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Written by J-Lab’s Jan Schaffer for publication

  • With a coming void in Oregon’s news ecosystem, public broadcasting’s trying to build a new kind of state wire

    Jul. 8, 2013 Jan SchafferNieman LabOregon Public Broadcasting homepage

    Can Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), working with local newspapers, TV and radio stations, and bloggers, make a substantial state news report in the face of cutbacks elsewhere? In March 2013, OPB hired a former Associated Press reporter to undertake this ambitious vision.

  • Pew’s Nonprofit Journalism Report: Few Surprises, Many More Questions

    Jun. 11, 2013 Jan SchafferMediaShift

    There are few surprises in the latest nonprofit journalism study by the Pew Research Center’s Project on Excellence in Journalism. There are still, however, many questions to be asked. And there is much merit in taking a deeper dive into discrete clusters of nonprofit news sites.

  • A New Kind of Activist Journalism: When Finding Solutions are Part of Journalists’ Job, Too

    Jun. 4, 2013 Jan SchafferNieman LabUrban Milwauke - After

    Four years ago, zeroed in on South 2nd Street, a pocked roadway in the city’s Walker’s Point section that seemed “ripe for improvement,” said site co-founder David Reid.

  • Journalism Schools as Startup Accelerators

    Dec. 19, 2012 Jan SchafferNieman Lab

    “The opportunities are wide open for connecting silos of information in communities, amplifying good stories that people want to know about and for leveraging resources so that the sum of the efforts is bigger than the individual contributions.”

  • University News Sites: Investments in Civic Entrepreneurship

    Oct. 2, 2012 Jan SchafferInternational Journal of Communication University News Sites Collage

    The best journalism schools in the country are now providing genuine opportunities for students to do authentic reporting. However, the most valuable of these are more than just classroom exercises that live and die by the academic calendar.

  • How Smaller Gets Bigger

    May. 10, 2011 Jan SchafferColumbia Journalism ReviewDigital Journalism

    “The future of journalism will be a tale of smaller and smaller organizations making a bigger and bigger impact,” asserts Lisa Williams, founder of I couldn’t agree more. They will rise and fall, collaborate and compete, succeed and fail — and be replaced by new startups.

  • Ten Steps For Any News Startup

    Jan. 1, 2011 Jan SchafferQuill

    Professional journalists are launching scores of news startups around the country. Some cover community news, others hone in on special topics; some cover state government, and others aim to generate, and often share, investigative stories.

  • First Read: Follow the Breadcrumbs

    Nov. 1, 2009 Jan SchafferColumbia Journalism Review

    News consumers are telling us something. We should listen. If we really want to reconstruct American journalism, we need to look at more than the supply side; we need to explore the demand side, too. We need to start paying attention to the trail of clues in the new-media ecosystem and follow those “breadcrumbs.” I don’t hear ...

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