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Joshua Stearns
5,460 followers -
Journalist and organizer working for press freedom and the future of news through media and tech policy. Journalism & Public Media Campaign Director at Free Press.
Journalist and organizer working for press freedom and the future of news through media and tech policy. Journalism & Public Media Campaign Director at Free Press.

5,460 followers
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Great bilingual watchdog journalism project in NJ - just 3 days left and they have to raise about $5,000 more... can you help?

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ICYMI - I left Free Press this week and will be diving into a new project at the end of the month. 

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On Monday at 5pm I’ll be moderating a session at SXSW that explores the way journalists, civic hackers, and local communities are using new technology and social networks to respond to crisis and conflict.

Here is a preview of that discussion.

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One More Look: In this year's analysis of Attacks on the Press by The Committee to Protect Journalists they examined the Internet as a whole. Josh Stearns shows what they found: http://ow.ly/u1fcw

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While the title focuses on press freedom, the questions this piece asks are more focused on our freedom of association and challenges to those freedoms online and off. A quick excerpt:

"At the center of these debates, from surveillance to Net Neutrality, is a question about how our fundamental freedoms, so long expressed and protected in the physical world, will translate to the digital age. "

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Philanthropy and News

A snippet from a longer post about philanthropy -- including especially technologists' philanthropy -- and news, five guidelines for the proper role of philanthropy and journalism:

1. Philanthropy should support that which the market will not support. And it should wait patiently to determine what that is. In other words, just because something is not being done now does not mean that philanthropy should swoop in and take it over if the market may find opportunity in it.

2. Philanthropy should not compete with the market. We heard this some years ago when a new non-for-profit news entity sprouted in San Francisco and an executive at the crippled Chronicle complained that it could kill the paper. Thank goodness for the paper, the charity was worse run than it and the paper outlasted it.

3. Philanthropy should help build the economic sustainability and independence of news. Here’s the most self-serving thing I will say from my perch in a university: This includes training the next generation of news innovators. It also includes investing in infrastructure and innovation, new methods and models. Innovation in news requires patient capital that will fund not losses but instead experiments and daring failures. Philanthropy can do that.

4. Philanthropy — and journalism , too — should measure its success by the outcomes it accomplishes. Journalists have something to learn from foundations here: It’s not enough to produce content and build audience. Journalism has to help communities better themselves. That starts with listening to the public and its needs.

5. Charity is finite. Yes, you can start a news organization on charity. Yes, we could support a great deal of the investigative reporting we have philanthropically. But I am more ambitious than that; the need is greater. The souce for investigative reporting is (1) whistleblowers and (2) beat reporting. We need to support beats at scale. That’s why I’m doing the work I’m doing in New Jersey and why I’m starting a new training program for beat businesses in a box. Charity doesn’t scale. Sustainability does.

Philanthropy is precious, important, useful. It is a gift to use well and wisely. It isn’t an excuse not do do our jobs. And our job is to rebuild journalism into a service that will last.

Full post here: http://buzzmachine.com/2014/02/26/philanthropy-and-the-news/
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