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Columbia University debate on the changing media landscape

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I am just back from New York City and I must tell you about this wonderful experience I had at the Hearst Media Dialogues. On November 11, I had the great chance to participate to the Hearst Media Dialogues, a panel on the future of online journalism, organised by Sree Sreenivasan at the Columbia University Journalism school in NYC.

I know, I should have told you about this before, but I hope this report will let you feel a bit of the energy emerging from this conversation.

From left to right: Sewell Chan (City Room), David Cohn (, Adriano Farano (, Erica Smith (Paper cuts), Jacob Weisberg (Slate).

Of course, I tried to explain what a pan-European online media is, how the Erasmus Program is dramatically changing the life of many of us and why the 2009 European elections will be a great chance to start a true transnational conversation among people in the Old Continent. I hope the message was clear and honoured enough the amazing work the entire community and staff do every day in order to offer a true babelian experience to our readers.

It was astonishing to check that at least 1/4 of people attending raised their hands when I asked who was European there.

Jacob Weisberg, chairman of Slate group, was very interested in translators network. "How can you find translators for free?", he asked. "In our community everyone share a common value: to create a European public opinion". I was thrilled by the fact that he was wondering whether this would work in America among the different communities. Why not exporting recipe to the New World!

I also liked a lot what David Cohn said about his project, Thanks to the Knight Foundation support, he started a non-profit website where readers can fund journalistic investigations on San Francisco issues. This can be, on return, a good laboratory for an idea to be imported in Europe later on. Good luck, David!

Sewell Chan, a New York Times blogger, emphazised the importance of local communities, on the basis of his amazing experience with City Room blog.

And Erica Smith illustrated her Paper Cuts initiative monitoring all the journalists job cuts in the US media industry.

One of the most interesting moments: Q&A with participants... someone was telling me about the idea of "importing" in Asia idea.

Sree was great in animating the debate with a great use of the screen showing the websites panelists were mentioning and other stuff.

If you want to see the debate and enjoy my terrible English accent just click here :-)

In the meanwhile I hope not to fall again into my post-America syndrome like one year before.

All the pictures by Rebecca Castillo/Columbia Journalism School