POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
It’s no secret Tyler Green and I don’t see eye to eye on a few subjects, but he hit the nail on the head a couple weeks ago in a post discussing the National Arts Journalism Program‘s contest seeking new journalism models. The initiative made two recent announcements – one naming the five presenters and another announcing that it changed the rules, and that an additional five finalists would be added. CORRECTION: The initiative made two announcements, one naming five showcased projects which nave nothing to do with journalism. The second announced the finalists. Green saw this as an indication that little useful would result from the discussion, and I’m inclined to agree. Here’s the meat of the initial problem I too found bizarre.
Of the NAJP contest’s five announced presenters (apparently five contest finalists are being held back in secret until Oct. 2), four have little-to-nothing to do with journalism. Three are infotainment projects that more closely resemble a hybrid of iTunes and Access Hollywood than they resemble the investigation, presentation or analysis of events, facts or news. (Take the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s ArtBabble, for example. It’s a fascinating project, but it makes no pretense of being even so much as related to journalism.) Another presenting project is a software program developed by the University of Southern California, which is hosting the NAJP contest.
Furthermore, the NAJP explicitly asked for commercially viable projects, only to change that objective MID-CONTEST, without extending additional application time to those who didn’t qualify the first time around. That’s just stupid.
In any event, I missed today’s summit on account of travel, but according to cablegram’s salvocheque’s twitter feed, the take home point from the conference is that finding the next best employer isn’t the future of journalism. Tell me something I don’t already know.