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RJI tests great ideas in experiments in its own Futures Lab and Techology Testing Center and in real-world settings.

A Texas-sized garbage patch in the Pacific? How to pay a journalist to report the story.

By Alecia Swasy on August 1, 2010 0 Comments News

When freelance journalist Lindsey Hoshaw decided to pursue a story on a growing garbage pile floating in the Pacific Ocean 1,000 miles northeast of Hawaii, she knew she would need some cash to pay for the trek. She turned to Spot.Us, a website started by journalist David Cohn. The site posts story pitches and invites readers to pick their favorite ideas and pledge contributions to fund the work.

Spot.Us goes national, gets Clay Shirky as sponsor

Community-funded Journalism, David Cohn

Anyone that has followed Spot.Us from the beginning knows we've tried to remain iterative and agile. In the earlier stages of Spot.Us I thought this was one of the larger lessons for journalism-entrepreneurs. I went through the iterative and agile process and tried to document it so others could repeat. I hope to continue this tradition as I get ready for an academic fellowship at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. Indeed, the heart of this post addresses two features of Spot.Us (expansion and community-focused sponsorships) which will be my focus while in Missouri.

Debunking the replacement myth

By Michele McLellan on July 26, 2010 0 Comments News

The tired idea that born-on-the-Web news sites will replace traditional media is wrong-headed, and it’s past time that academic research and news reports reflect that.

Categorizing what works—so we can apply those lessons to future endeavors

Community news sites, Block by block community news summit, Michele McLellan

As journalism heads into digital territory, an exploration of online news sites reveals 100 that offer promising pathways.

iPad poses challenges for publishers

iPad, Roger Fidler, E-Reader

The long-anticipated era of the utilitarian tablet finally arrived on April 3, 2010. What Apple has wrought with its iPad is the first wireless, touch-screen tablet computer designed for non-techies.

Part 4 - Toward sustainability

By Michele McLellan on June 22, 2010 0 Comments News

About half of the for-profit local online new sites in our survey made a profit last year. Despite challenges, most local online news publishers are optimistic that their sites will be sustainable.

In our April-May survey of 66 publishers whose sites are on our list of promising sites, we found that:

Part 3 - Revenue streams

By Michele McLellan on June 15, 2010 0 Comments News

Local online news publishers rely most heavily on advertising for site revenue. But many lack the time or expertise to develop strong advertising programs.

Our survey asked 66 local publishers whose sites qualified for our list of promising ones to identify their sources of revenue and estimate the percentage they take in for each source.

Part 2 – Community drives mission

By Michele McLellan on June 8, 2010 0 Comments News

Online community news publishers say enabling comments on stories and blogs is the best way to engage community around their content.

“Those conversations drive what is important to us,” said Polly Kreisman, an Emmy-winning broadcast journalist who founded The Loop NY in Larchmont, N.Y. “That’s one of the reasons you want to build community. They help drive what your mission is. We’re not the voice of God. We give them the platform.”

Part 1 - Bloggers no more

By Michele McLellan on June 1, 2010 0 Comments News

We asked online local news publishers to describe their biggest challenges. Said one: “The word BLOG!!!”

Indeed. In a world that still often pits bloggers (cast as low credibility) against journalists (cast as high credibility, public opinion notwithstanding), community news publishers occupy a new space – they’re often journalists producing local news online often in partnership with members of their communities.

Michele's list: Promising local news sites

By Michele McLellan on June 1, 2010 2 Comments News

These are exciting, chaotic times for online news. Many startup news outlets come and go, but others are moving forward, learning and growing.

Journalism accelerator

By Lisa Skube on June 1, 2010 0 Comments News

Imagine a Swiss Army tool that could slice, dice and splice the chaotic environment journalism finds itself. It’s not a Large Hadron Collider, but it is an online framework with promise to accelerate journalistic particles by several orders of magnitude.

RJI student winners visit Adobe, tour Silicon Valley

By Mike McKean on May 24, 2010 0 Comments News
RJI Hearst Innovation Student Competition

Three teams of students showcased their work to managers and software engineers at Adobe Systems in San Francisco last week as part of their reward for winning the third annual RJI Interaction Design Competition.

Teams Solve Real-World Problems for Hearst

By RJI on May 5, 2010 0 Comments News
RJI Hearst Innovation Student Competition

It wasn’t an easy choice for the innovation team from Hearst Corporation, one of the nation’s largest diversified media companies. Pick the project that could generate significantly more advertising revenue for photo galleries, already one of the most popular features on news web sites? Or go with the entry that offers a new way for news providers to strengthen relationships with their audiences?

Hearst Corporation, Reynolds Journalism Institute and Adobe

Source Bloomberg on May 5, 2010 0 Comments News
RJI Student Competition, Mike McKean,  Hearst Corporation, Adobe,

Hearst Corporation's Innovation group, the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and Adobe Systems Inc. today announced the two winning teams in a student competition to produce interactive applications that solve real-world needs in the advertising or news-gathering sides of the journalism industry. The winning designs are Ads with Photo Galleries, by Akshay Dave, Brent Davidson, Adam Falk, Daniel Maxon and Amit Vyawahare; and the Interactive Consumer Recommendation Engine, by Esten Hurtle, Ryan Martin, Justin Myers and Allan Vestal.

Comments: An opportunity for journalists?

By Michele McLellan on May 1, 2010 0 Comments News

A person in my world thought my coming back to graduate school to study journalism was a questionable career move. Especially with gasp the ‘dismal’ state of the newspaper industry.

All the world's a museum ... And the information may be as close as your cell phone

Source News Tribune on April 28, 2010 0 Comments News

The idea arrived the way many ideas do: Clyde Bentley, a professor of journalism at the University of Missouri, was taking an outdoors stroll through a Columbia park.

Local news sites: Building community through common experiences

By Michele McLellan on April 28, 2010 0 Comments News

Michele McLellan' final presentation

Panel: Law and ethics in a changing media ecosystem

By Bill Densmore on April 21, 2010 0 Comments News

This panel looks at the challenges, both legal and journalistic, facing journalism ventures that seek to build and maintain online communities, from article comments to community forums and blogs. Including the role of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, dealing with and protecting anonymous commenters, and concerns regarding defamation and privacy.

Five takeaways from “Going mobile: How newspapers can meet the cell phone challenge”

Clyde Bentley, Donald W. Reynolds fellow, mobile journalism

Monday’s conference at Reynolds Journalism Institute is an immersion course in explosion in mobile news. Here are my takeaways:

RJI Interactive Design Competition featured on Adobe TV

By RJI on April 6, 2010 0 Comments News
RJI Hearst Innovation Student Competition

A partner in the 2009-2010 RJI Student Competition, Adobe created this video for Adobe TV featuring Mizzou faculty and students.