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What should journalism be in the 21st century? (And what will community be in the 21st century?)

John Hamer, Grace Stahre, Ranny Kang, Kristin Mills, Sarajane Siegfriedt, Amy Rainey, Lion Kimbo, Andrew Sorkin, Dale Steinke, Dennis Newman, Matt Rosenberg, Herng Su

The other attendees should feel free to edit and add to my notes. I've got a couple question marks when I missed who said what.

Preliminary thoughts

Sarahjane: There has been more change in this arena in the last 5 years than in previous 50. Other parts of old media pay for themselves and attract advertisers, but covering government does not pay. Who is going to cover government and how will they be paid?

Kristin: Anecdote from job interview 10 years ago for a city editor position. The publisher asked, what do you plan to do in 5 years? Well, my degree was in TV and I had done a little radio. I said, "I'm really excited because what I want to do hasn't been invented yet - combining all the tools together online." The publisher almost didn't hire me because he thought I was crazy.


Dale: Technology is going to continue playing a central or important role in journalism. It will play an increasingly large role to tell stories.

Lion: From the History of Technology Museum. Whenever there's a policy decision that involves technology, human factors come before technology. But when you look at history, the development of technology dominates history. The history of the world is substantially a history of technology.

Reporters are going to rely more on technology. Newspeople have to be able to adapt in changing landscape.

This explosion of new technology democratizes journalism.

John: The public and journalism used to be really separate. We said we embraced the public, but we really didn't. What we're facing now is really a mandate - we have no choice. We were slow to pick up on that, and people started doing it themselves. There are more voices and people who were once ignored can now have their own voice. It makes traditional people uncomfortable.

"We're all journalists now" - Scott Gant

Kristin: We need to teach kids journalistic ethics and to become great citizens. (media literacy)

Amy: The present and future is that news will be real-time and mobile and yes, everyone is a journalist. I recently Twittered about the 24/7 QFC being closed for the day. Soon after, the neighborhood blogger Twittered about the same thing. So I participated in an act of journalism with my tweet and so do others. But it's not about Twitter; it's about the ideas behind it.

Kristin: Reads more articles that friends post on Facebook. We explore community through our peers.

Amy: There is so much news and information out there that you rely on friends and peers to filter it for you.

?: If you can bring a blogger sensibility to Facebook, that's part of shaping journalism in the 21st century. Now bloggers can start a conversation and frame questions around the link they're posting.

Kristin: Is it journalism? A journalist is somebody who records history as it happens. Facebook posts do that.

Amy: It doesn't really matter if we think it's journalism. It's happening no matter what. People are going to continue conversing and sharing on FB and Twitter, etc., regardless of whether we think it's journalism or not.

Mike: In the old system of correspondence, you were a correspondent from another country and offered to write for a newspaper back home.

Sarahjane: Likes the persistence of information and the persistence of her writing online.

But bad damaging things can remain on the internet forever?

Dale: There will be more tools for reputation and brand management.

Kristin/Amy: Like with student newspaper police blotters and letters to the editor. These later come up at the top of google results. People need to then do more positive things online to improve their online reputation.

Herng: What do we think of re-enactments of news stories as is being done in South Korea? They did this with Tiger Woods.

Dale: The re-enactment piece will become less important because everything will be captured. With flip cameras and amateur technology, everything will be recorded.

Mike: What is a community going to be like if the population continues to grow the way it is?

Ranny: Community is becoming less geographic because of the Internet and technology. It's beyond ethnic, geographic. It's also interests. Your community is online.

? to Dale: Fischer has created hyperlocal blog sites. Is king interested in doing a similar thing?

Dale: I don't think the model is to take on existing ones. You should partner with good existing ones and maybe fill in the blanks.

Mike: What is going to happen if not everybody moves to the big city? Is the limited choice of what is covering your area a problem? Or could we go back to just the family?

Amy: I also worry about rural areas that don't have broadband in an increasingly online world, but I think there are many efforts to improve that.

Dale: A lot of people are isolated into communities they care about. But they self-select news and you won't get as much broad news - siloization.

Ranny: Within that community, there will be diverse views.

(Dale drew diagram of Ranny's communities and how they overlap.)

Ranny: We're all so related, we don't even realize it. Once we realize we're related, we become more compassionate about the topics we're writing about.

Mike: Proposing an idea: Just as everybody is becoming their own journalist, everybody becoming their own legislator. Abolish congress and go to plebiscite - one person one vote. If people don't pay attention to a topic, they aren't allowed to vote on it.