My friend Persephone Miel came to the Berkman Center more than a year ago to take on a challenging question: What’s the future of journalism in a digital age? This is the sort of question research centers love to take on – thorny, complicated, and very important. With support from the MacArthur Foundation, Persephone and Berkman colleagues have held conferences and conversations, written papers and blogposts and ultimately released a comprehensive report from the Media Re:public project.
The video above gives a quick sense for the questions asked and (sometimes) answered in the report. The report is a set of linked documents, including an overview of Persephone’s research, papers by knowledgeable people in the field, and a set of case studies of experiments in integrating citizen media with professional journalism. My paper, “International News: Bringing about the Golden Age” wonders why the international connections possible in a digital age haven’t led to better, more compelling international news coverage. Dan Gillmor argues that new media demands a new form of literacy, for readers as well as for journalists. And Ernie Wilson raises the stakes of the debate, arguing that democracy is at risk if we don’t overcome some of the limitations and siloing we’re seeing in the early stages of new media. There’s lots of amazing stuff in the report for those interested in a skeptical, scholarly and ultimately optimistic view of news in a digital age – hope you’ll check it out.