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Slide show explaining the mosaic for Ashoka's News & Knowledge program (4/21/10)


  • 1. Framing the Mosaic April, 2010

2. We seek to bestir the people into an awareness of their own condition, provide inspiration for their thoughts, and rouse them to pursue their true interests. Jack Knight 3. Tomorrows News:Drivers 4. Driver: Technology

  • Tectonic shifts in technology have changed forever the way we create, deliver, and consume news and knowledgeupending the traditional economics and politics of the field.
  • Ease of entry : New media have dramatically lowered barriers to entry for providers and distributors of information, making publishing virtually costless.
  • News, unpackaged : The Internet has forced the disaggregation of information from traditional media packages/brands.
  • Everyone is connected : Social networking technologies have connected people in myriad new ways. Centralized, one-to-many media now competes head-on with many-to-many, as the crowd becomes its own channel.
  • Universal access:Inventive use of new media can overcome historical problems of media access, particularly in the developing world. Platform flexibility also allows for more competitive start-ups to flourish in cheaper media forms.

5. 6. Driver: Information User

  • People are graduating from passive consumers of information to more active informationusers .
  • Changed patterns of use : The way people connect with information is shifting. Theyre no less interested in getting information about their world but theyareless interested in the traditional sources of and pathways to that information.
  • Market fragmentation:As people form ever-evolving communities rooted in a multitude of shared interests (physical geography only one among them), the mass that historically consumed mass media is splintering into ever more narrow audiences defined by diverse and often momentary needs.
  • Information as a platform for effective citizenship : On the other hand, as people confront a new norm of logarithmically escalating change, there is a shared need, more intense than ever, for news and knowledge that help them master the skills empathy, teamwork, e.g. needed to become effective participants in an everyone-a-changemaker world.

7. Tomorrows News:Outcomes Decentralization of information flows Enabling of culture of participation Explosion of new storytelling forms 8. Outcome: Decentralized information

  • The explosion of new media, and the low cost of distributing data via those media, have made the reins of information available to all no longer the exclusive domain of large media organizations and knowledge professionals.
  • Heightened democracy : This shift is, per se, a democratizing phenomenon: more people then ever have access to more information than ever, from more sources than ever.
  • Remedy for marginalization : That content has become accessible to many previously information-marginalized by geography, economics, and culture in multiple forms on the web, but also on mobile phones and radio.
  • Freedom/transparency : The uber-availability of information has diminished the ability of governments and other centralized institutions to determine/limit what citizens know about the world and forced them to reckon instead with the promise of much greater transparency.

9. 10. Outcome: Explosion of storytelling

  • Storytelling is a universal form of communication that has united communities throughout history. But the fundamental dynamic of that form has shifted.
  • Boundaryless narratives : The boundaries of timed broadcast, of physical publications, have vanished.News tumbles through a connected society, spiraling through media, changing as it goes, an organic story with no beginning, middle or end. What seems chaotic is actually a story arc that assumes clarity, context and meaning as it unfolds...
  • New roles : The traditional line between storytellers & audience has diminished, and digital media has allowed formerly passive news consumers to tell their own stories, to be the first witnesses, to set the story free from traditional media.
  • Aggressive experimentation : Innovators are coming up with storytelling forms and strategies that reflect both new technological tools and a changed, more diverse culture.

11. 12. Outcome: Culture of participation

  • New media forms both reflect and enable ever-evolving forms of engagement and social expression in a networked world.
  • The new center : At the center of the new mediascape isus ; the media is about mediating human relationships.
  • Everyone an editor : In these networks, whether on Facebook or MySpace, email list-serves, or Twitter, everyone is essentially an editor, parsing and recommending information thats consumed by everyone else. Trust, and so trustworthiness of information, is a function primarily of who passed it along and how you feel about him/her; and the conversation is as at least as important as the information itself.
  • Information + community >> engagement.Membership in these information networks allows and encourages participation. Engagement with the new levers of news & knowledge can be both a powerful act of citizenship and a pathway to other changemaking activities.

13. 14. Tomorrows News:Challenges Decentralization of information flows Enabling of culture of participation Values Sustainability Explosion of new storytelling forms 15. Challenge: Values

  • How will emerging knowledge strategies and organizations reconcile with qualities we have historically valuedfreedom of speech, fairness, accuracy, privacy, and accountability?
  • The quality quandary : We are just starting to grapple with the democratic consequence of the proliferation of information. There are obvious trade-offs (reliability, trustworthiness) as control of knowledge creation and distribution becomes decentralized. Citizen journalists can provide dispatches from previously inaccessible or ignored communitiesbut the quality of such reporting has been notoriously poor. The rise of blogs like the Drudge Report and Talking Points mark a new generation of watchdogs holding government and other institutions to taskyet its not always clear that their Wild West reporting merits our trust and credence.
  • Security guards : Its also not clear, as control of information moves from a few known entities to everyone that we can ensure peoples privacy and security. What are the new rules and safeguards?

16. 17. Challenge: Sustainability

  • As exciting as we find this explosion of new models and strategies for news & wonder, were still left with the question: How will society pay for them?
  • Its manifest that, for many media organizations, traditional business models are failing. Many newspapers and broadcast companies cannot sustain the investments required to support deep, expert reporting that better connects people with their world. Meanwhile, many new media have demonstrated an ability to attract audience but not necessarily audience that will pay enough to support quality information. As changing audiences and technologies rapidly and radically alter the revenue streams associated with news products, what financial and legal structures will better serve that end?
  • Another area rich with experimentation: hybrid for-profit/non-profit models; user-funded journalism; pooling for urgent capital formation

18. 19. Emerging Principles

  • The emergence of a culture of participation in news & knowledge requires anew set of toolsthat allow people to engage effectively, even in anecdotal ways, as information producers and distributors. This amounts to a broad need for heightened news literacy: How do we prepare people to know what theyre seeing, and to act on it?
  • Communities increasingly will develop distinctive forms of expression and theneed for systems that link information and action . They likewise will need tools to organize & curate information, and to indicate/manage an agenda for coverage. This implies new hybrid media forms and an evolution in the role of knowledge professional as community organizer.
  • Amid the proliferation of information, there is a stark need for a)mechanisms that help determine which information is goodand b)new incentives and safeguards that systematically protect the right to privacy.

20. Tomorrows News:Architecture Decentralization of information flows Enabling of culture of participation Values Sustainability Explosion of new storytelling forms 21. A New Architecture

  • What architecture will provide the capacity for continuous innovation/iteration while preserving permanent values?
  • Social entrepreneurs themselves ensure a perpetual engine of innovation but that activity must represent the best interests of society. How is that ensured?
  • An educated consumer ensures efficient demand. If people understand that engaging with quality information about their world is important; if they appreciate the historical values; if they are equipped to engage with information effectively, then they provide a needed check/balance on entrepreneurs.
  • Even so, we see the need for systemic regulatory structures to ensure that dynamic innovation is true to permanent values. These structures may be governmental or like Creative Commons not.


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