Saturday, April 29, 2006

Innovation Journalism in Slovenia

I have received a letter from the President of the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Prof. Andreja Kocijancic, who wants me to collaborate with them on setting up a Slovenian innovation journalism initiative. Behind her stands two strong people: Marta Svetina, Director General of TIA, the national Slovenian technology agency, and Violeta Bulc, the entrepreneur who has spearheaded the introduction of the concept of innovation journalism in Slovenia. InJo should have a large potential in Slovenia with these people involved.

The letter of intent was signed after the innovation journalism workshop with Slovenian decision makers arranged by Bulc and partners last week. Swedish Ambassador John Hagard opened the workshop and I presented the Innovation Journalism program. Jan Sandred, former InJo fellow now with VINNOVA was also one of the main speakers (His comments are available on his Innovation Journalism Blog.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Innovation Journalism as a Research Theme

Innovation Journalism is a new concept in journalism. It's also a new concept in innovation research. There has not been any systematic work done on the role of journalism in innovation systems. This is needed.

Last week a group of innovation researchers gathered at a workshop that I organized here at Wallenberg Hall@Stanford together with Marc Ventresca (Saeid Business School@Oxford) and Antti Ainamo (SCANCOR@Stanford + Helsinki University). The other participants: Stine Grodal, Stanford; Andrew Hargadon, UC Davis; Stefan Jonsson, SCANCOR@Stanford + Stockholm School of Economics; Turo Uskali,InJo@Stanford + University of Jyväskylä; and Alisa Weinstein, InnovationJournalism.

We discussed Innovation Journalism and the Role of Journalism in Innovation (Eco)Systems as themes for scholarly research. The opinion was positive! We are writing up a workshop report that will present the case.

I believe that innovation researchers need to introduce journalism into their models. Journalism is a powerful actor. Also, academic research offers tools for looking into best practices of innovation journalism, which is good for journalists.

Research can analyze interdependencies between journalists and other actors in the innovation systems, sorting out situations where journalists run into conflicts of interest, or where journalists may be tempted to be loyal to other parties than the readership or the publication. Reserach can uncover hidden dependencies that journalists may not even be aware of that they are influenced by. All of this should be potentially useful for practitioners.

The Innovation Journalism Program network of practitioners that has been built up so far should offer attractive possibilities for the researchers to partner with practitioners. If both practitioners and researchers will enjoy meeting each other through the program, then it will happen.