This month’s Carnival of Journalism asks what steps can be taken to increase the number of news sources.
The question takes it cue from the Knight Foundation’s 15 recommendations on the news and information needs of communities.
By doing this, j-schools are filling the gap left by shrinking newsrooms. However, this only addresses part of the issue.
The challenge is not just to increase the number of news sources, but to help communities navigate news and information that is networked and distributed.
Such an approach recognises that journalism has become ambient. As I wrote in a recent paper:
Journalism, which was once difficult and expensive to produce, today surrounds us like the air we breathe. Much of it is, literally, ambient, and being produced by professionals and citizens. The challenge going forward is helping the public negotiate and regulate this flow of awareness information, facilitating the collection, transmission and understanding of news.
There is a role for journalism schools to act as news hubs, to bring together and curate information flows in their around communities.
Additionally, j-schools can develop as centres of innovation and experimentation, tapping into the resources within the university and beyond, to work on new ways to help communities find the news and information they need.
The way forward is recognising that the media has become a space shared by professional journalists and citizens and coming up with ideas that take advantage of our mixed media ecosystem.
(Photo courtesy of Kris Krug)