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Wondering out loud about journalism

August 4, 2014 (updated on December 28, 2014)

After leaving TagesWoche, I’m taking some time off. To travel, to meet people, to work on some projects of mine – and eventually to figure out what to tackle next.

I hope to spend a good part of the coming months pondering on a number of tough challenges and new ideas I consider relevant for journalism to thrive in a digital context. These are no secrets, so I’ve compiled a list of topics, assumptions and questions about journalism and the media business that keep me busy.

Please get in touch if you think we should talk about or join forces for one of these issues.

Topics, questions and assumptions

(in no particular order, list will be updated as I go along)

  • There’s great potential in the right mixture of algorithmic, crowdsourced and authoritative curation. Update: Wrote an article on why this matters: To compete with the web’s giants, news organisations need to become better at sending people away
  • Every story and every news event creates a micro-community.
  • Redundancy everywhere. Just look around.
  • Most news sites are very bad at keeping readers once they’ve gotten their attention for the very first time.
  • Once a reader has finished an article, we should offer him more. More of what?
  • People will not pay for news. They will pay for a distinctive voice.
  • The zoomable article
  • How to define and measure success of individual stories? Would it make sense to calculate expected metrics (“for a story like this, we should get X”) and then measure if a story lives up to its potential?
  • Too much journalism is sold via guilt («you should care about this»), not curiosity («this is worth your time»). Young people don’t buy into this.
  • The renewed popularity of newsletters points to a flaw in the system of news distribution.
  • Semi-automated journalism, or, if you prefer a buzzword: robot journalism.
  • Self-updating / realtime data journalism
  • Time-based personalisation: A news site should show me the most relevant stories I’ve missed since my last visit (wrote a blogpost about it a while ago in German, should probably translate and update it).
  • Collaboration rather than comments: Give readers tasks and let them give you tasks.
  • Why is hardly any journalistic content embeddable?
  • Why do journalists keep saying curiosity is key to their job when most are stupefyingly incurious about how journalism is changing?
  • Stock and flow
  • How can we make journalism work on ever smaller screens?
  • How can we optimise content for each of the platforms it is published on – while at the same time storing it in a way that is completely platform-agnostic and thus future-proof?
  • A lot of what’s published as a standalone article is in fact an update to or a new version of a previous article. Newsroom technology and workflows need to support this.
  • How can news be told as games without trivialising it?

My projects

  • Continue the Weekly Filet as a standalone project, integrate it in someone’s offer or build an empire around it? First update: A completely revamped archive is live. Second update: Supporter program launched.
  • Looking for a longterm collaboration partner for Dystopia Tracker. I think we’re onto something, but it needs more resources.
  • Should we resuscitate #gutetexte? In what form? With whom? (pinging @oler und @j_nb)
  • Just leave Instacurate as it is? What could it become if more time is invested?
  • Update: A new project! Facts to go – a platform for sharing and discovering facts.

Hello, nice to meet you. I'm David Bauer. I’m a journalist by training, a product person by conviction, and a generalist at heart. I love complex issues and helping people navigate them. Learn more →

📨 hello@davidbauer.ch 🐦 @davidbauer

Weekly Filet

Thousands of curious minds trust the Weekly Filet for food for thought. Every Friday, I send out a carefully curated set of recommendations on what to read, watch, listen to.

Past work

I have worked for startups and large companies.
As a journalist, strategist, product lead.

I have written stories and strategies.
I have built products and teams.

I have hired, mentored and promoted people.
I have navigated and accelerated transformation.
Pushed for and nurtured culture change.

I have wrangled data and code.
For insights and data visualisations.
Even a series of games.

And a ton of other things that got me excited.

If there’s one thing that connects it all,
it’s my love for connecting dots and trying new things.

🤝
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, The Guardian, Quartz, Republik, Refind, Livingdocs, Radio Free Europe, Der Spiegel, Das Magazin, Tages-Anzeiger, SonntagsZeitung, TagesWoche, Schweizerische Depeschenagentur, Echtzeit Verlag, MAZ Journalistenschule, TEDxZurich, Bluewin, and some more.

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