Leaving We Media: Impressions on the fly

Sitting in the final session of We Media, blogging before heading to the airport and home to California.  I’ve been on the road 2/3rds of this month, at Tools for Change, We Media, and a bunch of Knight Foundation events and meetings (regret I did not make it to FOWA, drat!)

After 48 hours of We Media, what’s my takeaway?

  • This year’s fad is non-profit news (the PBS model), but no one knows quite what to do about the very ugly deaths so many news organizations are experiencing
  • There is intense worry about how news will be present in local communities, but huge differences in perspectives about “reporting” vs “community,”, crowdsourcing vs. investigation,
  • Copyright vs open source (especially around photography)
  • There is no new business model, we just don’t know and that is really scary
  • Some people want to save and retrain journalists and salvage the news businesses; others cheer the creative destruction and want to clear the rubble away, fast
  • Even if everyone IS a media company, and we’re all entrepreneurs, no one really knows if there is a way for anyone to make enough money to buy new shoes, let alone pay the housing costs
  • People with jobs feel lucky, but seem to be viewing them as temporary
  • People w/o jobs are hustling, lots of candidates for the same few things
  • Everyone knows that adversity offers opportunities
  • Social media is a new flavor everyone is starting to want to taste
  • Conferences change as the world becomes more global and less corporate; not enough focus on international and in country perspectives at this @WeMedia; some old models of talking head presos and powerpoints seeming quite outmoded (to me, and perhaps others)
  • Activists are at the table, embedded, with major media and the entrepreneurs and nonprofits (this is cool)