Saturday, November 14, 2009

Journalism conference / games

Games Tonight I played games and enjoyed doing so thoroughly. Wits & Wagers, Pictionary, and then a fabulous parlor game Suzanne (right) taught us, called Celebrity. It was all wondrous ... one of the rare times I didn't think about school for several consecutive hours.

During the day I went to a journalism conference that was sometimes rather interesting. Here are 10 thoughts/takeaways from the first day:

1. Rich people have always and will always pay for information they want. The tricky issue is public news, which has always been subsidized by philanthropists, the government, advertising, passionate users, political parties, etc. (Source: Jay Rosen, professor at NYU)

2. As journalists have become better educated, news sources have become less trusted. Perhaps there is a problem with the way journalists are educated. (Rosen)

3. Newsrooms should do what they do best and borrow the rest. Also, they need to stop thinking of what they do as a product and start thinking of it as a service. (Tim Rosenstiel, director, Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism)

4. Also, instead of looking at how we can get customers to pay more for the news we're providing, we should look at where there is demand for news and information that is not being provided, because there's plenty of that. Newspapers don't seem to care about how they can inform customers, just how they can get paid.

Journalism conference at Yale Law School5. News isn't dying; an outdated model is. (Paul Bass, New Haven Independent)

6. News and information aren't different; news is information, and that information has no use if people aren't civically minded. (Peter Shane, OSU)

7. It doesn't matter that people don't want to read about a city council meeting; what matters is that they want someone to be there covering it. (Bass)

8. The three steps on the path to renewal are to shed legacy costs, re-establish community and build new advertising categories. (Penelope Abernathy, UNC)

9. AP has been doing a 123 system, where 1=headlines, 2=present-tense short story, and 3=longer story. But they want to add 0 and 4, where 0=a tweet, and 4=user interaction.

10. Money will take care of itself if the product creates value, and to create value, you have to focus on customers.

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