Journalism That Matters — the DC Sessions: What will happen when only the journalism is left?

This is the wiki home for the Aug. 7-8, 2007 convening of “Journalism That Matters: The DC Sessions” at The George Washington University, and the followup discussions and Phuket property activities.


“What happens when only the journalism is left?” Strip away the platforms, the jobs, the institutions, and what will sustain participatory democracy? Are we advancing to a news ecosystem more like English coffeehouses and pamphleteering than mass media? What happens when the “press” becomes a digital “pipe”? Who controls the press then?

The Journalism that Matters action-oriented discussions are an ongoing series of activities and convenings to critique and build upon a 21st-century newsroom prototype and help develop an economic model that supports it. Together we are answering these crucial questions: If advertising and journalism continue to decouple, how can we ensure that quality journalism will have its own intrinsic value? How will our newsrooms and classrooms adapt to the new news ecology in which credentialed bloggers cover federal-court proceedings, vloggers go to prison in defense of First Amendment principles and crowdsourcing blossoms?


  • Charting new economic models
  • Engaging the next generation
  • Defining the citizen/media connection


  • How will it be supported?
  • How will it be taught?
  • How will citizens be involved?


An August 7-8, 2007 convening in Washington, D.C. by the “Journalism That Matters Collaborative” brought exciting dialogues and futuristic strategic planning to The George Washington University as a pre-event adjunct to the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).”


  • Geneva Overholser, professor, University of Missouri
  • Chris Peck, editor, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Len Witt, professor, Kennesaw State University
  • Bill Densmore, director, Media Giraffe Project at UMass Amherst
  • Peggy Holman, author, “The Change Handbook” and JTM facilitator
  • Stephen Silha, member, Washington News Council and JTM facilitator

Key co-sponsors

Media Giraffe
George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs
Free Press
Mott Foundation
Kennesaw State University
Washington Post

Sponsors and funders of this and previous Journalism That Matters convenings include the C.S. Mott Foundation, The Scripps-Howard Foundation, The Fetzer Institute, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Blandin Foundation, FreePress.net, the Media Giraffe Project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, J-Lab at the University of Maryland, the Fowler Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University, the University of Missouri School of Journalism, The George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs, the Washington Post Company and the News2020 initiative of Voxant Inc.