I have all sorts of thoughts on the creation of a Digitial First Media curation team — as do my DFM colleagues and other journos across the country — and I’m really looking forward to seeing it develop. If you haven’t heard about the curation team yet, before continuing here, check out The Buttry Diary: How should a news curation team work? and Zombie Journalism: Exploring the Role of Curation and Curators in the Newsroom.
Some terms and attributes that immediately come to my mind when thinking about a curation team: organization, communication, news judgment, balance, multitasking, desire to learn, desire to explore, flexibility.
What could a curation team do to help local newsrooms? Mandy Jenkins’ Storify from the Chardon High School shooting is the perfect example. Mandy’s work on that really helped supplement The News-Herald‘s coverage, while the rest of our newsroom was on the ground in Chardon, tracking down sources, chasing rumors, editing and updating our coverage online, moderating an online chatroom, working on the print edition. Putting together a Storify crossed my mind that afternoon, but I just did not have the time and was thankful when I saw the work Mandy had done.
Considering what a curation team could do has reminded me of projects I completed while in library school at Kent State. The courses on social science and humanities information sources and services required that I research topics and evaluate various sources to present the best ones to hypothetical patrons. Similarly, a curation team would need to gather and evaluate websites, blogs, multimedia, government documents, social media users and more, so DFM newsrooms could present that bundle of resources to their audiences to augment their own coverage.
Maybe some of those with a background in library science and museum studies won’t be too thrilled about the curation moniker, but as someone who has had experience in both newsrooms and libraries, I can tell you that they’re much more similar than one might think. Both industries pride themselves on being a resource for good information for the public, on doing research to help others become informed and make good decisions, to help them learn about their own communities and our society as a whole.
Some other responses to the DFM curation team that I’ve enjoyed reading:
- Newsroom With A View: Just because you don’t know how doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try
- Beyond Tetris: What should a curation team do? (A response)
- CynthiaParkhill: Evaluation role is natural for curation team
- CynthiaParkhill: Useful questions for information literacy
- Adam Schweigert: Towards a Better Definition of Curation in Journalism
I find it pretty exciting and encouraging that in this tough time for news organizations, DFM is looking ahead and creating positions that will pay a role in the changing environment and help those in their 75 newsrooms across the country develop skills they’ll need to succeed.