Baltimore City Council’s first hearing on innovation economy; our role in it

The largest event we helped organize during the second annual Baltimore Innovation Week was our opening party that drew 1,000 people to Penn Station Plaza in partnership with the Gathering food trucks and Station North Arts and Entertainment Inc.

The party activated a public space, as seen in the above photo from the event’s beginning, widened the reach of a narrow technology community and brought about other partnerships. It was fun and exciting and big.

But likely the event with bigger direct impact was the small Baltimore City Council hearing we helped launch with District 7 Councilman Nick Mosby, the first ever city council hearing dedicated to the innovation economy in Baltimore.

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Rules of online reporting

online-reporting-rules

What the web is creating is a world in which the details can be erased but nothing is forgotten. It is a distinct change from when only that of broad interest could make it to the widely distributed vehicles of traditional media.

It was with that in mind that I told a reporter of mine earlier this year one of the golden rules of online news — take screenshots first, ask questions later — after something we were reporting on was removed from a source website. Reminding her of that prompted other rules that came to mind and after sharing them still others came to mind.

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Campaign opposition research is a type of investigative journalism

TheOppositionBook

What we have lost in investigative reporting units at news organization in the last two decades will be at least partially replaced by mission-orientated groups that can find other value for doing such work.

Foundations, think tanks and mission-minded nonprofits may be the more ethically normalized groups, but in elections and government, the idea of campaign opposition research will almost surely come to wider prominence. The idea that a campaign would hire investigators, lawyers or others to dig up shortcomings on political rivals is not new at all, but we’ll hear more about this.

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5 things I told a classroom full of journalism students yesterday

reporting-help

There are at least five big things I’ve learned about reporting for a living over the past few years since graduating college and some stories to back it up.

That amounted to my half hour talk and Q&A period with a classroom of students at my alma mater Temple University in the PhiladelphiaNeighborhoods.com capstone on Monday. I called myself the ghost of the near future — having graduated in 2008.

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Publishing is no longer the end of the reporting cycle, it is the middle

Even new views of data-driven journalism too often sees the release of coverage to be the end of the reporting process. Where is the action?
Even new views of data-driven journalism too often sees the release of coverage to be the end of the reporting process. Where is the action?

It was onceĀ  that in the reporting process, publishing a story was once the end.

Get an idea, find a source, develop a story, write and edit, then publish and hope the impact comes from elsewhere. Wrap advertising around the printed product and move on to the next issue.

No longer. News organizations have a responsibility for action to make their communities better. The tools and opportunities and methods for transparency are too rich. The need is too grave.

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3 biggest fears about ‘future of journalism’ academia: Post-Industrial Journalism report conversation

Another in a long tradition of academic looks at the news industry landed last week with considerable attention among the new media community.

The Post-Industrial Journalism report from NYU’s Clay Shirky, Columbia’s Emily Bell and CUNY’s Chris Anderson has been far better dissected, in greater detail, by the Nieman Lab’s Josh Benton, so I’ll leave it to him. (Kindly Technically Philly is briefly mentioned in the report as a leaner version of journalism purveyors of today)

Instead, I wanted to share my three biggest concerns about journalism academia, as I had shared with Anderson this summer following a conversation I was a part of with the three authors and others at Columbia.

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11 student media startup ideas: Upenn Entrepreneurial Journalism Demo Night

media-sam-apple

Eleven University of Pennsylvania students pitched their media startup ideas at an Entrepreneurial Journalism Demo Night held in the Kelly Writers House last week. I was there by invitation of the class’s professor Sam Apple, whose reporting background stems from a stint experimenting with launching theFasterTimes.com.

The Daily Pennsylvanian, the student newspaper, covered the pitch night here, so I just wanted to share the 11 pitches I saw.

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Reporters: today, your competition isn’t other journalists, it’s the source itself

Today, the greatest competition for journalists isn’t other journalists. It’s the source itself.

But rather than face the continued loss of revenue to efforts outside of reporting or the looming collision of mission and audience, my industry is still focused as it always has been on besting others in their traditional ecosystem, not on preparing for the growing attention deficit online.

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Innovations (and shortcomings) in College Media: notes from latest ONA Philly event

The early crowd at Thursday’s Future of College Media ONA event.

College newspapers are facing the same challenges of their commercial counterparts have had for decades but, despite their advantages, are struggling to fundamentally innovate.

Nearly 40 professional journalists, students and college administrators attended representing a half dozen universities and student newspapers attended Thursday the Future of College Media event I helped organize with Temple University Journalism Department Chair Andy Mendelson for our monthly local Online News Association get-together.

None of the newspapers represented had made any revenue outside of print and web advertising.

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Niche news site membership model perspective brought back to life from 2009

The internet doesn’t forget. So I often stockpile perspective (links) for the future.

In 2009, we at Technically Philly were digging our heels into looking at how diversify revenue for a local community news site. In the end, the largest driver turned out to be events, specifically the annual Philly Tech Week we organize. Before then and after some advertising, jobs board and light underwriting revenue, we toyed with donations, gettingsome prominent support and the requisite pushback.

In all the experimentation back then, I saved some great insight, much of which has been relevant lately. As we move back to a new form of that older conversation, I wanted to share a few takeaways from my reading back in 2009.

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