Phillip Smith

#MozNewsLab lectures by @Shazna from @AP_Interactive, @Mohamed from @AJEnglish & @iA from, well, @iA now online

Week three of the #MozNewsLab is all wrapped up.

I’m almost experiencing a pang of sadness that we only have a few days to go until the lab is concluded. It really has flown by too quickly.

Of course, that sadness is offset by two things:

  1. Twenty participants will be invited to the next phase of the program: a five-day event in Berlin focused on building software prototypes.

  2. Having the opportunity to get out and enjoy what’s left of this amazing summer! :) My guess is that all of the people involved in #MozNewsLab – the particpants, and the faculty – are looking forward to a few days off.

First things first…

Last week we turned the corner from a focus on technology to a focus on journalism, news, and reporting. All of the guest speakers were asked to share their experiencing of where and how technology is impacting their newsrooms, or what changes are underway at news organizations today in the context of technology.

The week was kicked off by Shazna Nessa, Director of Interactive at the Associated Press in New York. Shazna shared how the AP is changing – how they are trying to break down silos and formalize technology in the newsroom, as well as introducing new skills and pushing toward new forms of interactive news presentation.

You can watch Shazna’s lecture here.

Following Shazna was Mohamed Nanabhay, Head of Online at Al Jazeera English. Mohamed delivered a mile-a-minute lecture on the speed at which Al Jazeera English has moved into our consciousness, and what that has meant for their news delivering infrastructure. Mohamed also dived into questions about sources, fact checking, verification, and the role of user-generated content in Al Jazeera English’s reporting work.

You can watch Mohamed’s lecture here.

Closing out the week’s lecture series was Oliver Reichenstein, CEO of Information Architects. Oliver delivered a 10,000 foot view of the changes underway in news organizations from the perspective of one of the world’s leading design agencies – an agency that has been responsible for some high-profile re-designs, successful software products, and innovative thinking on the future of news.

Oliver’s talk highlighted the tension between design considerations of news sites, and the business considerations that are often in contrast. You can watch Oliver’s lecture here.

We’re in the final sprint. The assignments from last week are starting to flow in to the #MozNewsLab Planet, and many of them are heading in the direction of the final project that is due on Friday.

Yesterday, we heard from Evan Hansen; Tomorrow we hear from Jeff Jarvis.

It’s been a whirlwind month. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along.


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.


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