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July 29, 2007


anne stadler

Thank you, Chris, for this wonderful proposal! I am very impressed with this idea, and have only one thing to add:
It would add value if The New Newsroom were a learning community of practice.

Were you to adopt this as a clear mandate for the internal organization, as well as a foundation for your relationship with the community, you would help journalism fulfill its essential purpose as a medium for helping the community learn... thereby maximizing its value to its shareholders and beyond.

Being a learning community of practice would also benefit the New Newsroom as a business. You would have an early warning system for identifying and processing potential trends and possibilities affecting your business life, as well as you would have a means for journalists to develop and expand their own professional capacities.

Such a learning community would be open to all stakeholders (including members of the community), and could be managed by a circle of volunteer stewards.

My background: I have founded and experienced a couple of learning communities of practice. I have also studied this proposition: "the business of television is learning" and would be happy to share what I know with you if you feel this would be of value to you. (I worked with KING-TV (NBC affiliate) for seventeen years. Co-Founder of Spirited Work, a learning community of practice, and the Open Space Institute of the U.S.)

Good luck!! Anne Stadler

Paul Bass

Interesting plan. Nice work! And good luck.

2 reactions -- as someone who launched a site that conforms to about 75 percent of what's laid out here but on a smaller scale ($150,000 annual budget, college city underserved by media, professional journalists working alongside citizen contributors, non-advertising revenue base; but boy I could use that 24-hour editor!), I think you'll find that you won't make much money by add-on cable-style pricing or local ads. Too small a market. The corporate regional media can undersell you there too. Instead, I'm finding that most of my funding is coming from foundations and charitable givers -- especially larger grants and site sponsorships. The pitch is exactly on target in your plan -- this is a local utility, like water or electricity. I'm skeptical of the for-profit model, but it really depends on the location.

Suggestion: Why not base the operation at a popular coffeehouse with a diverse clientele? Interview regulars as they come in about what cases or art projects or bills they're working on; good marketing opportunity for the coffeehouse too.

Finally, I started out this project (www.newhavenindependent.org) two years ago believing in the need for that segment of the population that's wired and perhaps more affluent or educated. That segment definitely participates in the site. But what I've discovered is that -- like cable TV -- internet access and comfort is spreading fast through the rest of the population. People in the poorest and working-class neighborhoods participate in the site and do just fine on the web, and jump into conversations with everyone else.

evade Awesome

Im just going to go point by point.

1)In terms of communiity support journalism needs to take a very local approach in terms of its relevancy. Investigative journalism doesn't seem to be something that is paid as much attention as it should. Punditry should be restrained and political accountability needs to be scrutinized. Since gadgetry like the Iphone and Blackberry are becoming more and more part of the norm due to inherently a vibrant economy, digital mediums need to focus on that very demographic.
The overhead for news print must have illogical maintnance levels by now. If digital mediums were able to keep track of what people are actually searching and interested in (by even using googles most serched items) they would have a more productive marketing initiative intergrated into the very delivery of news.
The formula for writing is also very homogenized. At least from what Ive seen on the east coast. From the washington post to the Toronto sun the only difference that you really gather in style is political affiliation (in terms of large urban papers).

2) It has to change alongside the digital medium. Capitalizing on ts accesibility. Building relationships and marketeting free digital subscriptions with the purchases of the very devices that can deliver the news. In my view this attempt at reaching out to a younger more sophistacated and affluent demographic will allow the creation of a new demographic, something that Im going to call the tekulite. A person who is not only tech savy but uses technology to define their status within society. Believe it or not there is already a fight between loyal black berry users and 1st generation iphone owners. By associating with this demo you create a fierce niche that is broad and credible. By delivering news to them through their own device and striving to be the first to bring the news to them they will over time associate the service with the very device they've purchased. The best thing about the tekulites is that the demo is growing everyday. Just look at who owns the blackberry and youll see the potential for an interested uninformed population.

3)The school of journalism has to remember that its relevancy in todays day and age depends on its abilitiy to adapt. I personally believe they should do away with old anchors of the past. Despite their magnifecent contribitions what people need is a little glamour in their life. Journalism should be opened up to a pool of free lance anchors that hit you with constant updtes. They should be in terms of womyn, under the age of 45 and men any age so long as they dont remind you of death or tammy faye. I say this only because its a blatant reflection of what our patriarchal structure tries to conceal everyday.
If american apparel can build its empire on sex appeal then so can news. Variety is good with our A..D.D society

Highschool college dropout
looking to drop out of university next
has worked with CBC CTV and Rogers Television in Canada.

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