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.