Why do we need journalism? What happens if we don’t have it? These are just two of the questions that a group of students in the MFA Interaction Design Department are asking as part of a new initiative called Global Reporting Room (GRR), a collaborative platform for 21st-century journalism. The project is bringing together students, journalists, media executives and designers to create an interactive ecosystem for building, reporting and sharing content. It’s being led by faculty member Paul Pangaro, Ph.D., a technology executive, conversation theorist and entrepreneur who heads Cybernetic Lifestyles.com; and Claudine Boeglin, a creative director in digital and print media who co-founded Magnum in Motion, the multimedia studio of the legendary photographic co-operative Magnum Photos.
As envisioned by its co-founders, GRR is meant to be, “a living expression of the processes of effective citizen journalism in our evolving era or participation and media.” In its first phase, GRR has put a series of questions to individuals about the role of journalists and journalism in society and captured their answers on video to spark public dialogue. Already, the project has attracted participation from media leaders like Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor at the Associated Press; Clay Shirky, a writer who teaches in New York University’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program; and Gideon Lichfield, deputy editor at Economist.com. Their involvement is all the more noteworthy since, according to GRR’s creators, the project was started to move, “away from sources of ‘authority’ and so-called traditional media, and towards a global form of citizen journalism.”
Pangaro and Boeglin are introducing GRR to an international audience in a two-part workshop at this year’s PICNIC design festival in Amsterdam, where a group of Dutch university students will join the conversation along with practitioners from around the world. Click here for a preview.