The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Sep 13, 2012

Exploring what’s next in local news

Posted by John Bracken

Photo credit: Flickr user Eole 

This evening, we’re gathering 19 leading journalists, technologists and civic innovators in New Orleans to explore what’s next in local news. We’ll be focussing on what a local news organization designed today for 2013 would look like.

This meeting builds on convenings we held we held each of the last two years.  In 2010, we brought together the growing group of startup news organizations and we gathered a smaller group last year.  Over time, we’ve all learned a good deal about what does and does not work with local projects in the digital age.

We’ve organized this meeting because we see an opportunity to step back and focus more broadly on what’s missing, the needs and opportunities, and what we can build. Evan Smith, the founder and editor of the Texas Tribune, will kick things off with a talk Thursday night. Katie Zhu will be reporting on the proceedings. We plan to share some of what we learned later this month. We hope to emerge from the meeting with a set of ideas for future exploration, and with blueprints around which someone could build a local news initiative.

One thing to note: this is not a meeting about New Orleans. Knight Foundation has been involved in several projects in New Orleans - most notably  The Lens, which was funded through the Knight Community Information Challenge. We also participated in  a Lens-organized panel on news innovation last month. We decided to hold the meeting here because we know how passionate New Orleanians are about their community and their news.  

Stay tuned for the report and ideas from the meeting. We look forward to continuing the conversation in the months ahead.

By Knight Foundation’s John Bracken, director journalism/media innovation and Chris Sopher, journalism program associate

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