Wick Communications

A new ‘Co/Lab’ in Arizona

In Innovation on October 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Many of you have probably been reading about an exciting new project that has brought some of the brightest minds in the industry to Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of journalism. It began with a question: Can news literacy be made universal?

Obviously, that is a tall order when literacy is low by many measures. I think the fundamental challenge is that so many of us just don’t want to hear about complications. We’ll take 140 characters and a photo, please. To be literate is to be curious and to put our mind to tasks.

Anyway, this collaboration is sponsored by Facebook. I know. We’re letting the fox in the henhouse. One of the project idea men is Dan Gilmour, who is a very well regarded former newspaperman who benefited from being at the right place at the right time as a columnist in Silicon Valley at the turn of the century. He says in a blog post that he trusts Facebook to do the right things now, having done so many wrong things then. We’ll see, I suppose.

Dan is right about the problem, in my view. We’ve ignored the “demand side.” We were arrogant. We owned the means of production of the news for so long we just thought folks valued us for that reason alone. Not so much, it turns out. …

The first project is to collaborate with local newsrooms on projects that build engagement and mutual respect between news organizations and their communities. The first partner is McClatchy.

But I sent Dan a note. I told him we’re active in many communities in Arizona and would love to be part of the success building at the Cronkite School. I’ll keep an eye on this and report back as I hear more.

Clay

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