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Journalism continues to shift with new year in sight

Published: Friday, Dec. 20 2013 7:25 p.m. MST

EBay opens the newest facility in Draper.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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Journalism's shift will continue for the forseeable future, as a prominent entrepreneur looks to start a nonprofit news outlet and journalism experts notice a change happening.

While investigative and long-form journalism is still popular in today's news climate, the industry is changing, too, according to the Nieman Reorts, which published an article that said journalism is going to shift in what writer Cory Haik calls "adaptive journalism."

“Adaptive journalism accounts for everything — your device and its potential (accelerometer, anyone?), your live environment (Sunday night couch with a tablet? Smartphone at the airport?), where you clicked or tapped from (social?washingtonpost.com?) or even where you’re going next (want to switch devices? or couches? airports?).”

Part of the growth will also include finding solutions, according to writer Jan Schaffer of Nieman Reports.

"I see the convergence of several trends that are beginning to provoke a new conversation about whether journalists can — and should — craft a more deliberate suite of tools that inspire movement and action," wrote Schaffer.

Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, will be starting his own news movement. He plans to start up a news organization. And he's not doing it for money.

The news organization — which has yet to be named, but will cover “politics, government, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, arts and culture, business, technology, and investigative news” — will develop under the umbrella of the First Look Media organization, according to a post on The Omidyar Group's website.

USA Today reported that Omidyar is going to be the publisher of the organization, too. After investing $50 million into the news outlet, Omidyar plans to lead the way for all editorial and content decisions, USA Today reported.

“I am deeply committed to the long-term effort to build a new and exciting platform for journalism — one that not only provides the innovation and infrastructure journalists need to do their best work, but that brings their reporting and storytelling to the widest possible audience," Omidyar said on the group’s website.

And although Omiyard’s news outlet itself will be nonprofit, another section of First Look Media that will develop new media technology will be for profit, reported The Raw Story.

“The news and editorial operation will be a non-profit. The technology company will be a business run for profit,” said Jay Rosen, a New York University journalism professor, in a blog post, according to The Raw Story. “If the tech company is successful it can help fund the journalism mission, along with other possible sources of revenue.

This isn’t the only nonprofit news institution, though, according to Raw Story.

“Here the journalism operation is a non-profit, housed within a parent company, which may have other entities inside it,” Rosen said, according to The Raw Story. “The entire operation is designed to support the mission of independent public service journalism, achieve sustainability and attract talent.”

Attracting talent has already begun, as Rosen has joined the project, too, according to Poynter. And Glen Greenwald, a former reporter for The Guardian who helped Edward Snowden leak National Security Agency documents, will also be working with Omidyar in this new venture, The Huffington Post reported.

“Greenwald has the star billing in the new operation,” reported The Guardian. “Also on board is Laura Poitras, the Berlin-based filmmaker who has been heavily involved in coverage of the Snowden leaks. … Other early signings include Jeremy Scahill, former national security correspondent of The Nation and former Huffington Post and Washington Post journalist Dan Froomkin.”

Building locations for the organization are likely to be in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., according to The Guardian.

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com, Twitter: @hscribner

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