• From Washington to Ferguson and Back Again in a Night

    I was on a family vacation in Washington, DC, last week on August 14. It was a lovely summer evening and on a whim my wife and I took our two young sons down to the Lincoln Memorial at sunset. As the last light of day lit up the sky around the monument I walkedContinue… Read more

  • (Originally published at the LocalNewsLab) In July we learned more about Jim Brady’s new local journalism start-up,, which is taking a networked approach to news in Philly. At USA Today Rem Rieder described the project as having a “strong civic impulse.” For Brady and Chris Krewson, the site’s editor, community is the starting place. At theInnovateContinue… Read more

  • Debating Participatory Journalism: Newsrooms, Campuses, Courts and Congress

    This week I’ll be at the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) moderating a panel with some of my favorite people, on one of my favorite topics. (Click here to jump to the links and resources section) The session is called, “Media Policy and Participatory Journalism: Teaching, Engaging and Protecting Acts ofContinue… Read more

  • A few common themes have long animated my work in education, conservation and journalism. Collaborating with a range of national and local organizations across these sectors I focused on building community, mobilizing civic action, collaborative problem-solving, fostering new networks and grappling with institutions in moments of profound flux and change. As such, I’m keenly interested inContinue… Read more

  • About one month ago I took the wraps off of the new project I had been developing with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. We called it “The Local News Lab” because we wanted to emphasize the sense of experimentation that animates much of the project. We are working with six local news sites in NewContinue… Read more

  • Why the SCOTUS Cellphone Decision is a Win for Press Freedom

    According to the Supreme Court, police need a warrant to search the cellphones of people they arrest. The unanimous decision, which was handed down this week, is being heralded as a major victory for privacy rights and a landmark case with implications far beyond cellphones. The New York Times reports, “The ruling almost certainly also appliesContinue… Read more

  • John Oliver was on Fresh Air with Terry Gross this week, and it was a terrific interview. The first twenty minutes or so focused on the way Oliver uses satire to draw attention to complex, under-reported issues. Gross used Oliver’s amazing Net Neutrality clip as fodder, discussing how his call to action brought down theContinue… Read more

  • Fighting for Access: New Report on the State of Media Credentialing Practices in the United States

    At the end of May, fifteen leading journalism organizations signed on to a letter calling for SCOTUSblog to be granted press credentials to cover the Supreme Court. A month earlier, not only was SCOTUSblog’s application for credential’s denied, but the committee who oversees press passes refused to renew Lyle Denniston’s credentials, even though he isContinue… Read more

  • The Ethics of Sensor Journalism: Community, Privacy and Control

    Last week the Tow Center at Columbia University held its first research conference, Quantifying Journalism: Data, Metrics, and Computation, where it released three major new reports on Data Journalism, User Generated Content and Sensors. All three reports are important additions to the conversation about technology, reporting and ethics, with some useful and at times provocativeContinue… Read more

  • On Memorial Day, An Old Briefcase Reveals a Remarkable History

    Roughly fifteen years ago I found a nondescript briefcase in the basement of my mom’s house with a sticker just under the handle that read, “My War.”  Inside the briefcase was an amazingly well-preserved archive of letters, military paperwork, newspaper clipping, sketches and photos from my grandfather’s service in World War II. At the time,Continue… Read more