Austin 2009‎ > ‎Convention Notes‎ > ‎

Defining What's Good in Journalism

Defining What's Good in Journalism – Neslie Tumulac
1.     Newspaper on the internet is an interim phase
a.     We’re just exploring the possibility
b.     "The NY times will be saved by Steve Jobs just like with the music industry."
c.     Mechanisms still being explored for online success
d.     "We’re in a chaotic state."
e.     There was recently a meeting at Harvard for journalism
                                               i.     Trying to figure out digital pathway for business model in journalism
2.     Need to fit media to the medium
3.     Quantity vs. quality
a.     People not as picky with quality as long as the facts are right and there's a good story to tell
b.     Some people concerned with page views
                                               i.     But some editors don't know what stories readers want
                                             ii.     Option is resorting to sensational celeb stuff for page views
1.     But not engaging audiences with journalism
                                            iii.     Q: how to balance page views with importance?
1.     Has to be a sense of mission for organization doing journalism
2.     Be quality amongst quantity
3.     Credibility needs to be the mission, focus
                                            iv.     Don’t look at stats for how popular you are, use it to find out where people are linking from, comments
1.     Hits would drive coverage if you paid attention to it
c.     Good media/journalism is like porn:
                                               i.     "Can't define it but you know it when you see it."
d.     If quality tied to medium itself à money, success, readers
4.     When you go out as a high quality journalist, you need to think of different ways to make story expand: timeline, map
a.     Important partner: Programmer journalist - someone who knows digital tools
                                               i.     Can look at data (we're getting more access to data sources)
b.     Create visually appealing animation
c.     Fuse quality of story and way of telling digitally
d.     Real journalists and story tellers can tell things that computer aggregators can't make
5.     Credibility:
a.     Show transparency—what do we not know? How do we know? Who to talk to?
                                               i.     Show pathway to increase credibility by communication
b.     People who read us define credibility
c.     Newspaper credibility = 27% in last years
d.     Think of Wikipedia and its footnotes
e.     Putting things online and links to things/sources on the web adds to credibility
f.      Credibility is something acquired over time
g.     Journalist should feel bad after doing something wrong. It’s good.
h.     If you want credibility: don't do bad journalism
i.      Having right tone in admitting your mistakes quickly helps

6.     Future of jobs: Papercuts website shows layoffs (
a.     This is a historic transformation of media
b.     Need to know audio/video
c.     If you want a job in future need to know more: video, audio, writing, photo...
d.     Sources: free PDF - 2.0 journalism, Mark Briggs book
e.     Programs: NYU - studio 20 mater's program
                                               i.     New media program
                                             ii.     Project based
                                            iii.     Focuses on specific media projects
                                            iv.     "Cutting edge" for pulling in different talents
7.     How to define good journalism –
a.     Needs:
                                               i.     Authenticity
                                             ii.     Compelling
                                            iii.     Fairness
                                            iv.     Engaging
                                             v.     Objectivity
                                            vi.     Accuracy
                                          vii.     Transparency
                                         viii.     Interactivity
b.    Three parts journalists don't usually get (
                                               i.     Long standing facts
                                             ii.     How journalists know what they know
                                            iii.     What we don't know
c.     Also necessary:
                                               i.     Need sense of urgency
                                             ii.     Identify clear standards
                                            iii.     Communicate confidence in times of uncertainty
d.     New journalism
                                               i.     "We’re in an era of creative destruction"
e.     SMART goals
                                               i.     Specific
                                             ii.     Measurable
                                            iii.     Attainable
                                            iv.     Relevant
                                             v.     Time-bound
f.      How:
                                               i.     Praise progress
                                             ii.     Correct misguided attempts
                                            iii.     Find teachable moments
g.     GOAL: get your news organization consistently producing GOOD media. Get going:
                                               i.     Urgency
                                             ii.     Create a vision
                                            iii.     Communicate that vision
                                            iv.     Empower others to act on vision
                                             v.     Identify and capitalize on short-term wins
                                            vi.     Institutionalize new approaches (culture eats strategy for lunch)
Taylor Chin,
Dec 11, 2009, 9:18 PM