Phillip Smith

The Future of the Future of News

It has been a hectic couple weeks since we returned from out west; catch-up sure can be a killer. Either way, I'm not letting my overly-tired ass stay put tonight, tomorrow, or Friday, as Toronto becomes ground zero for some of the most exciting conversation in online news, citizen journalism, and media democracy.

Thanks to Lisa Rundle, I've got ring-side seats for what is sure to be one of the week's more exciting events: CBC's The Future of the Future of News forum. Sparks are sure to fly when Andrew Keen and Leonard Brody go head-to-head on the topic of citizen journalism. Andrew is the author of The Cult of the Amateur -- a book that refuses to accept that the Web is changing the rules -- and Leonard is the founder of Now Public, a Vancouver-based citizen journalism start-up that is catching mainstream attention.

On Thursday and Friday, the Online News Association is holding their 2007 conference here in Toronto at the Sheraton. Both days are jammed with exciting sessions, all being delivered by people that I've been anxious to connect with. It would be hard to get more impressive folks in a room -- everyone from the Washington Post's interactive team (like Adrian Holovaty talking about "The Cutting Edge of Online Data"), to Jay Rosen, Dan Gilmour, and Slashdot's Robin "Roblimo" Miller. I'm not one for autographs... but, hey, why not?

And, If I can skip out of work this afternoon, the ONA is hosting a seminar with recent winners of the Knight News Challenge. No autographs necessary -- just a copy of your winning proposal, please. ;-) Seriously though, my fingers are crossed this year for two organizations that I've been lucky enough to work with -- The Tyee and -- who both submitted applications in the most recent round.

So, if you don't see me at the Jet Fuel this Saturday, you'll know it's because I'm either recovering or working all weekend!


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


Want to launch a local news business? Apply now for the journalism entrepreneurship boot camp

I’m excited to announce that applications are now open again for the journalism entrepreneurship boot camp. And I’m even more excited to ...… Continue reading