Posts about events

Come reinvent TV news

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We’re going to reinvent TV news at CUNY on Sept. 19. Or rather, you will.

Do you have a wild vision for what TV news could or should be? Send it our way and you would win $1,000 and present your idea to an audience of TV people and TV disruptors at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism on Sept. 19.

You’ll be joining some innovators we know and have invited to the event to present their visions for TV’s possibilities: The conditions for everyone: You can’t present anything you’ve already done. You have to show something you (or your organizations) haven’t had the guts to do.

Your presentation could be how to summarize the news in 3 minutes better than TV does now in 22. It could be rethinking those never-ending weather reports with the brevity and informative value of Forecast.io. It could be making assets of value like backgrounders and explainers instead of just filling time. It could be rethinking the talk show to make it productive. It could be rethinking the sports report or the predictable sports interview. The presentation could be a few minutes of video or a storyboard or a sketch on a whiteboard; it’s the vision we care about — not the production value. The audience will be TV people — whose minds should be blown — and innovators — who should be inspired with new ideas, new possibilities.

Among those we’ve invited who are scheduled to come: Tim Pool of Vice; Fred Graver, creator of Best Week Ever on VH1, now handling TV matters at Twitter; Merope Mills, the new head of video at the Guardian; the folks at Fusion; Katie Couric and her new digital crew at Yahoo; Tom Keene at Bloomberg; Robert King, head of news at ESPN, and more.

The day won’t be about bashing TV news. I’ve already done that. No, this is about possibilities. We will concentrate on what TV can do well and about innovation. We will also explore the business of TV news and the reasons why this medium is ready to follow newspapers and magazines into the giant maw of disruption. Finally, it’s time to challenge the orthodoxies of TV news and rethink the form.

So if you have an idea for a way to reinvent TV news — a new method, a new segment, a new show, a new site or service — summarize it here. You could win $1,000 and and the chance to show it to people who might help make it happen.

If you’re interested in coming to the event, sign up here for updates and we’ll let you know when invitations open up. Also sign up there to get a reminder so you can watch the event on a live stream or afterwards on video.

This is the beginning of a crusade at the Tow-Knight Center and CUNY, where we are also starting a course this fall in reinventing TV news. Expect to hear much more on the topic from us.

Calling all entrepreneurial journalism profs

If you teach or soon plan to teach entrepreneurial journalism, the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism — my colleague Jeremy Caplan and I — invite you to attend a day-long summit at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York on July 10.

Our small, new field has grown like weeds. Dozens of journalism schools and foundations are now training and supporting the next generation of media leaders to report, edit, close sales, capture audiences, and run businesses. Our goal is to enable those of you who’ve pioneered these efforts — as well as those just getting into the field — to share best practices and common challenges.

We plan to invite an expert from entrepreneurial education in another field to speak, and ask some of our former students to discuss their experience starting up companies. But on the whole, the day is about your lessons learned, concerns, and needs — and to see whether and how we should collaborate as a group in the future.

Please register here if you plan to attend, or aren’t sure yet, but want to reserve a place. If you cannot attend, we will plan to stream the event and actively involve remote participants in the discussion. Watch this space.

Craig ‘n’ me

I just found out that Craig Newmark will lead the discussion at my book event this Thursday in San Francisco at Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., at 730p. So don’t come for me. Come for Craig!

The night before, I’ll also be doing a talk and signing at Books Inc. in Mountain View, 301 Castro St., at 730.

And for Googlers, I’ll be in a book event at Google on Wednesday at 1pm.

NOTE: I had the wrong address earlier for Booksmith. It’s 1644 Haight.

Planning an event on curating news

Mindy McAdams does a wonderful job extending the definition and discussion of curation in the journalistic sense. It’s a word I’ve used a lot lately because I think it well describes the key role for journalists in a world of links and networks, selecting and organizing the best reports and best reporters. Mindy breaks out these roles: 1. Selection of the best representatives. 2. Culling. 3. Provide context. 4. Arrangement of individual objects. 5. Organization of the whole. 6. Expertise. 7. Updating.

I’m planning to hold an event at CUNY on curation and journalism (no date set; just planning). I will have a museum curator there and someone who curates events — any other ideas — with an editor and a link bloggers to compare worldviews and help illuminate this function in journalism.

I think it’s important now to bring in people from other disciplines to listen to their worldview of news and journalism and how they would go about it (and in many cases are going about it). At the New Business Models for News Summit, Tom Evslin made a point of saying he’s not a journalist and then did a wonderful job presenting network economics in a way that opened many eyes. At Davos last January, I ran a session with newspaper editors and technology CEOs (John Chambers, Reid Hoffman, Joe Schoendorf) who slapped the Eeyoreing editors out of their funk and made them see the opportunities they have.

Yesterday, I had coffee with Jay Rosen talking about his exciting (if competitive) Studio 20 program at NYU. As he gave his vision of how his students and their partners would work together on a big project, I said I thought it sounded a lot like agile development in technology and it occurred to me that such a developer could advise the project.

We’ve had too few new perspectives in journalism over the years because we thought our method was set. But today, as journalism changes or tries to, those new perspectives would be invaluable. So what would you add to the list here — curators, technologists, technology executives, agile developers…. Who else would have a valuable perspective on how the functions of news? Teachers, now that we have to be more generous sharing knowledge? Artists on creativity? Meeting facilitators on bringing out a group’s ideas? Hostage negotiators in negotiating? Researchers in navigating the value of peer review? Restaurateurs in gauging taste? Hoteliers in making strangers comfortable? Retailers in creating navigation? Cops in handling trolls? Who else?

They all know news. They were all what we used to call consumers. Some of them even write today. Journalism is in their hands. So I think it would do journalists a world of good to hear how they view news.