What Journalists Can Learn from Apple’s Map Mishap

I was at a digital journalism conference when Apple released iOS6 and set off a firestorm of criticism over their custom built mapping application, so perhaps it was inevitable that I would connect these things. In fact, I have written before about how journalists can be the “information cartographers” of the digital age, mapping the ecosystem of news and helping us find our way. However, as I have been reading up on how Apple built its maps I think there are some important lessons for journalists who are thinking about data and community in important new ways. Continue reading


Why Digital Journalists Need to be Policy Wonks

For the first time, the Online News Association has dedicated a session at their conference to digital journalism and media policy. I’ll be moderating the session on Saturday morning with Alex Howard (@digiphile), Government 2.0 Correspondent, O’Reilly Media, Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor), Director, Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, and Liz Lebron (@lizlebron1), who is getting her PhD at Louisiana State University. In the end, this session is not so much about policy, but rather about the work of digital journalists today and the political issues that could foster or inhibit that work.

For a long time the firewall between the business side and the news side of media companies was seen as a critical part of journalists’ independence. However, as journalism transitions from a corporate culture to a start-up culture we’ve embraced “entrepreneurial journalism.” It has become commonplace to say that journalists need to know how to run a newsroom and how to run a business.

I would argue that as the landscape of news and technology changes journalists also need to have their finger on the pulse of public policy. Right now, media policy and digital rights debates are happening in Washington, DC, that could have huge implications on press freedom, innovation and new models for news.

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