Poynter, Ford Foundation to Convene Journalism Sense-Makers at the Newseum

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Legacy media leaders and emerging thought leaders of non-traditional news organizations will engage in a daylong conversation about what separates and cements them.

Our goal is to identify a pathway that ensures the principles that serve the public good will remain the motivating force for both the Fourth and Fifth Estates.

The Poynter Institute and the Ford Foundation will host a daylong conference aimed at creating a dialogue between notable members of traditional media and thought leaders from the “Fifth Estate,” or non-traditional news providers. “Fact or Friction: Building the Bridge Between the Fourth and Fifth Estates” will be held on Tuesday, June 29, at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The event is part of the institute’s Sense-Making Project, a series of initiatives it launched last year with Ford to map how citizens consume and create journalism in the digital era.

“This conference is the first of its kind as we gather preeminent journalists and thought leaders for what promises to be a robust and stimulating conversation,” said Kelly McBride, Poynter’s ethics group leader and lead faculty for Sense-Making programs. “Our goal is to identify a pathway that ensures the principles that serve the public good will remain the motivating force for both the Fourth and Fifth Estates.”

Speakers for the day include: Paul C. Tash, Chairman and CEO, St. Petersburg Times; Karen B. Dunlap, President, The Poynter Institute; Vivian Schiller, President and CEO, National Public Radio (NPR); Ana Marie Cox, Political Journalist and Former Editor, Wonkette.com; Drew Curtis, Editor-in-Chief, Fark.com; Ben Elowitz, CEO, Wetpaint; Matt Thompson, Editorial Project Manager, NPR; Rachel Sterne, CEO, GroundReport; and Josh Stearns, Project Manager, Free Press. More than 100 other journalists, traditional and non-traditional, are expected to attend the conference.

Earlier this year, Poynter received a new $750,000 grant from Ford to advance its Sense-Making work. With this one-year grant, Poynter will greatly expand work begun with Ford’s support in 2009 to identify and train the next iteration of news media. This summer, the Institute will offer the first of four new training programs for non-traditional and entrepreneurial journalists.

Widening its scope on Sense-Making, Poynter will continue its case study program and develop an interactive case study tool that can be used for instruction – either in-person or self-directed. It will create and disseminate the Sense-Making Journal, an investigative online blog that will help the public understand information it receives from new sources of news. Additionally, Poynter will incubate and support a journalism startup, guiding the company in audience research and new product development. Those involved with the project will analyze the revenue models that are most effective for the various forms of content the startup will provide.

A few seats remain available to journalists and online content providers for the “Fact or Friction” conference. For additional information, please visit http://www.poynter.org/newseumevent. For information about new training programs, visit http://www.poynter.org/training.

About The Poynter Institute
Poynter trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter’s News University (http://www.newsu.org) offers newsroom training to journalists and journalism students through interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities. Poynter’s website, (http://www.poynter.org) is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Kelly McBride, faculty, kmcbride(at)poynter(dot)org                                                                    
Jessica Sandler, marketing director, jsandler(at)poynter(dot)org
Phone: 1-888-POYNTER (1-888-769-6837)


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