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Look Who’s Coming to Journalism That Matters/Pacific Northwest

Submitted by Mike Fancher on Thu, 01/07/2010 – 8:41am

More than 200 people are registered to attend Journalism That Matters/Pacific Northwest, which opens today at the University of Washington.

For fun, I arbitrarily categorized how the participants described themselves in biographies they posted on the JTM site. Nobody fits neatly in any one category, so I picked the description that seemed most central to the person’s work.

Here is a breakdown:

  1. Civic activists / Community representatives 42
  2. Educators 23
  3. Online journalists 21
  4. Students 14
  5. Newspaper 12
  6. Radio 11
  7. Television 10
  8. Technologists 9
  9. Organization representatives 8
  10. Filmmakers 7
  11. Targeted publications 7
  12. Entrepreneurs 6
  13. Freelancers 6
  14. Public and Media Relations 6
  15. Business representatives 5
  16. Photographers/visual 5
  17. Media Reformers 4

I’m delighted that the largest category is made up of people who don’t produce journalism themselves but who care about it enough to attend this gathering. After all, the convening questions for JTM/PNW include:

How can the press and the public help each other? What’s possible now? How do we activate new forms of civic and public engagement?



arbitrary categorization

jamesian's picture
Submitted by jamesian on Thu, 01/07/2010 – 9:17am.

Dear Mr. Editor:

The filter you applied to this group is interesting… it is that sort of filtering that you, as a newspaper journalist, did every day. But how would someone else have labeled this crowd?

The key sentence is “I picked the description that seemed most central.”

I’m not complaining, just pointing out that style of thinking. What’s wrong with people not fitting neatly into categories? What other ways are there to filter the data?

Sally James
James Writing