Fun interactive visual tools: Why should journalists care?

Last week I wrote a lot about various interactive visual tools that can help people connect differently or more deeply with news and information. This was for a session I led at a Knight Digital Media Center seminar for the leaders of the News21 project.

Yeah, so what? Why should journalists and news organizations care about these tools? How can this help their communities, journalism, and (most critical right now) business opportunities? What’s in it for journos and news brands?

That’s what Meabh Ritchie, a reporter for the U.K. Press Gazette asked me to clarify. She’s writing a story on this, and I’ll link to it when it’s up in February 2009. The short answer is: This stuff is effective and (more importantly) FUN! — for journalists and news audiences.

But here’s the full version of my answer…

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Some Journos are Real Dorks: The Proof

My friend David Cohn of Spot.us today mentioned a fun site I absolutely adore: Stuff Journalists Like. (It’s a riff on the instant classic: Stuff White People Like.)

And what kinds of things do journalists like?

All of which point out what dorks my colleagues can be. But if you need more proof, check out David Cohn from an MIT conference this spring:

David Cohn of Spot.us, getting dorky

David Cohn of Spot.us, getting dorky

(Heh, Dave, I warned you….)

Collaboration Takes Many Forms

Just after I was talking to my business partner Adam Glenn about how journalists need to learn more about the culture and skills of collaboration (remember, the news biz is steeped in competitiveness — often to the point of paranoia), my musician friend Mark Brummer sends me this video:

See how much fun collaboration can be? Play with it!