Journalism Mashup Origins

"Freedom of the Press belongs to those who own a press." — an American Maxim.

With the advent of free internet tools such as Wikidot.Com, YouTube.Com, etc., freedom of the press has never been more free to those who live where it may be practiced. The Journalism Mashup is an attempt to permit students and academics to explore the many tools, techniques and ethical questions of using other people's websites to create a news organization without an office door or an internet address.

This publication is a derivative product of the 2007 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication pre-conference, "Teaching and Working in a Multimedia World." I wanted to illustrate the ideas in my submission to the conference, "Multi-Media Wiki Mashups for cheap journalists."

I believe the next successful publications will be edited by the readers with editors as mediators or the truth, not arbitrators. To repeat, the editor will be a mediator, not a gatekeeper. In the Jeffersonian spirit that the public knows best, today referred to as "mob intelligence" or "collective intelligence," the Wiki for the first time will let, as one writer put it, "IBM to know what IBM knows." Or to let the World know what the World (each individuals who each has a piece of the truth) know what it knows about the news.

The Jouranlism Mashup is also a derivative of my Fulbright Scholar's program, "Covergence Journalism: A Process of Innovation."


I believe convergence was done in 1790 and in 1920 but just now in the past decade been given a name. When Cyypress College's Journalism Department began convergence in 1998, we had VHS video and newspaper pasteups. But those students understood, for them convergence was "All students working in all media in the same space at the same time." The same students produced a weekly newspaper and a weekly cable TV newscast. To paraphrase, it is not the technology, IT's THE REPORTING, STUPID!."

The students here at Lutsk Humanitarian University have never practiced convergence. They've never heard of it. They are challenged with coining a new word in Ukrainian for it.

The students are learning to use WikiDot.Com, YouTube.Com, BloggerRadio.Com as well as Adobe's PhotoShop, Premiere, and InDesign to intergrate on the computer all the production tools they need for webcast TV and radio newscasts, an online news site, and a printed newspaper.

Specialization is the norm in Ukraine. One student, who I believe will become an important teacher of convergence among the students and inside Ukraine journalism, asked a reasonable question. Why should she learn desktop publishing. "I am a writer. We hire other people to do this thing."

I explained the world is changing; newspapers in Western Europe and the United States are dying as convergence centers all content on the web. "But she is in Ukraine," explained a journalism professor.

At the same time, while each say they read a newspaper and watch TV news, each student had a cellphone on which they can record and play video. When web service matures in Ukraine (It is about DSL speed on a good day.) they can see their cell phones will expand from a necessity for social communicaiton to a necessity for world communication.

In fact, I believe Ukraine may just skip wired internet completely (It is too expensive to wire a developing democracy.) and go straight to wireless internet for all.

I am in an exciting place in which "But we've always done it that way" does not apply. I am where the future is something with which people are experimenting.

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