Conference Agenda —
Thursday, April 29, 2010:
7:30 p.m. Speech by Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!
Friday, April 30, 2010:
The second day of the conference will consist of four panels, each addressing one of the tenets of conventional wisdom on the media. Panels will open with a talk supporting a specific principle. The panel members will then question, analyze, and debate the speaker’s thesis in an effort to introduce complexity and substance into the national dialogue about the future of journalism.
9 a.m. Introduction by Sarah Hinchliff Pearson, Residential Fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet & Society
9:15 – 10:45 a.m. Panel #1: Tenet = Professional journalism must be saved.
Moderator: Ann Grimes, Stanford University
This panel will challenge the assumption that the decline of professional journalism is a crisis for democracy. Questions to be discussed include (1) Is professional journalism truly critical to democracy, or can accountability journalism survive through citizen journalism, social networking sites, and other peer production models? (2) If the decline of traditional media leaves a void in investigative reporting, should the government, private donors, or the market solve the problem? (3) Can we learn anything about the current crisis in journalism by looking at the history of the American press?
Panelists: Phil Bronstein, San Francisco Chronicle; John Nichols, The Nation; Joan Walsh, Salon; Dan Gillmor, Arizona State University
11:15 a.m. – 12: 45 p.m. Panel #2: Tenet = Information wants to be free.
Moderator: Anthony Falzone, Stanford Law School
This panel will analyze the real-life impact of the free information ethos on the practice of journalism. Questions to be discussed include (1) If news can be freely copied and distributed, will anyone bother to invest in newsgathering? (2) Is the free content culture of the Internet worth the sacrifice of traditional media? (3) Can intellectual property law and content paywalls help sustain professional journalism?
Panelists: David Marburger, Baker Hostetler; Josh Cohen, Google News; Alan Murray, Wall Street Journal; Rebecca Tushnet, Georgetown Law Center
12:45 p.m. Lunch
1:45 – 3:15 p.m. Panel #3: Tenet = We are all journalists now.
Moderator: Theodore Glasser, Stanford University
This panel will dissect the argument that the Internet has democratized publishing and made everyone a potential journalist. Questions to be discussed include (1) Is the Web truly more democratic, or does it reinforce the old ecosystem in a new medium? (2) How do we maintain accuracy and accountability in reporting when anyone can claim to be a journalist? (3) Can we still differentiate professional journalists under the law when there is no clear way to define what a journalist is?
Panelists: Scott Rosenberg, author; Geneva Overholser, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism; Bruce Brown, Baker Hostetler; C.W. Anderson, College of Staten Island (CUNY)
3:15 p.m. Break
3:45 – 5:15 p.m. Panel #4: Tenet = The Web has eroded the quality of public discourse.
Moderator: James Fishkin, Stanford University
This panel will challenge the theory that the Internet is a vast cultural wasteland, ill-suited for the distribution of serious news. Questions to be addressed include (1) Does partisanship in the blogosphere affect the quality of the public conversation about politics and current events? (2) Is it paternalistic to lament that the Internet gives consumers autonomy over what information and news they read? (3) How do consumers find relevant and reliable news amidst the chaos of the Web? (4) Is the waning influence of the mainstream media over the public dialogue a net positive or negative for society?
Panelists: Jay Rosen, New York University; Jaron Lanier, author and technologist; Joshua Cohen, Stanford University; Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer