December 19, 2007

More on Tina Brown

Just to keep you up-to-date (courtesy of the SPJ PressNotes*):
Here's the hot skinny on the queen of buzz. The amazing Tina Brown is in a newly struck, first-look deal to bring projects and story ideas to HBO, the TV network that also seems to understand "buzz" and great storytelling versus the hackneyed stuff that is on the networks. That's according to Liz Smith of the New York Post

*SPJ PressNotes is an e-mail newsletter produced every business day by the Society of Professional Journalists. It is made possible through a grant from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. Send subscription requests to

December 17, 2007

Jan Schaffer: Use Big J-ournalists wisely

I first posted this back on Nov. 23, but I am moving it into this blog.

Jan Schaffer: "Use your Big-J journalists where they can really add value. Professional journalists should focus their expertise and skills on doing investigations, identifying trends, building databases, holding public officials accountable and articulating the master narratives in their communities."

But news orgs need to think beyond employing journalists, too. Here are some of the roles Schaffer sees expanding:
  • Can do-ers "instead of those who whine about what they can't do."
  • Computer programmers to build searchable databases or news games. (Which goes great with the new program at Northwestern University to get computer folks interested in Journalism as well as the Gotham Gazette, which got a Knight News Challenge to develop games.)
  • Collaborators with "the sensibility to see the possibilities of working together instead of moving into kneejerk competitor mode."
  • News analysts to "trawl incoming information looking for Big-J opportunities."
  • Tribe expanders: "Journalism in the future will come from many places. We should contribute to the momentum of the best and most responsible efforts and recruit them for the info-structure."
I have really taken a very small part of the post by Jan, so I urge you to consult the original called Construct Your Community's Info-Structure.