Journalists: Should we see ourselves as ‘knowledge creators’?
The core principle/values discussion in Jim Collins’ “Good to Great” reminded me of the more recent “Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload” by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel.
[ By the way, Jim Collins AND Bill Kovach both associated with Stanford in some way (and Rosenstiel is from Palo Alto) … once again showing all creative roads lead to Stanford. ]
This a long excerpt, but I think it’s spot-on when it comes to our purpose:
The News Organization as Knowledge Creator and Disseminator
Everything we have discussed so far in this chapter involves the idea that for journalism to survive in some recognizable form, news organizations, new or old, must understand and define the function they actually play in people’s lives. … What function does a newsroom serve in its community? What is its essential purpose, apart from generating revenue.
Telling stories is not the answer. Neither is delivering the news, or even monitoring government. All those have been part of it historically. But we think the essential function is something broader and more conceptual, and the future of journalism depends in part on embracing this broader notion.
A news gathering organization is a place that accumulates and synthesizes knowledge about a community, either a geopolitical community or a community of subjects and interests, and then makes that knowledge available and interactive in a variety of ways. (p. 190)
What are some of the kinds of knowledge that newsrooms have accumulated and not yet exploited? What other kinds of knowledge could they begin to accumulate? What are some possible markets for that knowledge? What are some of the ways to disseminate it? And how might those be monetized? (p. 191-192)
Building teams of creative, lifelong learners committed to this purpose of collecting, organizing and disseminating *useful* knowledge seems like a wise path to me.
If only we could come up with a cooler title than “knowledge creator” …. hmmmm ….