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5 videos with Digital Journalism Camp keynote Mark Luckie


Mark Luckie, the founder of and the national innovations editor for The Washington Post, will be the keynote speaker at Digital Journalism Camp on May 14. Here are five interviews with Luckie on everything from the future of journalism, to digital tools, to a personal account of what he’s learned from journalism. Have you RSVPd for the conference yet?

The Insiders: Mark Luckie on the Future of Journalism

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Introducing Digital Journalism Camp’s keynote speaker: Mark Luckie of The Washington Post and 10,000 Words


Digital Journalism Camp is all about innovation and I’m excited to announce a keynote speaker who is the embodiment of that idea: Mark Luckie, founder of and the national innovations editor for The Washington Post.

Luckie is a multimedia journalist, an author and even an award-winning designer, but he’s probably best known for his blog, 10,000 Words. Since its launch in 2007, the site has become one of the top resources for journalists who are hungry for new tools and ideas.

In an interview with Idea Lab last year, Luckie described the concept his book, The Digital Journalist’s Handbook, was built on, but he could have just as easily been talking about the blog: “[T]here’s more to digital journalism than photos and video. There’s slideshows, databases, maps and more. […] Many professionals who teach online journalism use terms and examples that the beginning journalist isn’t familiar with. It’s all about making it as simple as possible.”

Over the years, that formula proved very successful – so much so that MediaBistro’s parent company, WebMediaBrands, bought 10,000 Words last October for an undisclosed price. Earlier that year, Luckie had made another big move: to the national desk at the The Washington Post. The Nieman Journalism Lab covered the hire. “Luckie,” wrote Megan Garber, “embodies the kind of learn-it-yourself/do-it-yourself ethos that is increasingly common — and even essential — in digital journalism: gather the tools you need, build a community, follow your own interests and passions and quirks.”

I can’t think of a better description of what’s going to take place at Digital Journalism Camp. In his role at WaPo, Luckie is developing a Web strategy for the national section. But his job isn’t just about finding what’s “cool.” In fact, the word “cool” isn’t a word Luckie likes to use. In his very first post on 10,000 Words on July 11, 2007, he wrote that, “A lot of conversations about new multimedia/interactive stories begin with the question ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if?'”

“Yes there are a lot of cool things that newspapers, radio and tv can incorporate into their online presence. But are they really useful? Personally, I’ve excised the word “cool” from my work-related lingo and replaced it with “innovative.” Users are better served when we can bring them new, creative, innovative ways of interactive storytelling that also advance the medium.”

Almost four years later, that still rings true. On May 14, come join Luckie and the Pacific Northwest’s journalism and tech communities as we continue to reshape the media business.

Take the Digital Journalism Camp survey and then RSVP!

No social hour in April


Planning for the upcoming Digital Journalism Camp is kicking into full gear this month and so we’re going to pospone the next social hour until after the conference.

Have you voted yet on what the conference topics should be? Take the survey and then RSVP!

Digital Journalism Camp 2011, May 14, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 851 SW 6th Ave, Suite 1600 Portland. Contact: journopdx at gmail dot com.

Announcing Digital Journalism Camp 2011! (Poll)


Digital Journalism Camp Portland is back! On May 14, 2011, journalists, bloggers, and members of the media and tech communities from across the Pacific Northwest will gather in downtown Portland to explore the future of online journalism.

Digital Journalism Camp is about learning from the people who are actively changing journalism right now. We’re going to have hands-on instruction in video, audio and online journalism tools. We’re going to learn from people who have created local online news startups, and from the people who have found solutions to the challenges you face, whether you’re a beat reporter or a publisher.

Do you want to help shape Digital Journalism Camp 2011? What do you think the topics should be? What do you want to learn about? Who are innovators you want to learn from?

Answer these four quick questions!

And then RSVP!

In the coming weeks we’ll have more information on speakers and panelists, sessions and sponsors. In the meantime, here are the basic details: Digital Journalism Camp 2011, May 14, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 851 SW 6th Ave, Suite 1600 Portland. Contact: journopdx at gmail dot com.

Thank You Digital Journalism Camp 2011 Sponsors!

A huge thank you to the companies and organizations that have already stepped up as supporters. Is your company interested in being a sponsor? You can find more information here.



Media Partner

March Social Hour: Niche news blogs in Portland – and free munchies


What does it take to run a successful niche news blog in Portland? That’s the topic for Digital Journalism Portland’s March Social Hour. If you think you know the answer — or you just want to take part in the conversation — come join us on March 22 at The Canvas in NW Portland.

The Oregonian News Network will be sponsoring food for the event and hosting a brief discussion of its upcoming networked journalism project.

The Oregonian News Network is potentially a very big deal for journalism in Portland. It’s funded by J-Lab as part of a national experiment in connecting small blogs with major news organizations in the same region. This is its second year. The Seattle Times was a participant last year. So far its award-winning project has partnered with 39 sites.

Cornelius Swart was recently picked to lead the Oregonian’s efforts. (Disclosure: He’s a friend of mine.) Swart is the former publisher of the Portland Sentinel, which he closed last year after a four-year run.

During that time, the paper garnered awards and accolades for its aggressive enterprise reporting in North and Northeast Portland. In 2009 its blog was ranked 10th-most-influential in the city, one tier higher than But in the end, the failing economy, the advertising market and Swart’s desire to expand beyond a single neighborhood proved to be too much.

“It was very hard to hold a cultural identity and common interest for a readership that broad,” he wrote in an extensive, very transparent analysis of the paper’s demise. “More importantly it was hard to find advertisers who wanted to draw from that population. […] As a publisher I soon discovered that there was no “sheltered” advertising market in community news. It’s relentless competition from the smallest paper all the way up to the big boys.”

I think that’s a great summation of one the main obstacles to running a successful niche news blog in Portland. Part of that competition comes from existing old school brick-and-mortar community papers which have sucked a lot of air out of the ad market. But that’s not to say news-oriented blogs can’t succeed. The Portlander is trying one model, Neighborhood Notes is trying another, and Portland Afoot is trying something completely different.

What else is keeping niche news blogs from flourishing in Portland?

Sign up for the Digital Journalism Portland mailing list!

Date: March 22, 2011
Time: 7 p.m.
The Canvas Art Bar & Bistro
1800 NW Upshur Street, Portland

Photo by pseudoxx.

Announcing the Digital Journalism Portland Job Board


Earlier today I launched a new project: the Digital Journalism Portland Job Board. After the demise of Oregon Media Central, the journalism community hasn’t had a central place to look for jobs. What we need is something as focused as what Rick Turoczy has done at Silicon Florist for the software community.

The job board is a free service and will be updated several times a week. All postings are held for moderation and will appear on the site usually within an hour or two after submission. You can add a listing here.

What’s missing from the board? Let me know in the comments or at

Flickr CC photo by Telstar Logistics

Banish the Trolls: Why Ignoring Commenters, Tweeters and Facebookers Isn’t an Option


Since I started as Web Editor at The Columbian a few months ago, I’ve seen more than one outraged reporter in the newsroom loudly refuse to respond to, or even read the comments on their stories. It reached a fever pitch back in December when we narrowly avoided a newsroom revolt due to a few nasty trolls directly attacking the reporters and their work.

After a series of phone conversations over the past few months with Web Editors at newspapers and blogs across the country, I can confidently say we are all dealing with the same issues: unruly commenters, off-topic or unproductive conversations (think treatises bashing Obamacare posted alongside double-homicide stories), outraged reporters and editors and general frustration with this whole effort to build our “online community.”

Like other local newspapers, we have at times been tempted to stop allowing comments selectively or altogether. The Register-Guard, for example, only allows commenting on a story-by-story basis, depending on whether the editors think it will receive nasty comments. Cops stories seem to bear the brunt of unsavory comments, so why allow discussion there at all? Another increasingly popular option is to get rid of anonymous commenting altogether through a laborious process of call center, credit card or other ID verification systems.

No one yet has the perfect answer to the trolling problem, but ignoring commenters, tweeters and Facebookers – our online community – isn’t an option. The conversation doesn’t go away, it only happens elsewhere, off your site, and out of your page count. That means media outlets should be doing much more to encourage the kinds of comments and participation we’d like to see. Why? Here are three good reasons (there are many more). Read more…