And in the news? The end of the news (newspapers, at least).
Syria Deeply, Beat Page of the Future
It’s an incredible idea: one site, one beat. No front page. No sports, no business or finance, anywhere. It’s called Syria Deeply.
It’s about 25% original content, written by veteran Middle East correspondent Lara Setrakian and friends. The rest is aggregated and includes interactives, maps, and contextual material aimed to catch people up on the story without pointing them off site.
From a taxonomy perspective, Syria Deeply is the opposite of most news sites. In a traditional news taxonomy, information is divided by broad topics, like World News. Each topic is divided into subsections, like the Middle East. Each subsection is then often divided into even smaller subsections, like Syria. Each section gets smaller and smaller. Topic pages live in obscure ghettos on many news websites: auto-aggregated and ugly dumping grounds for content that happens to be tagged with particular keywords.
On Syria Deeply (designed by Brock Petrie and developed by Soumyadeep Paul and Arindam Biswas, who runs Collective Zen) the topic page is the homepage. Setrakian’s hope is that this site-wide focus on a single beat will allow for deeper, more thoughtful reporting.
FJP: Looks extremely promising.
Context, context, context. Bravo.
Off Book: The Impact of Twitter on Journalism
The world of journalism has changed in the internet era. Newsrooms are significantly smaller now than they were 10 years ago, and news is no longer a once-a-day product, but instead a constant flow of information. The rise of Twitter brought concerns within the industry - would this overwhelming source of direct raw information put professional reporters out of business? Journalists are now faced with the challenge of adapting their roles in this digital era, finding new ways to add value to content, and helping to ensure that the internet is changing our worldview for the better.
Jeff Jarvis, Director, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism
Mark Luckie, Manager of Journalism & News at Twitter
Craig Kanalley, Senior Editor of Big News & Live Events at Huffington Post
Chris Anderson, Director of Research, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism
That is HuffPost’s Craig Kanalley at 2:30 in (there are, ahem, many women also with smart thoughts on Twitter and journalism, would be nice to see those voices included also, PBS offbook).
Jacobo Quintanilla (Social Innovation Fellow 2012) works with Internews supporting local media in enabling people in the midst of disasters to access the information they need and to take an active role in their own survival and recovery.
Economic commentator and author Tim Harford presented a creative, challenging perspective on financial systems, drawing upon examples from oil rig explosions to nuclear disasters to make his point. He believes that by studying the triggers of major engineering accidents, we can draw lessons on how to help prevent crises in the financial world.
Big news on the innovation front: Columbia Journalism School and Stanford’s School of Engineering are teaming up to create an Institute for Media Innovation. The Institute hopes to bridge the gap between journalism and technology and encourage collaboration between the two disciplines.
The institute, officially called the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation, is made possible by a $30 million gift from former Cosmopolitan magazine editor in chief Helen Gurley Brown in honor of her late husband. The gift will go towards funding two director roles — one in each university — as well as a physical space attached to Columbia Graduate School of Journalism complete with a high-tech newsroom. The money will also help support post-graduate fellowships and “Magic Grants” to further stimulate innovation. It is the single largest donation in the Journalism School’s history.
This is a brief screencast of Prison Valley, an interactive Web-based documentary that just won best Interactive Production in the 2011 World Press Photo multimedia contest.
No need to watch it though because what you should really do is head directly to the site and start exploring this exceptional example of multimedia storytelling.
Directed by Philippe Brault and David Dufresne, Prison Valley explores Cañon City, Colorado, a town of 36,000 people and 13 prisons, one of which is a Supermax.
From the World Press Photo jury:
This production is a magnum opus visually, conceptually and in terms of the reporting and information offered. It is also an example of immersive interactivity, where the viewer can take a journey that they control, learning new information along the way. This work should be a challenge to everyone producing non-linear multimedia to raise their standards in terms of how the technology can be utilized.
Other winners and finalists from the World Press Photo multimedia contest are here.