About the Journovation Journal

Welcome to the Journovation Journal, a publication about innovation in journalism. We operate out of the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University with support from the Peter A. Horvitz Chair in Journalism Innovation. I’m Dan Pacheco and, with a lot of help from research assistant Brian Moritz, I’m behind this site.

Why focus on journalism innovators? Technology has turned the traditional news business model on its head, but it’s also creating a renaissance in how journalists inform and connect with their audiences. The purpose of the Journovation Journal is to to put a bright spotlight on the future of news, from innovative projects in existing newsrooms, to journalism startups, to entrepreneurially-minded freelance journalists.

It’s our overarching belief that the future for journalists is bright as long as they focus on how best to meet the needs of the audiences they seek to inform. Individual success stories abound, but they are often drowned out by the larger discussion about how to save the news industry and practices of the last century

While we think that discussion is important, we also feel that it’s well reported elsewhere. Our goal with the Journovation Journal is not to figure out how to fix the past, but to focus on the future and the opportunity it presents. The lessons learned here can inform both legacy news organizations looking to improve their digital game, and “entrepreneurial journalists” who are doing it on their own.

Here are just  few ways that the future is bright for journalists who take advantage of everything the digital ecosystem has to offer.

1. Curation is King. Networked digital devices such as the personal computer and mobile devices have led to an explosion in information and opinion. People have more access to instant information at any time in history, but as that sea of information grows deeper, how can they be sure what they’re receiving is true, accurate and balanced? Far from killing opportunity, digital publishing and social media create an even bigger need for journalists to help people separate the wheat from the chaff.

2. New Business Models Abound. Digital publishing creates new ways for journalists to fund their important work. In the past, only a few privileged organizations could afford to print, distribute or broadcast the same message to millions, and as a result those companies could charge a premium to advertisers.

Today, millions of people can publish highly targeted messages directly to each other, and the advertisers have more choices than they know how to leverage. This fundamental disruption in supply and demand makes it exceedingly difficult for legacy news organizations to adapt, but there is a silver lining. Smart journalists and news organizations are now free to create entirely new products and relationships with advertisers, and explore new ways of funding their activities.

This isn’t just an idea or a theory, but a reality. The Journovation Journal will highlight entrepreneurial journalists who take novel approaches to funding their work, and are willing to share what works for them so others can follow in their footsteps.

3. The Journalist is the Brand. Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest make it possible for journalists to aggregate audiences that are many orders of magnitude larger than any they were able to reach through old media forms. But more than that, they’re able to directly reach their followers without spending a penny.

In the past, writers got a name through the media outlets they wrote for, but that’s no longer the only path to growing an audience. The definition of who qualifies as a journalist is also expanding through blogs and citizen media. We will highlight journalists who are creating a name for themselves or their organizations in the social sphere and using their newfound power for civic good.

The future of journalism is bright if you know where to look. We look forward to telling the stories of journovation that are all around us.

– Dan Pacheco, Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation

Professor Pacheco in the Press

2016 Mirror Awards Ceremony - YouTube

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  • Nonny de la Peña had this to say about Professor Pacheco after her acceptance of an I-3 Mirror Award.

    “Once the [Oculus] Facebook sale happened, $2 billion dollars, you’re not so nuts. But before that happened, a lot of people thought trying to do journalism in virtual reality was crazy...

Students, Faculty to Create Content for HoloLens Augmented Reality Headset

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  • Prof. Dan Pacheco has been accepted into the HoloLens developer program and will work with Newhouse students and faculty to create content for the device. - Dan Pacheco

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Immersive journalism: What virtual reality means for the future of storytelling and empathy-casting - TechRepublic

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  • Prof. Pacheco was interviewed by CBS Interactive's TechRepublic about using virtuality for journalism in the story: "Immersive journalism: What virtual reality means for the future of storytelling and empathy-casting." The piece also referenced Pacheco's Virtual Reality Storytelling course and included a link to a 360 video of the SU football team by class member and football player Eric Jackson...

http://storynext.gannett.com/state-of-vr.pdf

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  • Prof. Pacheco co-authored the primer on virtual reality in this report on The State of Virtual Reality in Journalism for Gannett and the Knight Foundation. - Dan Pacheco

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Daily Orange: Universities should embrace experiential media courses

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  • "There’s a virtual reality course being taught this semester in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications called Virtual Reality Storytelling. (Full disclosure: I am taking the course right now. It’s awesome.) The course’s professor, Dan Pacheco, says demand for the course is high, and for good reason in that it may set you apart in a job interview...

StoryNEXT conference features virtual reality – Hypergrid Business

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  • Professor Pacheco has been added to the advisory board for StoryNEXT, a new annual conference focused on innovators in virtual reality storytelling. - Dan Pacheco

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Recent Breakthroughs In Virtual Reality Go Beyond Simply Playing Video Games | ThinkProgress

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  • "“The more difficult and complicated the subject, the more we seem to want to close the news app and open up Candy Crush,” said Daniel Pacheco, a journalism professor at Syracuse University who specializes in VR storytelling. “VR can counteract this tendency because of its ability make you feel physically present somewhere and to comprehend information by exploring it in an almost physical way...

The Des Moines Register wins Murrow award for Harvest of Change VR Project

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  • The Des Moines Register's Harvest of Change, which was the first project to incorporate virtual reality in a commercial news setting, has won a prestigious Edward R. Murrow award. This emerged from Professor Dan Pacheco working as an innovator in residence at Gannett Digital, where he brought an Oculus Rift and knowledge of how to create VR experiences in Unity...

HoloLens Brings 3D Media Into the Physical World

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  • Professor Pacheco reports on his experience with an extended HoloLens demo at the E3 conference and provides ideas on how it could be used in journalism and media. - Dan Pacheco

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"All the President's Avatars"

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  • Professor Pacheco is interviewed by a Swedish tech magazine about virtual reality journalism. - Dan Pacheco

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Adobe Adds Mixamo 3D Animation Service To Creative Cloud Mix | TechCrunch

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  • "Students in Pacheco’s VR Storytelling course (http://vrstorytelling.org), most of whom have no 3D modeling experience, use Mixamo to easily and inexpensively add interactive characters to scenes that are viewed in Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets" -

    Welcome to the Washing Machine

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    • Prof. Pacheco predicts the future media-disrupting technologies for CommPRObiz: "Part of my job as the Peter Horvitz Chair in Journalism Innovation is to look on the horizon and identify trends that might lead the next waves of disruption. I also challenge my students to do field tests of disruptive technologies, then use what they learn to predict where things will be in another 5 years...

Our list of the best 11 journalism experiments

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  • Columbia Journalism Review just listed the "Harvest of Change” virtual reality journalism project that Professor Pacheco co-produced at Gannett as one of 11 noteworthy journalism experiments today. BDJ senior, now graduated, also contributed as a developer. -

    Virtual Reality Storytelling - From Screen to Beam : Documentary Campus e.V.

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    • Creating Your First VR Experience
      Practical tips for getting started in VR using freely available software and 3D assets. Prof. Dan Pacheco will draw upon material from his Virtual Reality Storytelling class at the S.I. Newhouse School to provide practical steps for creating interactive scenes in Unity3D that can be exported for web and the Oculus Rift...

Virtual Reality Lets the Audience Step into the Story - Nieman Storyboard

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  • "Immersive journalism is picking up now in part because the necessary technology has gotten better, cheaper, and more portable. The smartphone’s ability to stream high-definition video as well as its increasing popularity—58% of Americans had one as of January 2014, according to Pew Research—have further accelerated adoption...

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