page has included a story about a television news anchor who convinced managers to let her chat with viewers while she was live on air, one about a television station that had enthusiastically embraced backpack journalism, and one about a station that was using microsites for stories that wouldn't usually make television news.

 

 

EXPERIMENTS

 

While all of the changes in journalism fall into this category, some of the most exciting are still in the idea or research stage--like those of university students and fellows, for instance.

 

At the end of their time at Stanford University, the Knight Journalism Fellows give short talks about their projects and ideas for the future of journalism.  Many of these are fun to watch--they're creative, thoughtful solutions to problems journalists are encountering all over the world.

 

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism hosts its Innovation Showcase once a year, where you can read about students' most innovative projects.

 

COLLABORATIONS AND NONPROFITS

 

Journalists are responding to challenges in the industry by banding together in collaborative efforts and by forming nonprofit news organizations to help fill the gaps left by industry downsizing.  We've listed a few of these below to give you an idea of just how diverse these are.

 

When the St. Louis Beacon and St. Louis Public Radio banded together, it was both a collaborative and a nonprofit experiment.  In "Better together," the Nieman Journalism Lab reports that the two are producing effective journalism.

 

The Voice of San Diego has been a small but influential nonprofit in southern California:  "We believe concerned citizens are the true Voice of San Diego and it's their collective voice we represent in our honest and irreverent approach to reporting," says the organization's website--and it's a good description.

 

ChicagoPhoenix "delivers daily reports and commentary on LBGT-related news and happenings, complemented by regular coverage of local and national gay rights legislation," according to a brief in the Columbia Journalism Review. The site is scooping other news organizations on some issues, getting "the jump on a number of high-profile stories," says CJR.

 

InsideClimate News won a Pulitzer Prize for its environmental reporting.  Its website says that "Climate and energy are defining issues of our time, yet most media outlets are now hard-pressed to devote sufficient resources to environmental and investigative reporting.  Our goal is to fill this growing national deficiency..."

 

Innovations

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Investigating without Profit 

 

Journalists are responding to challenges in the industry by banding together in collaborative efforts and by forming nonprofit news organizations to help fill the gaps left by industry changes. The Center for Public Integrity, a well-respected example of a journalism nonprofit, has focused work on investigative news, one of the gaps that has opened up as many news organizations cut back on staff. Read the Center's articles about workers' rightsnational security and other topics.

"In Jennifer's Room"

 

This animation tells the story of a mentally ill patient who was raped while under the care of a state institution.  The accompanying series, "The Broken Shield," delved into the lack of serious investigations or responses by the state despite 36 rapes at state institutions.  The illustrations tell a serious story, and allow reporters to respect the privacy of the woman and her mother. Sara Dickenson Quinn reports on challenges illustrator Marina Luz faced in animating a sensitive investigative story.

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