Testimonials


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Not only did the conference profoundly affect and inform me about what has been missing from all of the conversations held around the world on the future of journalism, but together with the other attendees we identified what was most important about it, and what it needs to continue in order to maintain an informed citizenry and democratic society.

– Leigh Montgomery, Librarian, The Christian Science Monitor

As someone who has worked solely in newspaper newsrooms, I’ve found the JTM conversations with bloggers, citizen journalists, academics and media types have helped me view the future … as many next newsrooms, rather than one dominated by traditional newsrooms.

– Chris O’Brien, business reporter, The Mercury News, San Jose

JTM is tremendously creative. You don’t fully understand the experience until you go.One thing that is totally different is the connections formed among people who don’t normally get together.’’

– Peggy Kuhr, Dean of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism

I think JTM needs to be here. I don’t think it s a luxury. It’s essential at this point.  Without those who are willing to look far forward, those of us caught in the quagmire of the day to day and don’t have the mission, ability, or time to do that kind of work, this may sound corny, but it provides hope for those of us to know a group like JTM exists.  It provides hope and opportunity to secure the future for journalism.

– Martin Reynolds, Editor, the Oakland Tribune

Journalism That Matters and the Media Giraffe Project were the first peer communities I had as a journalist converting to a social entrepreneur, when I got started in 2000.  People weren’t connecting the dots, and for the most part, they weren’t out there trying to make new things. The newspaper crisis was more of an academic concept; there were thousands more journalists employed than there are today, the waves of layoffs hadn’t yet really taken their toll. JTM saw the writing on the walls, saw that the crisis of media had already set in, and that it was deeper than just declining ad revenue, but also was related to quality of content, types of content, and the way “the public” had progressed from a mass of passive consumers to “the people formerly known as the audience.” JTM recognized that new social mechanisms were required to connect practitioners, advocates, academics and the newly engaged citizenry — and then provided that space. I got to test my ideas, meet peers, recruit advisers (notably Tom Stites), encounter funders; it’s impossible to overstate the value of this. Now, I will state further that Newsdesk’s vision is quite utopian. I am committed to it, but also realistic about it. Nevertheless, JTM was a place where I could talk about big ideas, such as peer-to-peer networks, and shucking the ad model, and building infrastructure for democracy. It was vital. We wouldn’t be here without it

– Josh Wilson, Newsdesk

I think for the intention of this gathering, the format and the approach are absolutely spot on. This was not an information meeting (those have panels and the audience is supposed to sit there and soak up the “wisdom”.) It was not evangelical (those have preachers and the audience is supposed to be convinced.) It was a true brainstorming / problem solving session and the group’s creation of the agenda, leadership in the discussion and responsibility for capturing the ideas generated was exactly right.

Nora Paul, Director of the Institute for New Media Studies at the University of Minnesota in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

I often think that answers to questions we have are already inside us. These active techniques help pull out the information and ideas.

Roger Gafke, Director of Program Development, Missouri School of Journalism

Rather than bemoan the lemons we’ve been handed, with falling circulation and rising corporate profit demands and so forth, this group seemed intent on figuring out how to make a better lemonade.

Duane S Stoltzfus, Chairman of the Communication Department, Goshen College

I’ve been in “community journalism” for 25 years, but the discussions around that subject helped me hone my focus and purpose, refresh my attitude, and rededicate myself to producing the highest standards of the form.

Scott Hall, KAXE Morning Show Host and Community Access Coordinator

The high point was when we worked as a group to develop a workable plan. It was powerful because we were all engaged; each of us brought an important aspect or expertise to the discussion…I learned how well the open-circle approach works among a group of highly motivated people with a common desire — to keep journalism alive.

Jane Ellen Stevens, freelance multimedia journalist

Journalism at its heart seeks to tell stories about people. At the center of any person’s actions and decisions and thinking is their soul. Good stories get at that soul, somehow, someway. The mission of this group is finding the soul of journalism and of America in the 21st century.

Sue Ellen Christian, Asst. Prof. of Journalism, School of Communication, Western Michigan University