The Norgs Unconference Statement Of Principles


The Norgs Unconference Statement Of Principles

 

The following is an attempt to summarize concepts and ideas that attendees of the March 2006 Norgs Unconference agreed on by the end of the day.

 

The Norgs Unconference Statement Of Principles

 

  1. The 'product' of a newspaper isn't the newspaper. The newspaper is just the medium -- in the sense that the 'product' of a musical act has never been the CD, or the cassette, or the album. Mediums come and go. The music lives on.
  2. Newspapers are aggregates of information *and* relationships.
  3. Newspapers have been traditionally bounded by time and space. Inches on paper, space on news stands, the daily news cycle. The Web changes our relationship with time and space. The 'audience' isn't confined by physical boundaries now, neither should the 'newsroom'.
  4. Healthy democracies must have informed citizens. The reach and production of acts of journalism plays a major role.
  5. Lets be honest, many of the pieces in a newspaper aren't acts of journalism, but these additional bits are almost as important.
  6. Newspapers - for a time - defined the 'fourth estate', having near monopoly over attention driving influence. They were influence intermediaries.
  7. The Internet 'disintermediates.' Business models based on scarcity of media and high barriers to production and distribution, are not only threatened, but are terminal. It's change or die time for broadcast TV, traditional record companies, and yes, newspaper companies.
  8. The Internet and Web are a platform for collaborative communications and social/participatory media. Blogging, Citizen Journalism, message forums, email lists, Usenet, YouTube, Google, Digg, Slashdot, Flickr, Wikipedia, are just some examples of the many.
  9. The most successful Web services have recognized and utilized its participatory architecture. It's a read/write Web. eBay, Amazon.com, Slashdot, Yahoo!, Google, MySpace, have all leveraged this and based their businesses upon it.
  10. As technical barriers have fallen, and broadband availability widened, different forms of participation have proliferated - text, software, images, music, and now movies.
  11. 'Users' of the Web are not passive consumers. They are 'The People Formerly Known as the Audience.' In mass, they know more then you do.
  12. Acts of journalism can be produced by anyone and the Web blurs distinctions between the professional and the amateur.
  13. Producing certain successful (but not all) acts of journalism requires knowledge, skill, infrastructure (legal and financial), marketing and influence.
  14. The existence of ever increasing flows of media does not portend the same for acts of journalism.
  15. There is no news media versus blogging conflict. Blogging does not remove the pressures that existed on journalistic endeavors - corporations, politicians, forces of power - anyone who wants to manipulate a message - will try to do so.
  16. Journalists must become familiar with the medium in which they are communicating. Editors have an important new role that will be embraced by someone, if not them.
  17. Participating on the Web means more then simply publishing files to a Web server. It means providing a means for those outside the organization, for the community, to participate in what you've published (link to, comment on, extend). It means going out of the confines of your Web presence and participating elsewhere.
  18. Authenticity, transparency, voice, and trust are essential.
  19. Publishing systems and CMSes must be far more nimble. Stories are no longer static pieces that once published, are of no additional use. Collaboration must be enabled not only across a newsroom, but across the world, especially taking into account a newspaper's existing community.
  20. Stories on the Web gain in value long after original publication. It's the economics of the Long Tail. Reference archives - link to individual items prominently!
  21. Collections of stories, and our interactions with them, define communities.
  22. While birds of a virtual feather may flock together, this presents opportunities for those willing to provide new aggregates of news, opinion, and information.

 

Signed

 

Karl Martino http://www.paradox1x.org http://www.phillyfuture.org

Doug Smith

Aaron Couch http://phillyimc.org

Albert Yee http://dragonballyee.com http://www.phillyfuture.org

Daniel Rubin http://blogs.philly.com/blinq

Will Bunch http://www.attytood.com/

Marisa McClellan http://www.apartment2024.com http://philadelphia.metblogs.com

Greg Palmer http://www.keystonepolitics.com http://www.jgregorypalmer.com

Vance Lehmkuhl http://www.philly.com/dailynews/

Howard Hall http://www.thesmedleylog.com/ http://www.phillyfuture.org/

Wendy Warren http://www.philly.com/dailynews/ http://www.thenextmayor.com