Future of News roundtable, Eugene-style

Future of News panel at SPJ's Building a Better Journalist

The lunch session at SPJ’s Building a Better Journalist conference today was YAPOTFON, or Yet Another Panel On The Future Of News. Conversation was facilitated by President-elect Hagit Limor (@hlimor).

DJ Wilson is the President and General Manager of the KGW Media Group in Portland. “More than ever, people are consuming media.” Part of it is the 24/7, anytime, anywhere demand from consumers. KGW is a content business that works to meet that demand.

Rita Hibbard (@rthibbard) is the executive director and editor of InvestigateWest, a reporting non-profit in Seattle started by ex-Seattle Post-Intelligencer staffers. The bad news is the sheer number of journalists that have been laid off; the number of credentialed reporters in Olympia, Washington has gone from 25 to 6. [Ed note 10/25: This may also be due to waning interest in covering government] “Readers and news consumers are starting to wake up to what’s being lost out there.” We’re not replacing the investigative troops, but figuring out new ways to get the job done. InvestigateWest is brand new; incorporated in May, website launched in July, and first story will be out next month. It’s a piece on the misuse of public lands. They generate original, high-level investigative content. The business model is to syndicate it to as many media partners as possible, not build up their website. The first grant InvestigateWest received was from the Bullitt Foundation, which hasn’t traditionally funded journalism.

“Collaboration is a big part of this new media ecosystem.” InvestigateWest is working with a number of media partners in ways that would not have happened five or ten years ago. “The era of one dominant media source in a community is over.” News will now be an ecosystem of many parts.

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News Innovation in Portland: Interview with Steve Woodward on journalism, InfoLiberator, and OpenMicroBlogging

News Innovation in Portland: Interview with Steve Woodward from Daniel Bachhuber on Vimeo.

I sat down with Steve Woodward this evening (@oregoniansteve on Twitter) at Bailey’s Taproom in Portland to discuss a whole myriad of topics, including the supposed “death of journalism,” how and why the internet is disrupting other industries, and why now is a great time to be alive. In the interview I did at the end of our conversation, I ask him what he thinks journalism is and about the project he’s currently working on, a mashup between InfoLiberator and OpenMicroBlogging. Their goal is to build a “Costco for data,” aggregating local information from a number of sources and then feeding it to you based on keywords, location, and other meta criteria. Watch all of the way though for a coincidental appearance by a drunk, and how he too applies to the project Steve is working on. I’ll work for better audio next time.

Of the many significant takeaways from the conversation, I’d like to record one: we are so done with the “newspapers are dying” conversation.

This video is the first in what I hope to be a series of interviews, discussions, and arguments with various people I find interesting. I’m posting them to Vimeo right now, but might be switching/cross-posting to Blip.tv if I can convince it to upload my content. Blip is pretty cool, in my opinion, because it offers an instant video podcast but Vimeo has better HD. It’s definitely a first-world dilemma.