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Bill Densmore

David Simon: Why journalism matters

Please take five minutes to read the story at the link below. It is why many journalists do what they do. We ought to make sure more Americans know it. And we all need to care about it. Because if we don't, someday one of us will be ensnared in some inpenetrable cloud of government bureaucracy, violence or malfeasance - and there will be no one there to help us. Here's the link, to a piece by David Simon, author of "The Wire":

Readings from Bill Densmore

  • Aaron Sorkin, the TV and movie ("The Social Network") script writer, is part of the reason why I have been helping with JTM-Denver. To read why, GO HERE.

  • "The discussion we should be having is how better to build valuable relationships of trust with people as people, not masses, and then how to exploit that value to support the work they want us to do. We can't force them to do what we want anymore. For now, media are voluntary," writes CUNY professor Jeff Jarvis at the end of his critical blog post this week:
  • In mid-February the Poynter Institute's website carried a detailed report on the Rocky Mountain news ecosystem after the loss of the RMN:

  • Sarah van Gelder, co-founder and executive editor of YES! magazine, has recorded a 10-minute TED-talk on appreciative journalism. Peggy Holman writes she was particularly intrigued by the "appreciative questions" Sarah suggests we ask: What's possible now? What matters most? What's working? Who's leading? How do we get to the root issues? What would happen if this change took hold? Here's the video: []

Exorcising Journalism: News, Outrage, Passion & Purpose?

In Aug. 2011, when we first began thinking about what would become "Journalism is Dead; Long Live Journalism," I wrote this:

"Journalism as we knew it for decades is dead. But something else is beating strong. You find it amid the ruins, the tragedies and the miracles after the Joplin tornado. It's fed by moral outrage, tenacious muckraking and compassionate caring. It will endure the loss of 33,000 paid pratictioners, shrinking newsrooms and faded aspirations. Because it is part of the human spirit to verify gossip, to tell the story, to stick up for the little guy and to see injustice corrected.

"What is the essential spirit, call and evidence of the values, principles and purposes of journalism. Does it need a new name? Who keeps the flame, and how?

"We considering calling the gathering: "Exorcising Journalism: News, Outrage, Passion & Purpose," designed to reawaken the spirit that has driven reporters from Plato to Woodward to Bartlett to Assange -- the passion the drives them to tell of stories that matter. We might ask: Which stories matter, and why? Who can tell them? What help do they really need? Our goal could be to leave with a new roadmap for journalism that is at once more focused yet more inclusive, that goes beyond any particular medium to focus back on the message."