What happens when only the journalism is left?
Follow the next steps after
Journalism That Matters: The DC Sessions which took place Tues.-Wed. Aug. 7-8, 2007 George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

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 action-oriented discussions known as "Journalism That Matters" came to Washington, D.C. Journalists, academics and public advocates critiqued and built upon a upon a 21st-century newsroom prototype - and worked to develop an economic model that supports it.

"Journalism That Matters: The Next Newsroom," took place Aug. 7-8, 2007, at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

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    "What will journalism be like when only the journalism is left?"

    Journalism is at a crossroads. What will support its basic values, while adapting its practice to new economic, social and technological realities? Yahoo and major news organizations are aligning for the efficent sale of advertising. Across the nation, dozens of citizens are experimenting with new forms of local, web-based journalism and community building -- and contemplating the potential, gradual, end of newsprint.


    Answering that question, and setting the stage for the launching of at least one prototype of "The Next Newsroom" is the challenge of "Journalism That Matters: The DC Sessions."

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  • Our goal is to facilitate critical discussion on the future and sustainability of journalism. Our unique approach is to first assemble editors, publishers, writers, researchers, academics, entrepreneurs, public advocates, independent and "citizen" journalists for fast, focused discussion. We'll then define the ownership, management, location and sustainability of a "next newsroom" prototype in at least one U.S. community, to launch in early- to mid-2008.

    We're going to answer this call:

      "Pick an ideal location, and start a news organization from scratch, using the best-available technology and ideas, and without the obligations or burdens of legacy processes or infrastructure. Where will it be, what will it look like, who will own it, and how will it run."


    We're approaching this via three "frames":

  • New economic models
  • Training and education
  • The pro-am relationship

    As a nation, we have a difficult challenge ahead -- how to sustain independent, watchdog journalism. It's needed more than ever to help citizens understand the growing influence of government and corporations on our civil society. It's not clear that a Wall Street-driven, investor-owned approach is still the best.

    It's worth exploring -- and moving -- some alternatives.

    On Aug. 7-8 at The George Washington University, that's what we're be doing.

    JOURNALISM THAT MATTERS hosts conversations with a purpose. It engages the entire system of journalism -- reporters, editors, publishers, camera people, photographers, academics and audience, from newspapers, radio, television, and online media, including both mainstream and alternative sources -- with the changing nature and definition of news in a changing world. The point is to recommit journalism to what is fundamental for connecting news with its audience so that it serves and sustains us.

    ARCHIVE: JTM: The Memphis Sessions, Jan. 11-12, 2007

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