Do you need help seeing over journalism’s horizon? Seeding innovation involving technology and communities? Are you concerned about the First Amendment, privacy, security and ethics?

Join us and participate in shaping the future of our industry. Come to “Next Steps for Sustaining Journalism,” from 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 9 through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) in Columbia, Mo.

September 2013 is the fifth anniversary of the opening of the RJI and an ideal time for RJI to provide a place and time for the industry -- and others who care about the future of journalism -- to take stock of the values, principles and purposes of journalism, to refresh,  refocus and move forward.

RJI opened with a mission to sustain journalism through ideas, research, experiments and projects. In 2008, journalists and the news industry faced deep challenges, emerging opportunities and difficult questions. RJI – its staff, Fellows and industry partners – pursued an ambitious agenda to help.  And new technologies, ideas and business models have continued to disrupt and reinvent.

At “Next Steps for Sustaining Journalism,” you will be among a diverse group of thought leaders, practitioners, entrepreneurs and innovators. Breakout groups among you will tackle everything from new visions of storytelling, disruptive technologies, to re-energized business models. Your goal is to uncover and share insights that will shape journalism’s  scope, mission, priorities, work – and impact – for the next five years.

Some of the ideas we’ll consider: 

  • Community engagement: Have we forgotten our roots? How will our changing culture, technologies and relentless focus on ROI influence or affect our strategies and practice – and effectiveness?
  • The Network Effect: How do news organizations come together to take advantage of the powerful search and filtering tools that news consumers have at the touch of a finger and that are dramatically reshaping news distribution.
  • Ethics and credibility: How do we extend core values of journalism beyond the newsroom, to where everyone can be a “journalist” and every entity a “publisher”?
  • The First Amendment was created to protect citizens, not journalists; journalists serve as a proxy. What are the flash points and decision trees we must wrestle with regarding the essential issues of privacy,  national security and the definition of a member of the press? Can (or should) we re-frame the conversation to demonstrate the impact upon citizens and our democratic society?
  • Creating value: Disruptive innovation is not just a challenge for storytelling and newsrooms. In many ways disruptive innovation has had a much harsher impact on revenue and distribution models. What opportunities are likely to empower our industry to rebuild value for our communities – for news consumers and for businesses that rely on those consumers for their livelihood?

Ideas for action

In 24 hours, we’ll seek specific ideas for matching those and other key challenges against  RJI’s core competencies in innovation, collaborationresearch and Fellow-led projects and experimentation.

Come and share your vision and experience with RJI’s staff, Fellows, researchers and scholars.  You’ll leave with new collaborators, fresh ideas for your work – and our commitment to be a resource for convening, collaboration, research, experimentation and exchange.

Rob Barrett, VP News and Finance, Yahoo! Inc.

Rob Barrett is Yahoo's! Vice President of News and Finance, the company's category-leading properties. While at the helm of Yahoo! News, Barrett launched Yahoo!'s groundbreaking partnership with ABC News, the development of a Washington, D.C. news bureau team boasting several blue-chip talent acquisitions from the news and political media space and the architect of Yahoo! News' unique, user-centric coverage of the 2012 presidential race. Barrett also runs Yahoo! Finance, the world's largest business news site, and recently launched a major strategic alliance with CNBC to create original cross-platform financial news video programming and go-to-market strategies. A media industry veteran, Barrett brings more than 15 years experience managing online ventures. He most recently served as Chief Strategy Officer of Perfect Market, a Comcast-backed venture; EVP of Tribune Interactive, where he managed the operations and strategic development of online properties in 40 U.S. markets, including; and VP and GM of The FeedRoom Inc., an Internet news video venture backed by NBC. Previously, Barrett helped launch online ventures for Time Inc. (, Disney ( and Primedia (Channel One Interactive). He holds a BA from Duke University and a Masters from Harvard University.

Carlos Watson, Founder and CEO of Ozymandias

Carlos Watson is an entrepreneur and Emmy-winning journalist based in Silicon Valley. Watson is the founder and CEO of Ozymandias (“Ozy”), a breakthrough digital news and culture magazine that launched in early September of this year. Custom built for the Change Generation, Ozy helps its readers both get caught up on the most important news, and vault ahead with 5-10 original profiles of new people, new places, new trends, new ideas and new opinions each day. Watson brings to Ozy a textured background in both business and media.  In the media world, Watson anchored shows for CNN and MSNBC and hosted a series of Emmy-winning interview specials in 2007. As a businessman, Watson built Achieva College Prep Services into one of the nation's largest college prep companies before selling it to the Washington Post/Kaplan.  He also worked as the Global Head of Education Investment Banking for Goldman Sachs and as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. Watson grew up in Miami and holds an A.B. in Government from Harvard University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.


Ron Blevins, Novus Media Inc.

Ron Blevins is the digital lead for Novus Media Inc. and is responsible for the development of their circular migration practice; a center of excellence within Omnicom Media Group dedicated to helping retail clients evolve their item/price content distribution strategies. Prior to joining Novus, Ron held positions with Sears Holdings, AOL and OMD. He's an expert at helping newspapers and retailers innovate new ways of presenting advertising and messages in mobile and tablet formats. He's based in Minneapolis, Minn.

Reade Brower

Reade Brower is a publisher and entrepreneur. Once described in his early years by his wife Martha as “a publishing magnate who sells balloons on the side”, Brower has worked from the ground floor up. As a college student at UMass in 1978, he worked as an advertising sales rep for the daily college newspaper, while selling pizza and cookware on the side. The Free Press newspaper was started in Rockland, Maine in 1985 and was supported by his wholesale business selling batteries, cassette tapes, film and balloons to local stores and by doing specialty publications that included Housing Calendars for UMass and Chamber of Commerce magazines for seven local Maine chambers. Target Marketing of Maine, which direct mails to every home in Maine, was started in 1991 and sold in 2004 to Dominion Auto Trader along with an Automobile Catalog business that printed and distributed over 65,000,000 car books annually throughout the USA. Today, in addition to The Free Press, the group of publications include the Rockland Courier-Gazette, The Camden Herald, The Belfast Republican Journal and an on-line platform, “Village Soup” that is used internally, but has also been adopted by other independent publishers.

Ken Bunting, National Freedom of Information Coalition

Kenneth F. Bunting became the first full-time executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition in July 2010. Before joining the NFOIC and the Missouri School of Journalism, he spent parts of four decades as a journalist, executive and leader in the newspaper industry. Most recently, he was Associate Publisher at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where he had also been Executive Editor and Managing Editor. A native of Houston and an alumnus of Texas Christian University, Bunting also worked at  the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Cincinnati Post, San Antonio Express-News and Corpus Christi Caller-Times. His passion and advocacy on open government issues goes back decades. 

Hawley Johnson, Investigative Dashboard Project

Hawley Johnson is a consulting researcher on the Investigative Dashboard Project, which is creating tools for sharing data on public corruption among reporters across the world. The Dashboard is supported by Google, the Open Society Foundations and others. An expert in international media, her doctoral thesis at Columbia University examined media-develoment in Bosnia.  She lives in Bennington, Vt.

Craig Newman, Freedom2Connect Foundation

Attorney Craig A. Newman is CEO of the Freedom2Connect Foundation, a D.C.-based non-profit that collaborates with Radio Free Asia to promote global Internet freedom through the use of technology; He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Newsy, a multi-platform news service aimed a mobile devices. Newman earned his master's degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1981.

Mr. Newman spent more than a decade as a partner with Arnold & Porter LLP. He started his legal career at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, where he litigated First Amendment cases on behalf of news and media organizations. He is a frequent speaker and contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Columbia Journalism Review, among other publications.

Newman is also chairman of the National Board of Advisors at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, where he is a William Randolph Hearst Visiting Professional.

Pekka Pekkala, University of Southern California

Pekka Pekkala is currently writing a book called "How to Keep Journalism Profitable." He is a former guru, USC Visiting Scholar and author. Pekkala is also an entrepreneur, freelance writer and technology consultant.

Josh Stearns,

Josh Stearns is a journalist and organizer working for press freedom and the future of news through media and tech policy. As Journalism and Public Media Campaign Director at Free Press, Stearns runs national advocacy campaigns that amplify the voice of local people in the policy debates that shape our media. His work tracking journalist arrests and press suppression across the US earned him “Storify of the Year” and the Lew Hill Media Ally Award for his use of cutting-edge technology and First Amendment advocacy. Stearns is the author of numerous reports on journalism, media consolidation and public media, and speaks regularly about community engagement, media, sustainability and democracy. He is a founding board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation and his articles have appeared at the Columbia Journalism Review, Mother Jones, BoingBoing, PBS MediaShift and Orion Magazine. He just launched Verification Junkie, a growing directory of tools for verifying, fact checking and assessing the validity of social media and user generated content. Follow him on Twitter: @jcstearns.

  • Sheetal Agarwal, Ph.D candidate in civic engagement, communications department, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
  • Jacqui Banaszynski, Knight Chair in Editing, Missouri School of Journalism
  • John Barth, managing director, Public Radio Exchange, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Rob Barrett, VP News & Finance, Yahoo! Inc., Santa Monica, Calif.  (SPEAKER) 
  • Jake Batsell, Tribune Fellow and engagement researcher, The Texas Tribune, Austin, Texas 
  • Maria Balinska, CEO/Founder, Latitude News, Cambridge, Mass. 
  • Clyde Bentley, assoc. professor, Missouri School of Journalism 
  • Ron Blevins, VP-digital strategy and local media, Novus Media Inc., Minneapolis, Minn. 
  • Kia Breaux, Bureau Chief, The Associated Press, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Reade Brower, Publisher and entrepreneur,
  • Ken Bunting, exec. dir., National Freedom of Information Coalition, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Connie Burkhardt, retired partner, Edward Jones Trust Co., former curator, Univ. of Missouri, Kirkwood, Mo. 
  • Dorothy Carner, journalism libraries head, adjunct professor, Missouri School of Journalism
  • Barbara Cochran, Professor, Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting, Missouri School of Journalism, Washington, D.C.
  • Kent Collins, chair, radio-tv faculty, Missouri School of Journalism 
  • Brad Degraf, Founder-CEO, Sociative Inc., Corte Madera, Calif. 
  • Bill Densmore, president, CircLabs Inc., and RJI consulting fellow, Williamstown, Mass.
  • Stephanie Ebbs, assistant city editor, Columbia Missourian, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Margaret Enright, Producer, Stay Tuned
  • Michael Fancher, director, Journalism That Matters / former executive editor, The Seattle Times, Seattle, Wash. 
  • Linda Fantin, director, network journalism and innovation, American Public Media, St. Paul, Minn. 
  • Connie Farrow, Reynolds Fellow / project manager, American Newspaper Digital Access Corp., Columbia, Mo.
  • Roger Fidler, program director, RJI Digital Publishing Alliance, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Jim Flink, VP-general manager,, Columbia, Mo.
  • Margaret Freivogel, founding editor, the St. Louis Beacon, St. Louis, Mo.  
  • Roger Gafke, program-development director, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Kim Garretson, Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Columbia, Mo.
  • Sean Goggins, Ph.D., researcher, Univ. of Missouri Informatics Institute, Columbia 
  • David Herzog, RJI Fellow, FOI researcher, assoc. professor, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Amanda Hicks, editorial-operations director, CQ Roll Call, Washington, D.C.
  • Jim Jacoby, consumer experience expert, founder/administrator, ADMCi / School of Digital Craftsmanship, Chicago, Ill.  
  • Hawley Johnson, lead researcher, Investigative Dashboard, Bennington, Vt. 
  • Tom Kent, VP standards, The Associated Press, New York, N.Y.
  • Lynda Kraxberger, assoc. dean, undergrad studies, Missouri School of Journalism 
  • Michael Lombardo, President, Newspaper Data Exchange LLC, Chesterfield, Mo. 
  • Debra Mason, publisher, Religion News Service, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Amy McCombs, executive editor, / Lee Hills free-press professor, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Peter Meng, adFreeq, Columbia, Mo.
  • Elizabeth Miller, social scientist, international communications coordinator, University of Missouri 
  • Graf Mouen, founder-CEO, Taxonometrics Inc. / consultant, CircLabs Inc., New York, N.Y. 
  • Craig Newman, CEO, Freedom2Connect Foundation, New York, N.Y. 
  • Susan Older, founder, / founding editor, USAToday, Falls Church, Va. 
  • Chris Peck, Associate Editor, The Riverton [Wyo.] Ranger / director, Journalism That Matters 
  • Pekka Pekkala, visiting scholar, technology and sustainable hyperlocal journalism, Univ. of So. Calif.-Annenberg School, Los Angeles 
  • John Phenix, General Manager at Phenix Solutions, Rolla, Mo.
  • Randy Picht, executive director, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Mark Potts, VP-content, The World Co., Lawrence, Kan. (EARLY VISION)
  • Steve Rice, asst. professor/convergence journalism, Missouri School of Journalism 
  • Arnie Robbins, executive director, American Society of News Editors, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Janet Saidi, news director, KBIA Radio (NPR), University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Lilie Schliesser, "MediaParley", media-education graduate student, Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. 
  • Dan Schultz, ReynoldsFellow, "Truth Goggles" / projects / visiting programmer, Syracuse Univ. Newhouse School, Providence, R.I. 
  • Lisa Skube, Previous Reynolds Fellow, and Project architect, Journalism Accelerator
  • Kevin Smith, editor, The Fulton Sun, Fulton, mo. 
  • Josh Stearns, journalism and public-media campaign director,, Northampton, Mass.
  • Brian Steffens, director of communications, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Borchuluun Yadamsuren, user experience researcher, Univ. of Missouri School of Information Science and Learning Tech
  • Richard Ward, CEO / Publisher, Wyandotte Publishing, Kansas City, Mo. 
  • Tom Warhover, executive editor, The Columbia Missourian/ print-journalism faculty chair, Columbia, Mo.
  • Carlos Watson, CEO/Founder, Ozy Media, former MSNBC anchor / director College Track, Mountain View, Calif.   (SPEAKER) 
  • Le Anne Wiseman, director, youth journalism initiative, American Society of News Editors, Columbia, Mo. 
  • Stacey Woelfel, news director/assoc. professor, KOMU-TV (NBC), Columbia, Mo. 
  • Ying Wu, asst. professor, design, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, Mo.  (formerly Boston Globe / Beijing News)
  • Borchuluun Yadamsuren, User Experience Research, University of Missouri

Virtual participants

  • Zita Arocha, senior lecturer, Dept. of Communication, Univ. of Texas, El Paso 
  • David Cohn, editor, / RJI alumni fellow, Berkeley, Calif. F
  • Habtamu "Hab" Dugo, adjunct jounalism professor, Westchester Community College, Valhalla, N.Y.
  • Peggy Holman, director, Journalism That Matters/ co-author, The Change Handbook, Bellevue, Wash.
  • Mandy Jenkins, director of interactives, Digital First Media, Washington, D.C. 
  • Martin Langeveld, Nieman blogger, media consultant and exec. VP, CircLabs Inc., Vernon, Vt.
  • John McManus, author and founder,, San Jose, Calif.
  • Fidel Moreno, documentary filmmaker / co-director, Healing Winds, Lanesborough, Mass. (VIDEO) 
  • Sarah Nordgren, director, content development, The Associated Press, New York, N.Y.
  • John Panteleone, chair, journalism, Harrington School of Communication & Media, Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston, R.I.
  • Martin Reynolds, senior editor of community engagement, Bay Area News Group/MediaNews Group, Oakland, Calif. 
  • Bob Rose, deputy managing editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch/online advisory co-chair, Lee Enterprises
  • Barbara "B.J." Roche, senior lecturer and internship coordinator, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.
  • Tom Stites, founder/president, The Banyan Project, Haverhill, Mass. 
  • Eesha Williams, author, Grassroots Journalism / editor, news cooperative, Brattleboro, Vt.


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