Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Worldwide, news publishers face a “platform reset”
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Articles by Jan Schaffer

Jan Schaffer, is executive director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism at the American University School of Communication. Previously, she was business editor and a Pulitzer Prize winner at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
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“By reaching out with targeted calls for information and keeping the conversation going, these journalists created stories that were deeply informed by their audiences — and that wouldn’t have happened without those interchanges.”
“Simply put: civic journalism worked. Readers and viewers got it. We learned that if you deliberately build in simple ways for people to participate — in community problems or elections — many will engage.”
“Let’s stop the handwringing about losses in legacy journalism and work on creating and growing the next acts in media.”
“When you start creating more local content, the audience expects that content to be better.”
Montclair State’s Center for Cooperative Media is betting there are returns on getting newspapers, broadcasters, bloggers, and wire services all in the same building.
The St. Louis Beacon is one of the nation’s most prominent local news nonprofits. St. Louis Public Radio has a substantial audience. What can they do together?
Can Oregon Public Broadcasting, working with local newspapers, TV and radio stations, and bloggers, make a substantial state news report in the face of cutbacks elsewhere?
The executive director of J-Lab says it’s time for news to move from a commodity to a catalyst for empowering citizens.
“The opportunities are wide open for connecting silos of information in communities, amplifying good stories that people want to know about and for leveraging resources so that the sum of the efforts is bigger than the individual contributions.”