Platforms for Journalists

Friday, February 5, 2016 - 17:00
Mon, 02/01/2016 to Mon, 02/08/2016

In the readings and in class this week we discussed how journalists usually participate on one side of two-sided networks -- they try to connect with the most readers they can. Increasingly, we are seeing the news delivered by a small number of increasingly important platforms -- places that journalists can post their content (like Facebook) that also attract a larger number of readers.

One view of the news industry is that news organizations are becoming platforms for individual journalists to reach an audience (Mele and Wihbey, Neiman Labs). Organizations mostly try to get as many quality journalists talking to as many readers (or viewers or listeners) as possible by making it easy for both sides to participate.

Alternatively, the assigned reading from Bleicher at Neiman Labs argues the opposite view: that news organizations are moving away from becoming generic platforms, and instead are increasingly focusing on the curation aspects of their work: deciding what is newsworthy and what isn't.

For this week, find a news organization that you think exemplifies one view or the other. Look around at a number of different news organizations, and examine each of them to see how they interact with the journalists who work for them. But only choose one. Write an essay that clearly describes how that news organization operates. Then describe how that operation either works well as a platform for journalists, or as a clear curation of content (or both). Finally, in the last paragraph, go futher and provide your opinion: is the way this news organization operates a signal of the future, or is it a major problem going forward?

Your essay must be entered into the system by next Friday (2/5) at 5pm. It should be in the neighborhood of 300-500 words, and include a relevant image at the top of the article.

Over the weekend or on Monday, be sure to log into the class system. Try to read all of the stories from your fellow students, and (optionally) leave comments to the author about the essay. You will be assigned as a "Discussant" for one of the essays. Read that essay carefully; you will be asked to present that essay on Monday to the rest of the class. You will also "discuss" it by describing whether you agree with the argument in the essay or not, and why you think this example is interesting to think about (or not). Try to include both praise and criticism in your discussion.


The Huffington Post has become a very popular outlet for


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Karen Hopper

The online magazine Slate is a pretty good example of a n


As journalists, one thing that is consistent in this busi