I'm working on NYU projects here. Stay tuned! :-)

Journalism and Rivers

A river of news is a kind of RSS aggregator that flows news stories through a page, newest first, at a high rate. It’s a quick way for anyone to follow news from a large number of sources, but it’s especially important for journalists, who must be immediately aware of news as it’s happening.

Rivers make news organizations more efficient at gathering news.

For example, the Local East Village, a collaboration between The New York Times and NYU, is using a river to follow news from bloggers in and around the East Village.

A sports reporter might want a river that captured sporting news both locally and around the world, with a focus on the sports that are of particular interest in his or her community.

Rivers are important, we believe, but few news organizations have them. We don’t believe there huge obstacles in the way.

Plan: This semester, we will teach students how to manage rivers. They will learn how to install and run a server in the cloud, make decisions about what news sources to follow. Develop feedback loops with the people who follow the news (the reporters) and the people who generate it (the communities). Curate reading lists of feeds to share with other organizations.

Sponsorship: We’re seeking sponsorship in the form of cloud servers for use by students and faculty learning how to manage rivers. If, when they leave the university, they want to have rivers for the organizations they join or consult with, they will have to obtain the sevices themselves. This sponsorship is only for students and faculty use.