Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Facebook’s attempts to fight fake news seem to be working. (Twitter’s? Not so much.)
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
June 24, 2013, 12:27 p.m.

Homicide Watch’s Laura Amico: Journalism needs to be more like jazz, embracing improvisation

“Journalists must, I believe, be more agile, more open, more listening, and more willing to work as teams, take chances and improvise, if they are to succeed.”

You probably know Laura Amico from her leadership of Homicide Watch D.C. and Glass Eye Media, its parent company. The site’s model — the structured coverage of all homicides, from crime to arrest to trial — is an inspirational model for covering crime specifically, but also for rethinking beat coverage more broadly.

Laura’s been here at Harvard for the past year as a Nieman-Berkman Fellow, and as a capper on her experience, she gave a talk at Harvard Law on the intersection of jazz and journalism — or, more specifically, how improvisation should play a role in the creation, distribution, and support of news. Here’s Laura:

Improvisation theories, drawn mostly from jazz, have increasingly been applied to entrepreneurship, new product development, and other fields, but rarely, if ever, to journalism. Yet journalism is an industry built on improvisation, from the actions of reporters out in the field, to the deadline work of editors and page designers. More than that, it is an industry that needs a new framework in order to survive. Journalists must, I believe, be more agile, more open, more listening, and more willing to work as teams, take chances and improvise, if they are to succeed.

It’s an engaging discussion and worth a watch.

POSTED     June 24, 2013, 12:27 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
 
Join the 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Facebook’s attempts to fight fake news seem to be working. (Twitter’s? Not so much.)
Plus: How YouTubers spread far-right beliefs (don’t just blame algorithms), and another cry for less both-sides journalism.
Public or closed? How much activity really exists? See how other news organizations’ Facebook Groups are faring
We analyzed the data of groups as large as 40,000 members and as small as 300, from international organizations to local publishers. How does yours fit in?
Here’s what the Financial Times is doing to get bossy man voice out of (okay, less prominent in) its opinion section
“She wrote a fabulous piece that did incredibly well and I think there’s no way on earth that (a) she would have submitted or (b) it would have run, before we started this stuff. It got more than double the usual number of pageviews for an opinion piece.”