Archive for Democracy


Ushahidi: Live crisis mapping

Posted by: Jim MacMillan | Comments (0)

What is Ushahidi? from Ushahidi on Vimeo.

I caught the buzz around Ushahidi at SXSW last week, and in the New York Times, but had no clue to their reach until I spent some time at their site just now.

Could this be a clue to the future of news reporting as well? I will be keeping an eye on this.

header1 BarCamp NewsInnovation Philadelphia: Next week at Temple University

What is BCNI?

BarCamp NewsInnovation Philadelphia is the national conference in a country-wide effort to reinvent the news industry.

Using the BarCamp open grid format (what’s that?), some of the greatest minds around will discuss new ideas on how to reenergize and innovate the news industry. This is NOT a journalists-only event! Invite any friends from various industries who are concerned about the future of news. Even your friend that complains about the biased media. Especially that guy. There will be representatives from news organizations all over the country.

The event is FREE and will be hosted at Annenberg Hall on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. Doors will open at  9 a.m. and the presentations will start at 10 a.m. After an hour break for lunch at 1 p.m., the last presentations will start at 5 p.m.

What to expect:

Doors will open at 9 a.m. and there will be hour to grab some coffee and meet your new best friends. There will be a blank presentation board and a stack of post-it notes. Write down your topic and post it in the time slot of your choice. Be sure to get there early to get the time you want.

At 10 a.m. presentations will begin in one of the four floors of Annenberg Hall. Each classroom has a projector and computer, some have  more than a dozen machines. There is even a TV studio if the desire so strikes you. Presentations will continue until 1 p.m. when we will break for lunch. There are dozens of lunch trucks, pizza places and restaurants on campus at your disposal.

Presentations will resume from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. with the event closing at 6. After-party details to come.


Philly News Alternatives

Posted by: Jim MacMillan | Comments (2)
What's news?

What's news?

I have been cast in the middle of a mostly-friendly debate with some friends recently, over the viability of newspapers saving themselves by charging for online content.

My fundamental argument is that controlling content is now both impossible and counterproductive, but as an aside, I thought I might assemble a few of the alternatives readers would find online if the company that owns my local papers – The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News – stopped offering their content for free via

Several other local print products are present online as well, including
philadelphia weekly, City Paper, Philadelphia Business Journal, The Bulletin, Philadelphia Gay News, Tribune, Al Dia, Philadelphia Magazine, South Philly Review and the The Philadelphia Sunday Sun.

You can watch TV news, or visit each station’s web site: 3, 6, 10, & 29
Philly has an all-news radio station: KYW  and public radio news: WHYY
You can search for Philadelphia news via Yahoo, Google, MSN, AOL, and get your sports directly from the teams: Eagles, Phillies, 76ers & Flyers

Beyond local, try: Yahoo News, Google News, MSN, AOL and Read the New York Times, Washington Post and USA TODAY; TIME, Newsweek, U.S. News, The Economist and THE NEW YORKER

There will be blogs, including,, & and college papers online, including: The Temple News, The Daily Pennsylvanian, The Triangle, Collegian, The Hawk & The Villanovan

Most people, however, seem to be more interested in a little thing called social media, including:
MySpace, facebook, LALA.COM, VIRB, twitter,, bebo, flickr, photobucket, tribe,, Flixster, digg, ryze, Linked in,, VDIDDY, video codezone
vidiLife, Clip Shack, webshots, vod:pod, fliqz,, motionbox, dabble, bebo,
Google Video, eyespot, ourmedia, YAHOO! VIDEO,, photobucket,
HOOK.TV, My Yahoo, iGoogle, Google Reader, newsgator,,
netvibes, bloglines, plusmo, newsalloy, Excite UK Info, netomat hub, fwicki, flurry,
My Webwag, Attensa, ZapTXT,, thefreedictionary, Odeo, Pageflakes,
Podcast Ready,,  Digg, Newsvine, StumbleUpon, and Technorati

There will be more.

- – -

Disclosures: I worked for the Daily News for 17 years. I would prefer to see both papers thrive.


Journalism’s New Ecosystem

Posted by: Jim MacMillan | Comments (7)
wwgd1 Journalisms New Ecosystem

They won't charge for news.

I got in trouble with my newspaper-loving friends again today, when I started my morning by re-Tweeting a a video link showing Jeff Jarvis on the CBC last night, talking about The Decline of the Newspaper.

In response to those who still think the old newspaper company model can be saved by charging for online content (if it ever could), I argued that discussions on the future of economically sustainable journalism have been raging for years – from SXSW to blogworldexpo to Twitter to local barcamps (like this one, upcoming soon) and more. But the newspaper deciders haven’t even shown up, as if in total denial while readers shift online.

Meanwhile, I once watched a panel of successful independent bloggers pounding their fists with laughter about how much money the newspaper industry was leaving on the table.

I can’t imagine anybody paying for news again anymore than they will pay for search engines or online classifieds. Instead, we should be looking at how Google, craigslist and others make a fortune without charging us a dime. That’s the future of business, whether we deliver the news in print or online.

Jarvis’s book – What Would Google Do – articulates my argument exactly. Also, I polled my Twitter following a while back, asking “Will you pay to read The New York Times online?” They will not.

I’ll be OK if I’m wrong; I’d honestly love to go back and work in a post-desperate newspaper industry, but I can’t fathom the possibility, at least not before I see the execs embrace some new strategies.

exposure1 Urban photojournalism workshop: Behind the scenes
Tufts University E-News has published a nice look back at our recent urban photojournalism workshop, with a nod to everybody who makes it happen, why it matters, and the rewarding results.

EXPOSURE  - WorshopArt GalleryIGLTuftsE-NewsGlobe

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