Researchers focus on newsroom innovations at online journalism symposium

The potential of innovations for news organizations will be tackled by the first research panel of the International Symposium on Online Journalism, starting at 2 p.m. on April 1.

The panel, called “Examining news innovations,” will feature six research projects and be chaired by Amy Schmitz-Weiss, from San Diego State University. The featured papers discuss changes in every aspect of the news process from education to newsroom structures to distribution methods.

Tanja Aitamurto, from the University of Tampere in Finland, and Seth Lewis, from the University of Minnesota, examined the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) by news organizations. Examples they studied include The Guardian’s “open platform”and The New York Times’ “developer network”.

Jake Batsell, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, asked millennials to analyze iPad news apps based on immediacy, non-linear news presentation, multimedia content, and reader interactivity.

Mark Berkey-Gerard, from Rowan University, studied the potential for online hyperlocal journalism by analyzing, a pilot program of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that features an interactive website with content directed towards residents of northwest Philadelphia.

Tim Currie, from University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, looked at Postmedia Network, a Canadian company that owns several daily newspapers that integrated editorial content with Foursquare’s location-based service.

Carla Patrao and Antonio Dias Figueiredo, from the University of Coimbra, set out to discover how to educate the next generation of journalists with innovative techniques in a social context and with the aid of technology.

Nikki Usher, from the University of Southern California, explored the idea that the routine nature of the newsroom can foster, instead of inhibit, creativity and innovation.