The stenography ends here

A few takeaways from this morning’s presentations at the Knight Foundation meeting today in Chicago:

  1. The stenography ends here. The days of chasing cops and government down for raw data (crime blotter, etc.) to parse into 8 inch stories is coming to an end.  Everyblock and the Sunlight Foundation are a good start.  More projects that extend these efforts to get government to make raw digital data available are an essential step to newsroom reorganization.
  2. New media tools are (just?) a means to an end, but ignore the trends at your own peril. While it doesn’t matter which video platform you use to get content out into the diaspora, it matters that you understand that there are existing best practices for online video, there are independent producers of news, entertainment and information using those platforms and practices, and there are HUGE success stories already in the medium.
  3. The idea that professional journalism is the “lifeblood of democracy” could be outdated. Could be.  When the barrier to publication and communication is as low as it is today, the democratic role of things like newspapers has to evolve.  There’s a big disconnect between the necessary giant investigative award-winning reporting coming from places like the New York Times and Washington Post and the type of local investigative work that gives a community information that affects their daily lives.  They’re getting that information from many sources, and not all of them are professional capital-J Journalism.

Awesome conversations here as always. Follow some of the livetweeting if you can.

Chicago today

Sitting in a Starbuck’s after a good walk around the neighborhood, plotting to blog from my phone today if this fancy new WordPress app is up to the task.

I’ll be in the Knight Foundation sessions all day — lunchtime seems like a good time to meet up with anyone at UNITY but not in the KF sphere.

Hit me up on Twitter if you want to meet up. Maybe by 12 we’ll have a plan?

Chicago tomorrow

Later tonight, I’ll be on my way to Chicago for a Knight Foundation meeting ahead of the UNITY 2008 conference.

I’m psyched to see the News Challenge posse, but of course if you’re in town for UNITY and want to cross paths on Tuesday, drop me a line or better yet, DM me on Twitter.

So far, I’ve really enjoyed these short conferences as a way to recharge my mental batteries and throw some ideas up against various walls with some incredibly sharp thinkers.

Hoping for more of the same tomorrow.