Next steps for the Next Newsroom Project (and many overdue thanks!)

As the year winds to an end, let me first note that things have been a bit slow here the last couple weeks as I took a couple weeks off from my day job at the Mercury News to attend to some personal business. And now that I’m back, I’m caught in the holiday scramble to get a few things wrapped up before I disappear again at the end of this month.

But as I settle back into a routine, I wanted to reflect on the past year, and talk a little about where I hope to take this site and this community next. And let me start by pointing you to a post I wrote last week at Idealab where I wrote about “Mistakes I made on the Next Newsroom Project.” I wrote this in the spirit of passing on lessons learned to other members of the News Challenge program.

First off, I’ve been gratified by the support I’ve received from everyone who has joined here. I launched this site officially last January to replace our original site, and we now have (as I write this) 471 members. Over the past month, through Dec. 12, the site had 3,726 unique visitors and 9,747 page views. I put that out there as a baseline to measure against the years to come. And our @nextnewsroom Twitter account is being followed by almost 1,500 people.

Thanks to all of you!

As I wrote before Thanksgiving, we’ve also completed work on the proposal for The Chronicle at Duke University. We’ve also completed the other terms of the grant we received from the Knight Foundation in June 2007. Our obligations have been fulfilled. But that also means the funding for the official project has come to end.

So a thousand thanks for the generosity of the Knight Foundation!

Given the interest in this subject, I’ve decided to keep the site up, and continue the research and reporting around this subject. To do that, I’ve cut way back on some of the costs associated with this site. That’s why, for instance, you now see Google ads in the right-hand column. Those are put there by Ning because I’m no longer paying a monthly hosting fee for a premium account. And I’m also going to stop sending out the weekly newsletter (which hasn’t been weekly for awhile anyways).

I will, however, still be blogging here as often as possible. And this site was always intended to be a group blog, with lots of participation from other folks. I’ve been talking directly to a handful of folks about becoming regular guest bloggers here, and when that happens, I’ll let folks know.

And I still have quite a backlog of interviews and profiles to post here, including visits to the newsrooms at TechCrunch, WNYC, and Current TV. So stay tuned for those.

Also, I’ll continue to blog at IdeaLab.

I expect things will be somewhat calm here through the holidays. And then I’ll resume daily posts after the New Year.

So if you’ve enjoying our work here, please subscribe to our email alerts, or add the site to your RSS feed reader. And suggest topics or discussions you’d like to have here. Better yet, contribute something that’s been on your mind.

Again, thanks to everyone for all the support you’ve shown. And have a Happy New Year.

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2 Responses

  1. Audrey: Great! Happy Holidays to you, too! And let’s talk more in the New Year!

  2. Thank you Chris for all your work ! I checked in with CBC and they begin moving into their new newsroom in the summer – the building exterior is finished. My hope is to tour it then and find out about changes in approach to news gathering etc. so I can report here. Happy Holidays!

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