Transitions are rarely so clean as to have a discrete beginning, middle or end. Some of the projects within our transition, though, can have more finite targets.
Below you’ll see descriptions of some of those projects, followed by “launch date.” I expect some of these launches to change, or more interim goals added. But we all need a deadline, so I’ve attached them.
You’ll also see a name. Consider the person attached to the project as the primary coordinator. Plenty of other people will be involved. The coordinator will be at the point, and the one I’ll look to for monthly updates.
Here they are. Others will be added in coming days.
thecomoyouknow – Creating a local, wiki-like encyclopedia to provide systemic context for episodic news. – Laura Johnston
Background: The project was first assigned to Journalism & Democracy students in Fall ’09. It was continued in Spring ’10 by students in the Junit development class, who described it as “a community encyclopedia that takes a lot of cues from Wikipedia in terms of format and content, but requires a much more rigorous editing process. All pieces from the community must go through the copy desk before they are posted.”
Thecomoyouknow will be a critical part of Junit, which is based in part on the idea that content can be related in a way that provides deeper understanding than a single story can provide. But it also should work as a standalone feature (perhaps even with revenue implications?).
Launch date: Oct. 30
Green eyeshades contest – Crowd-sourcing post-publication proofing of content. – Maggie Walter
Background: As copy desk staffing declines in the industry, how do we use the power of the audience to supplement professional line editing? In this contest, readers will earn points for every subject-verb agreement mistake, misspelling or awful pronoun usage. Top points leaders for the week/month/day/tba would then receive A Valuable Prize from the Missourian.
Launch date: Sept. 30
Print design and production – Giving ownership of the print edition to print designers (and design class). – Jake Sherlock
Background: The Junit development team in Spring ’10 proposed limiting print production to a small, isolated production desk and staff as a way to prioritize online production (i.e. Web-first). At the May staff retreat, the idea evolved into one that would actually improve the print edition while segregating it. The 4450/7450 Advanced News Design course will largely “own” print in news and sports.
Launch date: Aug. 23
Interactive copy editing – Creating a new job description for copy editors while restructuring the copy editing course. – Nick Jungman
Background: The intent of this project is to create an archetypal copy editor for the present and future. That editor needs to use traditional tools (line editing, headline writing, news judgment, etc) with new skills in aggregating information and shepherding news content for the Web. Changes in the Missourian duties will also require significant changes to 4406/7406 News Editing and Design, which Nick and Maggie will produce.
Launch date: Aug. 23
Vox iPad app – Designing Vox for the iPad with ideas and techniques to share with the magazine industry. – Kristin Kellogg
Background: A trip to a major magazine publisher in spring helped John Fennell realize: (a.) how much the magazine industry is hungry to learn how to take advantage of spectacular design possibilities from the iPad and (b.) how little was known. Thus the desire to experiment with the platform through Vox.
Launch date: Design phase approved by Sept. 15
Missourian ethics – Creating event(s) around proposed ethics policies on conflicts of interest and “un-publishing” of content. – John Schneller
Background: Graduate students in the Advanced Reporting course in Spring ’10 proposed revisions to the long-standing political and business conflicts policies. Editors acknowledged the need for change, though differed on some specifics. Creating events this fall could bring in the expertise of other journalism faculty as well as experience of students and faculty.
Launch date: by end of November
MU sports blog – Combining individual blogs (football, basketball, etc) to a central blog; getting more regular submissions; creating more interaction with fans. – Grant Hodder
Launch date: Aug. 10
Junit™ – Creating a semantic Web platform for newspaper publishing with compatibility to print and Web 2.0. — Tom Warhover
Background: Much of this year has been spent in a holding pattern as we wait for developers to deliver the system, which has had a series of technological setbacks. A class of students originally gathered to test implementation of the system did significant advance work in spring ’10: creating mobile apps; making newsroom production changes; developing thecomoyouknow; and more. Some proposed changes, like the uber-calendar, can’t be acted on until the actual system arrives.
Launch date: Six weeks after delivery of software from Junit Inc.