The Invitation


Co-hosted with the Journalism that Matters Collaborative
Journalism in the New News Ecology:
New Jobs, New Tools, New Relationships, New Businesses
and the Fourth Estate
March 1-4, 2009
Poynter Institute
Limited Space!  Register by February 13, 2009, to assure your spot.

WHAT WE KNOW: The legacy print and broadcast newsrooms are terminal; some would say dinosaurs, symbols of another era.

THE GOOD NEWS: The work of journalists is thriving – online, using multimedia platforms, with a thousand blooms of new growth and creativity in serving the needs of citizens.

THE CHALLENGE: Early pioneers already are blazing the path of transformation from newsroom structures that took root in the 19th century to a new news ecology for the 21st century. But the road map isn’t well defined, nor is its relationship to journalism’s foundational purpose as the Fourth Estate. Entirely new jobs, new skills and new relationships with audience, contributors and community members are being sketched out, tested, and defined – and you can help.


•    New media people who are actively engaged in the emerging news ecology

•    Journalists interested in better understanding the emerging news ecology, whether they stay in the field or re-invent their careers

•    Editors managing a changing newsroom wanting insight into different generational perspectives and the language of the new news ecology that is entering the newsroom

•    People from other sectors who wish to understand how they can benefit from the changing news ecology

•    Journalism educators who are grappling with changing journalism curricula

POYNTER’S ROLE: The Poynter Institute recognizes the urgency to retrain and reorient journalists on how to navigate the paths and bridges to this new news ecology.

On March 1-4, 2009, Poynter is partnering with Journalism That Matters for a three-day conversation and work session designed to help define the new jobs, new skills and new relationships that will sustain 21st century news gathering and its changing relationship to the citizens it serves.

HOW THESE SESSIONS ARE DIFFERENT: The Poynter -JTM sessions aren’t built on the traditional wisdom of journalism’s high priests. Rather, they utilize Open Space Technology– a process that enables diverse groups to self-organize and address complex and important issues.  JTM has used Open Space around the country to stimulate fresh thinking and new ideas that spring from the passions and inspiration of participants who are committed to keeping journalism alive and relevant in the new media world.

Founded in 2001, Journalism That Matters has hosted conceptual “mash-ups” – unlikely mixes of diverse people – for more than 700 legacy and emerging journalists all around the country.
From Yahoo headquarters in Silicon Valley to George Washington University in DC, the JTM model brings together forward-thinkers from traditional journalism to work side-by-side with the best-and-brightest of the emerging journalistic enterprises. Together, they convene new conversations, define the evolving news ecosystem, and work at the leading edge of the new story of journalism.

YOU’RE INVITED: That’s where you come in.  Poynter and JTM want you to help create, define and populate the next digital news environment not to mention provide some guidance into what journalists bring to other sectors.

Come help us:

•    give names and shape to the new jobs – community dialogue manager, multimedia storyteller, database investigative reporter, mobile content designer, and more.

•    understand how to master the new tools of the trade – beat blogs, widgets, search engine optimization, and social networks.

•    define and refine the changing relationships among those who need the news, contribute to the news, and rate the news.

•    navigate the changing culture and language of news organizations with their increasing mix of digital natives and those with institutional memory.

•    appreciate the ripple effects of the changing news ecology on other sectors and what that means for engaging citizens.

This is the moment when journalism shifts. Be part of that shift.


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St. Petersburg, FL 33701