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102 burning questions: What we bring to JTM-Poynter March 1-4






Each of the participants in "Adapting Journalists (and Journalism) to the New News Ecology," at signup, was asked to propose a key question or observation that would inform our before, during and after-event discussion March 1-4, 2009 at The Poynter Institute. Here they are. For participants conducting "paired interviews," consider using some of these questions as conversation starters. What can you bring from your experience, in terms of best practices or resources, to help answer some of these questions. To add a resource, answer or link, go to THE RESOURCE PAGE.

1. #Where are the new places within the public sphere in which the values, purposes and techniques of journalism can thrive and contribute? (See: NEW SPHERES FOR JOURNALISTS?)

2. #I'm interested in brainstorming with people who care about the continued existence of a free press

3. #What new revenue models and online ad methodologies should we be pursuing?

4. #Why aren't news organizations, newspapers in particular, marketing themselves more creatively? Is there another internal structure that would allow news organizations, newspapers in particular, to function in a less divisive, more coordinated manner while still preserving some of the traditional safeguards between departments? And my biggie: What are newspapers doing to reach, in a deliberate and holistic way, tomorrow's paying customers -- children under age 14 -- today?

5. #As a fledgling news paper and website, we are constantly asking what our business model should be. We have been investigating working as a cooperative? We are committed to retaining editorial control of our content without influence from financial providers.

6. #What are the cutting edge models for monetizing news? Like most journalists, I still have questions regarding sustainability and I would like to offer recommendations I have found to work, and to hear other journalists and community members on the best way to make sites even more effective for citizens in difficult economic times.

7. #How can I have myself be prepared to the double challenges which a minority print media worker will face.

8. #I am developing a course on "New roles in Journalism" and I want to talk about this topic. I am also looking for a business model to help support and look for some new ideas along those lines.

9. #Our purblications are morphing from print news weeklies to online dailies with video and podcasting content, with interactive features. What's upcoming in the industry that we need to be prepared for? And how does our company make money from it?

10. #How can the Media Bloggers Association help with things like legal support services, liability insurance and media credentials?

11. #What steps are various media organizations taking in the transition to digital?

12. #How do we capture the attention of the younger generation despite the information saturation that characterizes the digital age we've grown up in?

13. #Which areas of society can benefit the most from participatory media, and how do we reach them?

14. #How can we as journalists provide people with new tools to build stronger, healthier communities?

15. #How can we make the Daily Planet more interactive and participatory? What kind of organizational structure and culture do we need to foster more participation? How do we reconcile - or balance - an open-source culture with high standards of fairness and accuracy?

16. #Can we be a tool for / partner with community organizations, and still cover them?

17. #If foundations, individual donors and advertising won't generate enough revenue, how can we stay in business?

18. #What does it mean to be a community columnist in the context of community journalism? Do I get off the soabpox or invite more people up here with me? How do I generate community discussion to take advantage of these new, interactive community fora?

19. #I've got a small raft of dedicated journalists. What am I sailing them into?

20. #I would like to be able to provide journalism (and other communication) students with more information about where the business will go from here. I believe the news media, and especially print, serves a crucial function in the community and I want to hear what others say about the future of both the news media and a function democracy. I would also like to learn how we, as instructors, can restructure the learning experience to more adequately prepare students.

21. #The one that's at the core of this conference -- what is the future of the "professional" journalist!

22. #I hope to hear about how educators can update their "old media"-based curricula, using scarce resources and limited access to cutting-edge equipment.

23. #Digital journalism and citizen reporting are GLOBAL phenomena. How can we deploy best practices and best tools in new forms of journalism to promote democracy and freedom in oppressed societies? How new technologies can bring objective and up-to-date information about the rest of the world to the people in the United States? How can we make sure that digital journalism is hyperlocal and superglobal at the same time?

24. #Why has it taken so long for folks in the print business to realize how much their readers' habits have changed and to DO something about it?

25. #I'm interested in: 1) the delineation between the network affiliates, independents, and citizen journalists, 2) equal access to public figures, 3) ability to stop mainstream media's encroachment upon independents' work, and 4) outlets for politically incorrect journalism.

26. #I am particularly interested in the resurgence of local watchdog journalism in the age of new media. My newspaper's watchdog team is focused on marrying print and web resources to solicit reader involvement in our investigations of local issues. I want to learn more about how other newspapers are focusing attention on consumer issues and how they are inviting readers to participate in the reporting process.

27. #It’s less about questions and more about conversations. As a freelance writer I am constantly talking to several editors, writers, videographers, etc. ultimately compiling a 360-degree view of journalism today.

28. #Like most people, we are looking for insights into what the business model might need to look like in order to self-sustain.

29. #Is ethical investigative journalism possible and profitable in this economic atmosphere? How can we show journalists that it is ok to seek projects that make money?

30. #What can we do to make sure journalism remains vital and hard-hitting in these scary times? How do we encourage entrepreneurial thinking that doesn't sell out the mission? What are other people thinking and doing? What can I tell my students?

31. #I've just started a new blog,, and am especially interested in emerging economic models for news.

32. #How do we tell stories differently - and better - as staffs and resources shrink? How do we maintain our reporting standards but embrace change? How do we re-invent the newsroom to allow people to be creative and productive - without frustration and burnout? How do we triage when to use - or not use - new technologies?

33. #I'd like to learn more about search engine optimization and social networking, and attempt to incorporate these things into my own personal blog, in an attempt to expand the types of things I'm writing about, and the types of things I'm capable of doing. I also think these things will be useful in applying for new media jobs in the future.

34. #How the changes in media and journalism that this meeting will explore should be reflected upon, change and shape strategies of media assistance work.

35. #Who else is working on piloting 'public newsrooms' in local communities?

36. #I have two main purposes for attending. First, of course, is to get ideas for what we can be doing journalistically as an organization. Almost as important, however, is to better prepare our younger journalists to survive in this industry.

37. #How can journalism be supported and maintained in the new news ecology.

38. #Will citizen journalism (and nonprofits like ours) step in to fill the void being left by the cutbacks at newspapers and traditional media? Who will have credibility in the eyes of the public in the new news environment -- mainstream media that is dying, hyperlocal startups, citizen journalists, bloggers?

39. #Will there be a further blurring of the line between "news" and commentary as the public becomes more dependent on individual bloggers and citizen journalists, who may or may not have a point of view in their work?

40. #Will it be worth it anymore to be a journalist? Does the public even really need us as much as we think they do?

41. #How do we do a better job of integrating the multimedia experience -- coordinating data, video, audio, text, maps...? How do we find people that bridge the creativity/technology gap?

42. #Funding models, training, defining the new idiom of online news, distribution, etc.

43. #How can established journalism organizations form partnerships with emerging community news organizations and journalism entrepreneurs?

44. #I want to learn where journalism is headed, what our students should be able to do -- and what they will need to be able to do to make their stories international and professional over the next 10 years.

45. #I'm especially interested in the intersection between journalism and tech. I don't buy the argument that the Internet is killing journalism, but I do think that there's a cultural mismatch between journalism and the 'net. This gulf needs to be bridged to help journalism adapt to this new media landscape.

46. #I am keenly interested in sharing and gathering ideas from other media practitioners as to what might be best to focus our efforts on in terms of topics and storytelling.

47. #I wonder about the form that quality journalism will take -- particularly in smaller communities that don't have a huge audience. The question is this: who will pay for local news?

48. #How to build sustainable, strategic alliances to present solid, reliable, interactive information on important topics?

49. #I want to known what I missing or gain any extra information that will help me find a job.

50. #I would like to learn about and explore new tools, approaches, organizations and jobs for producing "journalism that matters." I would like to walk away with some concrete ideas and plans for developing real projects/organizations for the new news ecology, and hopefully develop a network of people who want collaborate toward a new journalism.

51. #What's the newest tool and/or trend? Does it have enough users to persuade advertising department or top management level to spend budget to adopt? Should I wait to adopt new trend until some one prove it's worth? How can newsroom adopt new technology and new trend to non-tech people? How can we collaborate traditional news and new trend?

52. #What am I supposed to tell my students?!?!

53. #How can journalism remain relevant and important in the digital age? What are the steps that today's journalist must take in order to respond to the needs of a diverse, younger and more technologically savvy public?

54. #Can this emerging new news landscape -- which will be (at least for a few years) smaller than what we've had -- still be able to fulfill journalism's watchdog role and support investigative reporting? How can we get alternative funding sources to support news mission while we go through the transition and before replacements for newspapers can grow to be sustainable and profitable enterprises?

55. #I need to have a better working knowledge of the technology that is out there and what initiatives are already in place. I also need to know whether the technology is replacing the emphasis on quality journalism and how we can keep that all in perspective.

56. #can I make my skills the best?

57. #What direction is the profession/industry going in and how can I help my students prepare?

58. #How can coverage of minority communities and local communities be preserved with the decline of local news organizations? - Will new models of journalism have room for independent voices - such as ethnic media?

59. #If the push is on for endowing news operations such as the New York Times, where does that leave local papers such as the Seattle P-I?

60. #Are the old orthodoxies around journalistic purity (ie no outside connections) dead when journalists can't make enough money as journalists anymore? Where are the new lines?

61. #How can citizens encourage the "TAO of Journalism" -- (Transparency, Accountability and Openness) and help promote high journalistic standards of fairness, accuracy and ethics in the new news ecology, no matter what the means of delivery?

62. #What roles can bloggers play in the new news ecology, and how do we break down the resistance of traditional news media managers to the participation of information creators from outside their newsrooms?

63. #Is there interest within the journalism community to create a different narrative, or is the energy just about the business model and the future of journalism? What is a new narrative, other than a good news story which has no power?

64. #To me, "journalism that matters" is financially sustainable. What does that look like on a small, medium and large scale?

65. #I'm hoping to speak to other professionals about how journalists negotiate their identities in this changing time. How do we re-invent ourselves - do we blog, do we embrace the internet to keep our readers?

66. #I'd like to see how others are re-enacting journalism's core goals in the context of modern networked and social communications platforms.

67. #What's new and shows signs of working.

68. #What are the developed nations doing to make journalism a safe profession for upcoming journalists from the political aggression and oppression we current face in Third World countries?

69. #How the shift of journalism to online world will change the jobs on journalism, and how the shift changes the practices and norms in journalism, and how could I as a journalist make by best in this huge transformation.

70. #How do we engage people interested in journalism so they can help identify and address the challenges we face helping them stay informed?

71. #What kind of future is there for "pro-am" journalists, and can they act as a significant counterweight to government and other powerful interests? What do such journalists need to succeed, and how can Poynter Online reach them? How can news organizations offer tools to help citizens make decisions and learn about their communities?

72. #Tradition versus Modern techniques. What kind of blends work well for others? The next layer--what will it be?

73. #What are the best ways of adapting personally to a new media landscape?

74. #With newspapers all over the country closing or being sold, the future of print media seems bleak. Is there any hope of revival? Do we let the printed word fall by the wayside or do we find a way to integrate it into a new, truly, multi-media landscape?

75. #What is the role of the new media journalist in terms of fostering audience generated content? New media certainly makes the flow of information far more "two-way" than was possible before, so how much of a role does the citizen journalist play in the new landscape and how does it affect the role of the traditional journalist?

76. #What are current best practices in web editing? What types of content work best on the web? How do you best organize a staff of print and web editors? By skillset or beat? How do you convince traditional print writers and editors that the web is not a dumping ground for extra content and is where we should devote our best content? How do you manage the balance of the new commercial demands of the web (custom content, microsites, video skillsets) without hiring an entire new staff?

77. #What is the future of the for-profit model of journalism?

78. #How can media organizations embrace new media alternatives without undermining their bottom line?

79. #Is the way in which individuals obtain political information from new media alternatives different than the classic print/ radio/ television triumvirate?

80. #What are the democratic implications of a collapse of traditional media outlets?

81. #How can we better engage younger generations in the consumption of hard news?

82. #Are soft news options a gateway toward hard news consumption?

83. #Is the so-called separation of church and state, or the wall between editorial and news, and editorial and advertising, outdated?

84. #What becomes of journalism as news organizations increasingly identify themselves as mere "information" companies?

85. #What are the pitfalls of emerging non-profit models for journalism?

86. #Will the continued collapse of news companies be treated nationally as a social problem or even a governing or national security problem?

87. #Can online information be "monetized" in a way that will pay for robust, professional journalism for the next generation?

88. #What impact is newsroom downsizing having on diversity and what steps can be taken to insure that the media reflect the nation's diversity?

89. #How can Web technologies be used to enhance journalism's traditional role as the fourth estate?

90. #How can those who do the important work of journalism keep earning a fair living while performing this essential service?

91. #How can journalism leave the ad-based model yet still raise the necessary capital to invest in long term investigative projects?

92. #How can we convince the public that good journalism is necessary and worth paying for in some way?

93. #How can journalists trained in news gathering but not technology learn the multimedia skills necessary to convey important stories?

94. #What new skills do I need in the new news ecology? What other venues would be a good fit for my work? What new forms will this work take?

95. #I would like to hear the opinions of others - especially in the US - on where they see the journalists of the future working. As papers die, and broadcast departments are cut, (and we are not shielded in Canada) I'd like to know where I can concentrate my efforts. I'll move anywhere I need to, but it seems so chaotic and gloomy, that what I'd really like is some direction (and maybe some inspiration to keep going!)

96. #As ad revenue declines and local media contracts, many smart people are attempting to fill the local and hyperlocal news gap using interactive media. Which OTHER areas do media professionals see as opportunities for innovation in response to the situation?

97. #Would news organizations be willing to outsource pieces of the journalistic process to readers if they could - and if so, which parts lend themselves to distributed, crowdsourced production?

98. #The questions are always the same: How do we move forward? I hope we obtain concrete ways to keep journalism a vital part of the democratic process. 99. #How will we maintain quality reporting in digital era? How will we find funding to nurture in-depth reporting?

100. #We're accustomed to a competitive media landscape. What's the role of collaboration and cooperation in the emerging online media world? We're used to being the source of all news, but now our audiences can be very effective sources as well. How do we redefine our role as "news organizations" in that context?

101. #Our historical view of media and journalism is likely blinding us to many new opportunities afforded by ubiquitous digital media. How can we shift our thinking enough to see the possibilities?

102. #What money-making business can news publishing companies be in? Are we finding that content is simply not worth that much? So does the future means fewer people getting paid to gather it? Go local has been a rallying cry for some time now. Is that just another fad too? If your business is hyper local content that means your advertisers are probably hyperlocal too? Can they pony up the bucks? And if everyone is hyperlocal, who does national and international? Is it just AP? Can the big papers (NYT, Wash Post, etc) still play in those games? Instead of reporters going international, are we instead going to aggregate foreign news content from the top European newspapers, translate it add a couple of paragraphs to give the story context for American readers?...and bingo - we have a foreign news source that is unbeatable?