Thoughts on the future of journalism from media innovators

You’ve heard people in media describe something as “The Super Bowl of…” fill in the blank. Usually it’s exaggeration. Well a day before the Super Bowl Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism brought together the Super Bowl of media innovation panels and I assure you that’s no hyperbole.

You really couldn’t ask for a better group.

Panelist Matt Thompson, formerly of NPR, is now TheAtlantic.com‘s deputy managing editor. Adrian Sanders is co-founder of crowdfunding platform Beacon Reader. Jim Brady is founder of local news startup Billy Penn and former executive editor of Digital First Media.

For your viewing pleasure, Through the Cracks pulled about a dozen noteworthy takeaways from the panel together and put them in a YouTube playlist. Panelists talked about how to innovate, why student journalists shouldn’t be too conservative and why they shouldn’t be afraid of failure.

Some of the discussion was geared toward discussion of media innovation and some toward advice for student journalists, but whether you’re just starting your career or not, the group had some thoughtful words for anyone trying to innovate or get a news startup off the ground.

Also on the panel:


– Heather Chaplin, director of the Journalism + Design program at The New School in New York City;

– Andrew Haeg, founder of Groundsource and entrepreneur-in-residence at the Center for Cooperative Journalism;

– Doug Jackson, president of Shared Vision Marketing in Atlanta;

– Cynthia Liu, founder of K-12 News Network, whose reporting is credited with helping to force the resignation of former Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John E. Deasy.

For a complete list of panelists and to learn more about the Media Changemaker Prize awarded to Thompson visit the Center for Collaborative Journalism website.

This video comes from a Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism livestream.

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Khari Johnson
Khari is founder and editor of Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism. He also writes about bots and artificial intelligence for VentureBeat. He has built news startups in the U.S. and Europe for the last decade.

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