Activities at JTM, Events, Home Page, JTM News, Portland, Spotlight

Elevate Engagement from Afar

Can’t make it out to Portland for Elevate Engagement but still want to plug in from a distance? We’ve lined up a few ways to participate both asynchronously or synchronously.

And there will be two distinct sessions that we’ll broadcast live:

Thursday, May 18 at 6 p.m.

Lessons from the Field: Examples of Engaged Journalism – we’ll see some examples of what’s working. Lightning presenters include:

We’ll be broadcasting this session on Facebook Live and Periscope. Watch this page and #pdxEngage17 Thursday afternoon for more details.

Friday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Rebuilding Trust: Truth to Empower – a conversation among practitioner/scholars from different disciplines. Introduction and moderation by Regina Lawrence, UO-SOJC’s Agora Journalism Center. Conversation catalysts include:

We’ll be using an exciting new engagement tool from the creators of Civil Comments: Civil Live. With this new technology, we’ll be able to solicit questions or thoughts from you in advance and in real time. You can join those in the room to upvote the questions and ideas to bring to the conversation. Keep an eye on this page Friday evening.

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Dr. Ferrier appointed president of Journalism That Matters

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ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 12, 2015)—The Journalism That Matters (JTM) board elected Dr. Michelle Ferrier, associate dean for innovation, research/creative activity and graduate studies at the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, as president of the organization on Oct. 4, replacing Chris Peck, former editor of the Memphis Appeal and outgoing president of ASNE.

Ferrier has been on the board of JTM for more than five years and has developed new programs for JTM such as the Create or Die series of events in Detroit and Greensboro that birthed media entrepreneurship innovations in those areas and across the United States.

Ferrier will lead one of the nation’s most visionary organizations that for more than 14 years has led conversations helping professionals to navigate the changing role of journalism. A signature approach of JTM has been to bring diverse stakeholders to the table and use unconference practices to foster breakthrough conversations and action.

A former newspaper columnist and managing editor for online communities, Ferrier has been a pioneer in digital media and content/learning management systems. Ferrier is a researcher and practitioner around online communities, hyperlocal online news, media entrepreneurship and online education. Ferrier is also the principal investigator for The Media Deserts Project that examines the changing media ecosystem using geographic information system technologies.

“Journalism that Matters has provided me with a unique perspective on the changing media ecosystem and the role of journalists, technologists, librarians, city planners and others on creating sustainable, local journalism,” said Ferrier. “It has also been a place of restoration for me of the passion and heart of why I got in to journalism,” she said.

“Our goal will continue to be to support those who are birthing the new media ecosystem and provide a space for them to imagine better.”

Ferrier completed a Ph.D. degree in Texts and Technology at the University of Central Florida. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

JTM also brought on two additional board directors: Mike Green and Jackie Hai. Green is co-founder of ScaleUp Partners a consultancy serving local leaders in the innovation economy. Hai is a multimedia artist and educator teaching at Arizona State University in Phoenix.

“JTM got its start when Chris Peck asked what it would take to have a national conversation about the future of journalism,” says JTM Executive Director and co-founder, Peggy Holman. “My thanks to Chris for his early and continued support. We wouldn’t exist without his vision. Our future is in good hands with Michelle Ferrier. She’s been a great contributor and partner since she first got involved. I’m excited to work with Michelle, Mike, and Jackie as we enter a new era of supporting communities and journalists to thrive together.”

 

Cross-posted from https://www.ohio.edu/scrippscollege/newsevents/news-story.cfm?newsItem=A8B6BD3F-5056-A81E-8D088B9AAC0CD480

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Why I’m thankful for Journalism That Matters

Today marks the sixth anniversary of my first Journalism That Matters “unconference,” a four-day mashup of journalists, technologists and venture capitalists held at Yahoo! headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif.

At the time, I had recently walked away from a job as an established newspaper reporter to nurture a public media startup, American Public Media’s Public Insight Network (PIN). The NewsTools 2008 gathering introduced me to a spirited community of entrepreneurs, many in their own states of transition, all working to fuel a “do more with more” ecology for news.

Since that time, this community — our community — has enriched me professionally and personally. Every JTM event I’ve attended (and there have been many) taught me something new, expanded my network and helped me grow in my role. I’ve served on advisory boards, forged meaningful collaborations, expanded PIN’s sphere of influence, and made wonderful friends — all through my association with JTM. A few months ago, I was thrilled to be invited to join the JTM board of directors.

It’s about time I said thank you.

That’s why today, I made a $250 donation to JTM. It’s long overdue support for an organization that has long supported me and, more importantly, the future of journalism.

If you, too, have benefited from JTM, I hope you will consider making a similar investment. It’s super easy to do from the JTM website.

I still have the purple Yahoo! notebook from the Sunnyvale confab. It’s filled with names, and notes on topics like disintermediated journalism, diversifying your sources, bridging the digital divide, and the Creator Economy.

It’s an artifact, but it’s also evidence our work is unfinished.

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Stories for Navigating the Waves of Change

How can journalists discern what stories are most useful for helping us navigate through turbulent times?

One way to decide is by understanding the roles people play in changing times. I recently described some key roles on the Seapoint Center leadership blog. In brief:

Stabilizers maintain the old systems and structures, for better and worse.

Originators experiment with a range of ideas, from the hair-brained to the brilliant.

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Adapted from Berkana Institute’s Two Loops Theory of Change

These two roles are immersed in the shifting waves of change, caught up in two primary and conflicting forces: maintaining the old and inventing the new. Three other roles work with these forces:

Hospice workers help us to mourn what is dying.

Midwives help launch innovations.

Wave riders assist us in transitioning between old and new cultural narratives.

Journalists can help us appreciate the contributions of people performing each of these roles. They can honor legacies and illuminate values that still endure, even as they report on the shortcomings of failing institutions .  They can extend the reach of promising innovations, giving us hope for the future and more ability to embrace the unfamiliar.  Through telling these stories, journalists support hospice workers and midwives by bringing their work to a larger, and ideally more diverse audience.

Perhaps most critical, journalists can help us through change by being wave riders themselves, making sense of the shifting narratives of our times through the stories they tell. For example, central to journalism’s traditional narrative is “giving voice to the voiceless” and “holding the powerful accountable”. While this narrative still informs journalism, through its convenings among the diverse players in the changing news and information ecosystem, JTM has tracked shifts in journalism’s narrative.

While by no means definitive, the table below is a snapshot of recent observations informed by conversations among JTM participants. I suspect that we are years from a well-functioning news and information ecosystem. Still, we are seeing glimpses of emerging patterns.

Journalism’s narrative…

 

Traditional Emerging

 

Journalism is about the public good. Journalism is still about the public good. And now it is entrepreneurial.
News organizations have a large influence on a community’s cultural narrative. Communities take primary responsibility for their cultural narrative. One strategy: embed journalists in the community.
News organizations are institutions that bring credibility. News organizations are of all shapes and sizes. Some bring credibility. Some bring heart. Collaborations bring us the best of both.
Independence brings stories focused on problems, winners/losers, and scarcity. Independence within interdependence brings engagement in diverse community that leads to stories focused on possibilities, adaptation, and abundance.

 

Unless it is an editorial, no advocacy. Period. Advocacy for a better world (e.g. better education, environment, health care, governance) without attachment to specific solutions.
Stories delivered via print, broadcast, and online. Stories delivered via print, broadcast, online, social media, hip-hop, video games, and other means.

 

By putting a name to what is changing, stories give us a chance to consider what endures from the past that is still relevant and what we wish to embrace that wasn’t possible before. Naming provides language for conversations about changing perspectives and their implications to the practice of journalism.  Where do you see yourself in these shifts? What do the changes mean for you and your work?

What if journalists characterized changing assumptions for education, healthcare, governance, or other systems they care about? How might that spark conversations about underlying beliefs and assumptions? How could it lead to greater understanding of the tensions among people in the system and in the process, cultivate greater understanding, compassion and creativity in changing times?

What are the stories you can tell that help us navigate through change?

 

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Changing Stories in Journalism

For more than a decade, JTM has tracked the narrative of journalism through the conversations it has hosted among diverse groups of people involved with news and information.

Created originally for NewsTools 2008 in Silicon Valley, the two value network maps below highlight shifts in key roles and exchanges in the news and information ecosystem.

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The charts of changing views that follow were compiled between 2006 and 2009. They still stimulate rich conversations about the changing story of journalism.

 

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Mapping the News and Information Ecosystem

Envisioning what the news and information ecosystem looks like contributes to creating it.

Understanding a complex system is no easy task. Maps simplify reality to highlight useful distinctions. They give form to an abstract idea, like a news and information ecosystem. Just as nature’s ecosystem is a community of living organisms — plants, animals and microbes — interacting with nonliving components in their environment — air, water and soil, a news and information ecosystem consists of the interactions among its organisms — journalists, the public, journalism educators, media reformers, and others — in their environment — organizations, associations, the Internet, mobile devices.

Whether natural systems or social systems, mapping makes visible nonlinear, complex relationships. Think of the many maps of the human body from science class: circulatory system, nervous system, muscular system and others.  Communication becomes easier because of a common framework.  Consider the breakthroughs attributed to mapping the human genome. Health care providers have an increased capacity to treat, prevent and cure disease.  New technologies for sharing information and working with it are also among the benefits.

Imagine a comparable set of maps of the news and information ecosystem. They could help us to pursue questions like:

  • Where are innovations happening?
  • Where are opportunities for new ideas?
  • Who’s funding what aspects of the system? And what needs funding?
  • What’s missing? What else needs to be visible on the map?

Different kinds of maps help us understand different aspects of a system.  They can be used for understanding what to measure.  As noted in the Knight Commission report on the news and information needs of communities, “If activists, policymakers, and the general public had more concrete ways of describing, measuring and comparing the systems of community news and information flow, it would be much easier to mobilize public interest around community information needs.”

One news executive experienced the practical benefits of mapping when he saw a network map (one segment below) created for the 2010 JTM Pacific Northwest conference.  He noticed the competition near the center. His organization was off to the side. A colleague explained antiquated technology caused the problem. Shortly after the conference, that technology changed.

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Thanks to Richard Rogers, director of Govcom.org Foundation, Amsterdam for creating the map.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Associate Dean for Innovation at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication (and JTM board member), is creating geographic maps of media deserts. By mapping places where fresh news and information is lacking, these maps identify where resources are most needed.  Her proof of concept used North Carolina.  One of the series is pictured here.

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In 2008, JTM created its much copied value network maps of the old and emerging news and information ecosystems.  (Visit the link for the emerging ecosystem map.)

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Value Network Maps are a terrific approach for understanding the interactions of a complex system.  They help identify opportunities for partnerships, innovation, development, and much more.

Much has happened since that 2008 map making session.  Were we to map what’s emerging today by focusing on possibility, engagement, and diversity, we could chart pioneering territory, making visible opportunities for further advances and wider adoption.

As a start, I offer a simple functional map of a news and information ecosystem, along with a preliminary list of agents. Far from complete, it gives a glimpse into what is emerging.

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Roles in a News and Information Ecosystem

Content Creators/Storytellers

  • Reporters
    • Professional
    • Amateur
    • Community
    • Organizational (business, nonprofit)
    • Investigators
    • Long form narrative writers
    • Short form narrative writers
    • Editorial writers
    • Beat reporters
    • Bloggers
    • Data handlers

Publishers/distributors

  • Print
  • Broadcast
    • Radio
      • Traditional
      • Low power FM
      • Satellite
      • Internet
    • TV
  • Online
    • Social media
    • Blogs
    • Emerging forms
      • Games
      • Hip hop
      • Comedy
  • Other dimensions
    • Public/private
    • Large/small
    • Geographic/topical

 

Sense-Makers/Discerners

  • Curators
  • Aggregators
  • Fact checkers
  • Transparency advocates

 

Users/Communities

  • General Public
  • Supporters
    • Community stewards/ navigators/ombudsmen
    • Media Reformers
    • Community organizers
    • Librarians

 

Archivers

  • Librarians
  • Others?

 

Researchers/Evaluators

  • Academics
  • Librarians
  • Historians
  • Evaluators

 

Influencers

  • Government
  • Business
  • Media Advocates
  • Educators
  • Ethicists – people who bring important questions like:
    • What is newsworthy?
    • What lenses serve our storytelling?
    • Who tells our stories?
    • What are the roles of the system and how can they best serve the needs of communities and democracy?
    • How do we reach everyone?
    • What is advocacy?

 

Funders

  • Advertisers
  • Foundations
  • Public – Fees for service, products
  • Venture capitalists
  • Angel investors
  • Others?

 

Educators

  • Teachers
  • Students
  • For the public – Media literacy organizations
  • For the story tellers
  • Topics
    • Craft
    • Ethics
    • Technology
    • Analysis
    • Investigation
    • Engagement
    • Systems Thinking and Change
    • News Judgment – choosing stories
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Media law

 

You can help make it better. What roles, functions, and connections do you see in the ecosystem? The clearer the picture of what we want to create, the greater our ability to realize it.

I end my series on journalism in changing times with a challenge. We are in a pioneering era in which the mental maps that guide us are being redrawn. Not just in journalism, but also in education, health care, governance, and every social system. No matter where you are, learn to navigate uncertainty.  Look for possibilities, engage others, and welcome the creative potential diversity brings. Tell your stories, map new terrain. Make a difference wherever you are.

 

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Got something to contribute?

Unless you explicitly request otherwise, I will post comments received from all media in the comment space below.

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Read the other posts in this series:

The Possibility Principle

The Engagement Principle

The Diversity Principle