There’s no other way to explain why I’m off to snowy Boston this Thursday, to catch up with Laura and Chris Amico, Bill Adair and David Smydra to talk about structured journalism and what we hope to accomplish this year.
Why we couldn’t do this in somewhere warmer and less snow-bound – like Alaska, say – I don’t know. The first time we did this, we were in a windowless room at Reuters in New York, chomping on cold pizza. But at least it was balmy out.
Nonetheless, this is a good thing. As I’ve mentioned here, structured journalism had a good 2014, thanks in large part to the energy and drive of Bill, Laura and Chris coming out of that first meeting. We got a discussion going among the journalistic community, and structured journalism has become enough of a shorthand term that we can get past the what-is-this-thing-anyway part of the conversation and more into the meat of how we might try to see if it can help us.
So what do we want to accomplish in 2015? I’ll be eager to hear what Laura, Chris, Bill and David have to say, of course, and there are a couple of threads I hope we might also pick up, from encouraging more experiments, whether in start-ups or embedded in more traditional newsrooms, to exploring the prospects for monetization, to sharing the often-painful lessons learned in the process of launching projects, to thinking more about CMSes. And just more discussion overall on the pluses and minuses of this approach to news and where new experiments might be appropriate.
Should be fun. But cold.