Citizen Journalism, Public Health Stories and Ooze News

Public health issues often only make the news when some dramatic event provides a clear narrative that journalists can use to craft a compelling story. I was in the middle of one of those stories this week when the Miami-Dade County Health Department told guests at the downtown Epic Hotel not to use the water there because it was the suspected source of Legionnaires’ Disease. After more than a week of lost revenue, the hotel’s now been cleared as the source of the deadly bacteria — but not before the incident provided some good lessons about the roles of government, professional reporters and citizen journalists in public health stories that tend to be much more important over the long term than during an initial safety scare.

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Activist’s Death Takes Toll on Newspapers

If Chapel Hill had a patron saint of town-gown relations, it might have been Rebecca Clark. The 93-year-old woman was not only a leader in the area’s black community, but the mother of the late Doug Clark, who entertained generations of frat parties with his band, The Hot Nuts.

Ms. Clark died on Saturday. But the Triangle’s newspapers should ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

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Citizen Journalism and Authentic Leadership

This post is a written version of comments I presented yesterday at the Future of Journalism conference sponsored by The Carnegie-Knight Task Force on the Future of Journalism Education and organized by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

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Journalists Without Journals

Journalism is an inalienable state of mankind. Professional journalism is not.

By coincidence, I recently found myself reading two things that, as a pair, illustrated nicely the reason I’m so sanguine about the future of news and so panicked about the future of news companies. Continue reading “Journalists Without Journals”