Saturday, December 15, 2007

Keynote at Israel Business Conference 2007

I had the pleasure to keynote a panel at the Globes Israel Business Conference 2007. Globes is the biggest business daily in Israel, and the IBC is the most prestigious yearly business conference in Israel. It included the participation of prime minister Olmert, President Peres, and leaders from business and politics from Israel and around the world.
Here is the session (Full conference program in pdf here , conference website here):

What's new in news?

Print journalism's battle to survive. Do different news media feed off each other? What is the real effect of freesheets as a primary source of information? Innovation in journalism as an economic growth stimulus.

Session chairs: Ram Landes, Former CEO, Channel 10 News; Lilac Sigan, Editor, Globes Tonight supplement. Keynote speaker: Dr. David Nordfors, Senior Research Scholar, Program Director Innovation Journalism, Stanford University. Participants: Haggai Golan, Editor-in-Chief,Globes; Ze'ev Jasper, CEO & Chief Editor,Nana 10; Dr. Noam Lemelshtrich Latar, Dean, School of Communications and Information, Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center; Hanoch Marmari, Head of Department of Visual Communication, The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design; Amos Regev, Editor-in-Chief, Israel Hayom

Globes published an interview with me before the conference.

Noam Lemelshtrich Latar was a speaker at the Fourth Conference on Innovation Journalism this summer (click here to see a video of his talk at IJ-4)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Injo interview in Globes

Globes, the biggest business daily in Israel, recently ran an interview with me on Injo.

The interview on was made by Globes staff writer Yael Gaoni. The unedited interview in English is here. The published story in Hebrew is here (online layout) and here (newspaper layout)

Globes pioneered startup journalism in the nineties. In a time when all major business dailys in the world found it unthinkable to routinely cover anything else than listed companies, Globes set up a solid daily coverage of the Israeli startup sector and its extension into foreigh markets, such as Silicon Valley and Europe. Reporting on new startups and venture capital every day, they systematically built a database of Israeli startups and investors that became the standard resource for business people both inside and outside Israel, as well as putting the hightech economy on the public agenda in the late nineties. Globes startup journalism is a central part of the Israeli innovation economy, and was one of the initial inspirations for the innovation journalism initiative.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Deutsche Welle Organizes Injo Seminar

Deutsche Welle, the German national world news service is a new partner in the Injo international network. The DW is a large news organisation, broadcasting all over the world in 29 languages. On December 5 the Deutsche Welle organized at their headquarters in Bonn their first seminar on Innovation Journalism, which I had the pleasure to keynote. The program of the seminar is here.

The seminar was opened by Wilfried Ründe, initiator and project leader of the seminar. Wilfried is an experienced German news professional, and in charge of innovation projects at the DW.

Tobias Trosse delivered a very entertaining talk on innovation and how the news relates to it, before I proceeded to explain the injo concept and show some examples from the Injo program.

The seminar ended with a very good panel discussion, including Wilfried Rütten - director of the European Journalism Center (another partner in the Injo network), news anchor Heather DeLisle, DW-Akademie development manager Daniel Hirschler, and sports editor Stefan Nestler.

After a very lively discussion, moderator Wilfried Ründe asked the audience of DW-professionals to vote on the value of the Injo concept. It was all thumbs up.

Looking forward to continue working with Deutsche Welle!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Injo in Bilbao

Innovation Journalism was keynoted in Bilbao, Spain, at the seminar "Knitting the Innovation Cluster", organized by Cluster Conocimiento, and Fundacion Telefonica.. The program of the seminar is here: Bilbaoseminar.pdf (original in spanish)

The meeting in Bilbao was spearheaded by Monica Moso, the director of Cluster Conocimiento. Monica is a powerhouse. I am very impressed by her ability to set a target and putting things together to achieve her goals. It will be very good to continue working with the Basque region.

The national Basque public service EITB news channel 24 made an interview with me, available in English, Spanish or French,

Here is their video interview:

And here is a short interview I did with the EITB new media editor Lontzo Sainz Neto:

One of the speakers at the seminar, Spanish innovation & communication strategist and blogger Dioni Nestral, summarized the seminar here (in spanish) (Google translation into english here - translation algorithms are becoming very good). He is a good thinker and commentator.

One can sense a lot of optimism in Bilbao, the capital of the Basque region. Twenty years ago, they had a major economic crisis, and until ten years ago, the river running through the city was dominated by run-down shipyards. Then the Guggenheim museum was built, a fabulous piece of architecture, which set a new tone for the city. In just a few years Bilbao has been transformed into a major architectural attraction, it is very beautiful, and for those who like eating good food, it is a must-visit. Aesthetics are important basics in human life, hopefully the economists will find good ways of including it in competitiveness, if it is not already implicitly there, controlling other measurable factors.

The Basque government has now decided to address innovation. They are naming2008 the "year of innovation" and will be setting up a new innovation agency, which will be reporting directly to the Basque president. It is a good idea to put innovation issues above the ministries, something that very few countries dare to do. Mostly, innovation is assigned to the ministry of industry. The issues is very much the same as for innovation journalism in the traditional newsroom, where innovation often is seen as a topic within "tech" or "business". The Basque government is on the right track.

They Basque region is actually doing pretty well already. They are ranked 55 out of 203 regions in innovation performance by the 2006 European innovation scoreboard.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Video: Doug Engelbart at IJ-4

Here is the video recording of Doug Engelbart's keynote at the Fourth Conference on Innovation Journalism.

The title of the talk is "Augmenting the collective IQ of societies." Doug Engelbart is known as the father of the concept of the personal computer, and inventor of the computer mouse. He is a proponent of the development and use of computers and networks to build collective intelligence that can solve the world's problems.

The introduction of Doug is made by John Markoff, legendary Silicon Valley journalist.

Doug's vision fits well together with the concept of innovation journalism. Doug addresses this in his talk, noting that innovation journalism can be the "perceptory system" of the collective intelligence.

(many thanks to Jeff Schwartz for providing access to the documentation)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Injo Comes to Oxford

Innovation journalism was featured on Nov 19 at the yearly "Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford" event at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University. Thanks to Marc Ventresca and Fiona Reid of the Entrepreneurship and Science program at Saïd, I was one of the invited speakers this year to speak at the SVCO. I am very much looking forward to continued collaboration with them. Present on the Injo-panel was also Turo Uskali from the University of Jyväskylä, another core member of the Injo initiative, presently a visiting scholar with Marc and Fiona, and the ur-innovation journalist Mike Malone, who is the father of "Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford", running on its seventh year.

The program of SVCO 2007 is here:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sweden funds Three Years of Injo - $1.8M

Up to eighteen Swedish innovation journalism fellows will be participating in the program at Stanford in the coming three years.

VINNOVA, the Swedish National Agency for Innovation Systems - the incubator/seed investor of the innovation journalism initiative - will be funding the innovation journalism program with 12 million Swedish crowns, or about $1.8 million. .

The Swedish innovation journalism initiative went this year from pilot stage to a permanent initiative. The Swedish program has been expanded, and divided into two parts, an International part and a Swedish part.

The International part includes the engagement in the Innovation Journalism Program at Stanford, international collaboration, and developing the concept of journalism. The director is David Nordfors (yes, that's me) at Stanford.

The Swedish program nominates Swedish fellows to the Innovation Journalism Program at Stanford and is in charge of activities within Sweden. The director is Jan Sandred at VINNOVA. Jan is an experienced news media professional, he is the founder of Biotech Sweden and other publications. He was an Innovation Journalism Fellow in the first round of the program in 2004.

These parts form together the Swedish Innovation journalism initiative. Jan and I are working closely together.

The Swedish program has hosted 23 Swedish innovation journalism fellows since 2004, and is beginning to show a good footprint in Swedish journalism circles.

The call for candidates to the Swedish Innovation Journalism Fellowships 2007 is still open - it closes on Nov 22. Go here if you are interested in being a Swedish Injo Fellow. There is a blog post about the call here.

Looking forward to the coming years!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pakistan Broadcast Code of Conduct - Restrictions Imposed

Here is a scanned copy of the amendment of the Pakistan broadcasting ordinance introducing severe restrictions in what may be broadcast on electronic media (mainly TV and radio). The standard wording in the introduction of the ordinance looks very odd in context - "The president is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance". Hopefully, Pakistan will increase the freedom for journalists soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

First Injo Presentation in Turkey

“Creating Innovative Environment” Workshop “Clustering 07”
Violeta Bulc, Vibacom, M.Sc.
Jan Sandred, M.Sc., VINNOVA
David Nordfors, Ph.D., Stanford University
Nana Adeishvili, Ph.D., Anteja ECG

Innovation Journalism was presented for the first time in Turkey a few days ago, on Oct 25 in Istanbul at the Clustering 2007 conference.

The presentation was in the "Creating Innovative Environment" session, organized by Violeta Bulc, the Ljubljanian entrepreneur who is spearheading the Injo initiative in Slovenia. Read Violeta's summary of the entire session here.

The interest in the session was very high, there were a large amount of people listening.

Clustering and Competitiveness are well established concepts and there are a lot of initiatives around the world. Innovation Journalism fits very well into this framework. If a society is developing an innovative business cluster, independent journalism is the key for integrating it into society, and connecting the development of the cluster to societal awareness and opinions. (More about this in "The Role of Journalism in Innovation Systems")

Monday, October 29, 2007

Swedish Injo Fellowships Call for Applicants 2008: Six Fellows, 375 000 USD

The Injo Program in Sweden will be sending six Swedish Injo Fellows to the International Innovation Journalism Program at Stanford 2008.

The call for applicants is open until Nov 22.

VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems is providing funding for six fellows, up to a total of 2.400.000 SEK (375.000 USD) for 2008. These funds are intended to cover costs of the Fellows' Swedish employers during their participation in the Stanford program, i.e. coverage of salary expenses, travel, living costs in the US etc. VINNOVA uses the same terms for coverage as goes for civil servants (no other reason for this than that it was the most accessible set of regulations to ensure fair coverage).

The fellowship program at Stanford 2008 is five to six months long, and has the following activities:
  • InnovationBeat Newsroom. A four week training newsroom for all fellows, a learning-by-doing approach on reporting on the Silicon Valley. Coaches: G. Pascal Zachary, and John Markoff
  • Working with hosting newsrooms. Fellows spend 4-5 month inside a leading US newsroom. Each fellow is assigned by the newsroom to cover innovation issues. (Summaries of stories published by fellows 2007 is available on )
  • IJ-5, The Fifth Conference on Innovation Journalism, May 21-23. Each Fellow is in charge of one session at the conference, which they dedicate to an important aspect of innovation journalism of their choice. (The program of IJ-4 2007 is available here)
  • Field trip to the US East Coast. Looking at how innovation policy is made in Washington DC, and how the markets for listed companies work in New York.
Here is a video by Tina Bjers, Reporter at Swedish TT and Injo Fellow 2007, telling about what she got out of the program this year:

The VINNOVA call text includes the following program statement in English (the rest of the call is in Swedish):

The innovation journalism program was started in 2003 to offer an opportunity for individual journalists, to increase their knowledge and develop skills and practices, and increase professional level in covering innovation processes.

It is designed as a fellowship program, where journalists practice at editorial offices in regions with efficient innovation systems, like Silicon Valley, Boston and New York. In addition the participants are required to participate in workshops, study visits and the annual innovation journalism conference at Stanford University, organized by Stanford and VINNOVA. The fellows are also part of a Swedish alumni community and offered to be part of an international
alumni community.

The target group is senior practicing journalists and editors.

The aim is
  • To get experience in covering innovation systems, innovation processes and entrepreneurship. Innovation is a process, often long-term. Understanding of how to evaluate the progress of companies and societies by looking at the interaction between science, R&D, business development and public policy.
  • Get a systems perspective. Understanding of who depends on who, and how? Innovations do not occur – they are created in cooperation with many. And you need support from many actors to create innovations.
  • Understand and develop skills and practices in cross disciplinary work. You need to cover many difference aspects: science, law, finance, policy, even the social and ethical. A combination of business, technology, political and cultural journalism.
Here is a complete list of previous Injo Fellows. If you are interested in applying for an Injo fellowship, it is a very good idea to chat with any of these people, they will be able to give you important tips and advice:

  • Jyrki Alkio, Journalist, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland, 2006
  • Marie Alpman, Innovation Editor, Ny Teknik, Sweden, 2007
  • Erik Amcoff, Journalist, Affärsvärlden,Sweden, 2006
  • Patrick Baltatzis, Journalist, Entreprenör, Sweden, 2006
  • Eva Barkeman, Science Editor, Aftonbladet, Sweden, 2006
  • Tina Magnergård-Bjers, Reporter, TT, Sweden, 2007
  • Johan Boström, News Desk Editor, Göteborgsposten, Sweden, 2005
  • AndreasCervenka, News andFeature Editor, Affärsvärlden, Sweden, 2005
  • Adam Edström, Editor-in-Chief, Elektroniktidningen, Sweden, 2004
  • SaidaFazal, ResidentEditor, Business Recorder, Pakistan, 2007
  • Birgitta Forsberg, Journalist,Veckans Affärer, Sweden, 2005
  • Thomas Frostberg, Editor-in-Chief, Rapidus, Sweden, 2006
  • AndersFrick, FreelanceWriter representing Ny Teknik, Sweden, 2007
  • Marie Granmar, Editor-in-Chief, Process Nordic, Scandinavia, 2005
  • Patric Hadenius, Editor, Forskning & Framsteg, Sweden, 2004
  • Zamir Haider, Senior Reporter/Producer/Anchor, AAJ TV, Pakistan, 2007
  • Ralph Hermansson, Journalist, Riksdag & Departement, Sweden, 2007
  • Magnus Höij, Feature Editor, Computer Sweden, 2004
  • Erika Ingvald, Journalist,Elektroniktidningen, Sweden, 2006
  • Niklas Johansson, Journalist,Veckans Affärer, Sweden, 2005
  • Johan Jörgensen, Journalist,Affärsvärlden, Sweden, 2004
  • AndersLotsson,Journalist, Computer Sweden, 2005
  • Marcus Lillkvist, Reporter,Västerbottens-Kuriren, Sweden, 2004
  • Ilkka Luukkonen, Journalist,Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, Finland 2007
  • Miriam Olsson, Journalist,Goteborgsposten, Sweden 2007
  • JanSandred, FounderBiotechSweden, Sweden, 2004
  • Amanda Termén, Journalist,Göteborgstidningen, Sweden, 2006

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Session at Clusters 2007 - Global TCI Conference

The TCI Global Competitiveness Conference 2007 - this year hosted by Portland, Oregon, USA - featured a session on the Innovation Communication System, chaired by me.

The session introduced the novel concept of the Innovation Communication System (see original blog posts explaining this concept here and here) for the second time to the business cluster community. The first time was at the TCI Global Conference 2006, in Lyon, France.

Clustering is moving in the direction of regional innovation systems, so the concept should be extremely relevant. This assumption was confirmed by very positive reviews from the audience.

Here is how the session was presented in the conference program:
Clusters and innovation ecosystems are attention economies. There are a lot of ideas, but attention is scarce. Media and communicators are "attention workers," generating and trading public attention. They are key players in the "innovation communication system," a new central concept in clustering and competitiveness.
The panel represented various parties in the innovation communication system:

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cal State University puts Injo on curriculum

Here is some exciting news from Raul Reis, Associate Professor & Acting Chair of the Journalism Department at California State University, Long Beach. He has put Innovation Journalism on the curriculum for this autumn. Raul is a pioneer, this is the first time Injo is offered to undergraduates at a US University.

For more info, get in touch with Raul directly.

Raul's story about the Injo course in his own words:

The Department of Journalism at California State University, Long Beach, is offering for the first time this fall a course on Innovation Journalism. I had the idea to create and teach the course during the Fourth InJo conference at Stanford last May. To be honest, I didn’t know much about InJo before I attended the conference. I had heard the term before, but didn’t quite grasp what made the concept different from good, old-fashioned, news coverage of technology. I have to say that IJ-4 changed my perspective on InJo, and broadened my horizons on the topic. The most striking thing about InJo for me is its ability to approach innovation in a more holistic way, looking at how different aspects of the innovative spectrum overlap and complement each other. As a result, instead of looking at the latest gadgets or software programs as isolated end products, this wider approach to innovation tries to look at them in a more comprehensive way, examining each step that took to get to a particular technological advance; the impact that new technologies or products might have on society and the market; the political, social or environmental forces that might be at play; and even the overall benefits that might be accrued from this particular development. Moreover, InJo forces journalists and students to think outside the box, and cover not only technological developments, but also innovation in areas such as science and the environment, new social trends, creative government and public policy, and the business world, just to list the mot obvious ones. Since most of my students are advanced undergraduate journalism majors, many of them seniors, I wanted the course to be hands-on—instead of talking about InJo’s definitions, for example, I want them to be InJo reporters and editors. For this reason, the course is organized as a hands-on workshop, where students, working in pairs, produce multimedia packages that cover innovative developments, trends, products, and ideas. Those multimedia packages have to blend platforms and media, including video, photography, hypertext, graphics, and audio. The motto for the course is: “Instead of talking about innovation, show us innovation.” The students and I are also producing a web site, where all stories and packages will be posted, and a collective blog, an ongoing conversation about some of the issues and topics we discuss in class. Whenever needed, we take class time to work on different programs and software, to try to bring everyone to a similar technical level. Students have responded really well to this last point, with savvier students making themselves available as a resource for more tech-shy classmates. The department and faculty have been very supportive of this InJo initiative, because all of us understand the importance of media and technological convergence, and we want to prepare our students to face a marketplace that expects them to hit the ground running. I’m especially excited about this new field, and hopeful that this special course will be successful and translate into a permanent teaching and research area for us.

Course blog:
Course web site: coming soon

Monday, September 24, 2007

Five Year Funding of Finnish Injo Fellowships

The Innovation Journalism Program at Stanford University will get more Finnish fellows for next five years. Helsingin Sanomat Foundation and Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, have agreed to pay the necessary fees, travel expenses and living costs for three Finnish Innovation journalism fellows per year for six months, starting February 2008. The total sum of money invested for five years is approximately 700.000 euros.

The announcement was made in Helsinki on Sep 20 by the President of the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Heleena Savela (on the photo).

The five-year funding by the leading Finnish private media foundation and the government innovation foundation is another milestone for the growing recognition of the concept of innovation journalism and the program at Stanford. The success follows the work of Seppo Sisättö and Turo Uskali in spearheading innovation journalism in Finland.

The Finnish Injo-grants are aimed at professional journalists, who have worked at least five years. Journalists can apply the first three fellowships from the Foundation until 31 October 2007.

According to Foundation, by the end of September 2007, the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation has awarded grants in the amount of 3,329,470 euros. In all, 31 projects and undertakings are given support. The Foundation will further provide some one million euros in grant money this year.

Links: (in Finnish) (Sitra)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Strategic Innovators (India) runs Innovation Communication Systems essay

The essay "PR and the Innovation Communication System" by Nordfors, is republished by "Strategic Innovators" ( July - Sept 2007, Volume I | Issue 3), a quarterly Indian refereed journal on contemporary strategic management trends. The essay is also available on Innovation Journalism (INJO-3-5).

The essay printed in "Strategic Innovators" is available here in pdf:

"Strategic Innovators" is published by The IIPM Think Tank, an independent, India-centric research body, is inspired by Dr. M.K. Chaudhuri's vision of India as an economic powerhouse in the 21st century. The IIPM Think Tank is committed to enhance public awareness of policy issues an economics and management and to engineer solutions that will fulfill the 'Great India Dream'. By publishing the finding of its research, and though the active participation of its senior researchers in the media and policy, it aims to bring new knowledge to the attention of policy makers.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Strategic Innovators (India) runs Injo Essay

The essay "PR and the Innovation Communication System" by Nordfors (INJO-3-5) has been selected for publication by "Strategic Innovators" ( July - Sept 2007, Volume I | Issue 3), a quarterly Indian refereed journal on contemporary strategic management trends.

The essay printed in "Strategic Innovators" is available here in pdf:

"Strategic Innovators" is published by The IIPM Think Tank, an independent, India-centric research body, is inspired by Dr. M.K. Chaudhuri's vision of India as an economic powerhouse in the 21st century. The IIPM Think Tank is committed to enhance public awareness of policy issues an economics and management and to engineer solutions that will fulfill the 'Great India Dream'. By publishing the finding of its research, and though the active participation of its senior researchers in the media and policy, it aims to bring new knowledge to the attention of policy makers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Enterprise Estonia Injo page

Enterprise Estonia has published a page on Innovation Journalism, summarizing their activities in the field. The page is authored by Ene Kull, who is working on introducing the concept of innovation journalism in the Estonian innovation ecnomy. Enterprise Estonia is the national Estonian agency for innovation and entrepreneurship. Ene's Estonian Injo page is available here.

Eesti Pävalehti (Estonia) story on InJo

The Estonian journalist Tiit Kändler has published a story on the EJC Innovation Journalism Conference in the Estonian news outlet Eesti Päevaleht, including some comments about yours truly. PDF-version available here:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

EJC to arrange more Injo conferences

Here is the executive summary of the conference "Innovation Journalism - Detecting Weak Signals". (originally posted by European Journalism Center - EJC who also have a comprehensive summary )

I want to thank the EJC for putting together a smashing three days at their headquarters in Maastricht. Under the helm of their visionary director, German broadcast veteran Wilfried Rütten, the EJC team brought together a very interesting group of people, maintaining interesting discussions around the clock for three days. It is great news that the EJC has decided to organize a second conference on Innovation Journalism, in 2008. Here is the summary in their words:

The tune of society’s conversation with itself sounds increasingly like punk rock music, said Stanford University researcher David Nordfors at the European Journalism Centre’s three-day conference on innovation journalism. Nordfors, who coined the phrase ‘innovation journalism’ in 2003, heads the Innovation Journalism program at Stanford, run by SCIL and VINNOVA.

To Nordfors, mainstream media today comes off a bit like a commercial rock band such as Led Zeppelin. And to the common man sitting way back in the cheap seats, such rock legends look and sound a bit out of focus.

More fun and accessible to the everyman are local punk bands, the indie groups rocking out in local public houses, he said. They are closer to real life, and much more direct in their message. And they don`t need big trucks for lighting and sound equipment to get their message across, thus making the point that everybody can “perform” if they have something vital to say. When “punk” first cropped up in the late seventies, many saw this as a paradigm change that turned music into a more democratic endeavor, away from big corporations and big money.

Innovation journalism, as Nordfors presented it at the July conference, is concerned with the paradigm changes of today, stressing the importance of technological innovations and addressing the necessity of media coverage of these developments. Innovation and innovation reporting are seen as catalysts for social transformations, tools by which innovations will become more readily disseminated across society.

For many present-day journalists working at traditional media outlets – and the concerned publishers eyeing their account ledgers – the idea of this a shift remains terrifying.

“A lot of journalists feel threatened within their traditional structures,” said Wilfried Rutten, director of the EJC.

More than 20 media experts from around Europe and the United States convened in Maastricht, the Netherlands, to discuss innovation journalism and the innovation ecosystem. The EJC partnered with the Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University, Stanford and Deutche Welle to host the conference.

Most of the speakers, like Evgeny Morozov, the director of new media for Transitions Online, used their presentations to point out innovative developments in new media.

Morozov argued for the wisdom of the crowds, endorsing a bottom-up innovation process stemming from the diverse knowledge distributed among a growing number of people who are socially networking across the so-called blogosphere. Individual experts producing blogs, and the masses using use platforms such as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube, are further positive aspects of community.

“As technology gets smarter, paradoxically we see more and more emphasis put on the role of human interaction,” he noted.

Nordfors stressed the benefit of innovation in a democratic society and the need to understand the horizontal nature of innovation processes through innovation journalism, which treats innovation as a topic and follows its development across various wavelengths, be they technology, business, politics, etc.

In the vertically-structured newsrooms of today, it can be difficult to isolate the concept of innovation and add it as a buzzword to society’s daily dialogue.

Daniel Sokolov, a Vienna-based freelance journalist writing about tech and innovation news, advocated good, old-fashioned community involvement as a way to connect the dots of vertically-structured news beats. He pointed out the importance of talking about trends, trying to get a larger picture, crossing geographic borders. Journalists sometimes have an easier time spotting innovation in societies other than their own, he noted.

Sarah Schantin-Williams of IFRA Newsplex, a consulting group, pointed to several newsrooms, mainly the Daily Telegraph, which have recently reorganised in order to be more innovative. This reorganisation will allow them to be more up to date by focussing on a 24/7 updated news schedule the web allows. Moreover, by integrating more user comments, newspapers can widen their scope to be more inclusive of community aspects Also, by adding video, they are free to leave the narrow constraints of paper based information and can go for a richer and more engaging multimedia experience.

Newsrooms need to focus more on ideas and planning if they’re to produce multi-media packages, she said.

Deutsche Welle, the German broadcasting corporation that employs about 1,500 people from over 30 countries to produce programming in 30 languages, is trying to reach its audience on many platforms, said Wilfried Runde, the head of innovation projects.

Above all, Deutche Welle considers itself a content leader – not just a broadcaster, he said. Of increasing importance is considering how the DW product looks or sounds on various news aggregators and media players – be they iPods, mobile phones or laptop computers.

Stefan Jenzowsky, a Berlin-based marketing consultant formerly of Siemens, and Manfred Moormann, head of broadband entertainment and services at Telekom Austria, represented the telekom industries.

Jenzowsky drew inspiration from both Ron Hammer and the U.S. steel industry.
Mainstream media integrating new media into existing coverages can provide a platform for community, convergence and entertainment – a la Ron Hammer.
Mainstream media outlets need to integrate existing new media technologies into their coverages because integration provides, for any business, an insurance policy for the survival of the company, he said.

“Shares are traded on the assumption of the future performance of that company,”Jenzowsky said after chronicling the manner in which mini mills were able to become successful in the American steel market.
Moormann, who is best known for creating a platform for user-generated content in Engerwitzdorf, Austira, said that to him, innovation is foremost about finding economic applications for inventions. Inventions must have impact – like that of YouTube – if they are to be considered innovation.

Nearly all presenters lamented the lack of a business model mainstream media companies can employ in order to adapt to and be profitable in the innovation ecosystem.

Roland Strauss, a founder of the European Innovation Dialogue, said the image of innovation itself needs a makeover.

“Those who deal with it say innovation is the most important thing for our future – but the citizens don’t care,” he said.

The Mission of the EID – one of many groups trying to create networks of regional-level innovators in the interest of bringing their products or concepts to the EU level – is to be a one-stop shop for innovation – so key to achieving the goals laid out in the Lisbon Strategy of 2000. He spoke with great hope about developments in the works, such as the European Institute of Technology, a European answer to MIT.

Laws governing new media can seem at times about as clear as mud – and the lawyers and lawmakers the proverbial sticks in that mud. Michael Kams, an attorney from Hasche Sigle, and Eric Karstens, an expert in media regulation in the EU, held forth on legal constraints on innovation. Developing laws and policies which can roll with the times won’t be easy, both noted – but it is possible.

Most of the participants of the three-day conference in Maastricht, the Netherlands, came away with a positive view of innovation, EJC director Wilfried Rütten surmised.

He said that the EJC is likely to hold another innovation conference next year. A date has tentatively been set for early September.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Innovation Journalism Conference in Maastricht

Here is the documentary website of the INJO event in Maastricht, "Innovation Journalism: Detecting Weak Signals" organised by the European Journalism Center and Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University in collaboration with the Injo program at Stanford and Deutsche Welle.

Speakers at the event (in random order): Wilfried Rütten, Director, European Journalism Centre, Maastricht, David Nordfors, Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning, John Burke, World Association of Newspapers, Sarah Schantin-Williams, IFRA Newsplex, Jan Bierhoff, Director, European Centre for Digital Communication, Wilfried Runde, Head of Innovation Projects, Deutsche Welle, Marian Semm, IBM, Jörg Sadrozinski, Tagesschau Online, Stefan A. Jenzowsky, Trommsdorff + Drüner, Innovation + Marketing Consultants, Berlin. Former Vice President, Strate and Head of Business Innovation Siemens Communications, Manfred Moormann, Head of Broadband Entertainment and Services, Telekom Austria, Ekkehart Gerlach, Managing Director, Deutsche Medienakademie, Roland Strauss , European Innovation Dialogue, Strauss & Partners, Michael Kamps, CMS Hasche Sigle, Eric Karstens, European Journalism Centre, Daniel A.J. Sokolov, Journalist, Vienna, Evgeny Morozov , Director of New Media, Transitions Online, Prague

The EJC event site contains the program, summaries of talks and discussions, photos, videos etc, including the interview posted here below:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

European Journalism Center - Injo Conference Press Release

Press release by EJC
Innovation Journalism: Detecting Weak Signals
Maastricht - 20 July 2007

The European Journalism Centre will from 25-27 July at Avenue Ceramique 50 host a group of media experts from Europe and the United States at its seminar, “Innovation Journalism: Detecting Weak Signals.”

“Innovation Journalism” is a major new concept shaping the future of the media landscape. It stresses the importance of technological innovations and addresses the necessity of better media coverage of these developments. Innovation and innovation reporting are seen by many as significant catalysts for social transformations. Innovation journalism can be a tool by which innovations will become more readily disseminated across society.

The conference will assess the impact of the early signals from the realm of innovation journalism and will look at the impact different actors in the innovation space can have on developments. It will also discuss the new ways in which information is now being generated and distributed by citizens and journalists alike.

The EJC has partnered with the Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University, Stanford University and Deutsche Welle to bring about 15 industry experts to Maastricht for this three-day conference. Stanford’s David Nordfors, a pioneer of the concept of innovation journalism, will open the conference when he delivers the keynote speech at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The seminar will address in particular innovation developments within the European Union, seeking to identify what can be learned from both winners and losers in the innovation space. Discussions will also be held on integrating innovation into working newsrooms.

Speakers will include: Claude Erbsen of “Innovation Media Consulting”; Wilfried Runde, head of innovation projects at Deutsche Welle; John Burke of the World Editors Forum; Roland Strauss of the European Innovation Dialogue with Strauss & Partners; Rufus Pollock of Cambridge University; Marian Semm, a senior consultant for media and entertainment publishing at IBM; Manfred Moormann, the head of broadband services for Telekom Austria as well as speakers from Ernst&Young and KPMG.

To download the complete programme, click here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Injo Conference in Slovenia

The documentation from the regional European Injo conference in Slovenia is now available online.

The conference was very well arranged and successful. It was attended by top people from all parts of the Slovenian innovation system, including influential journalists, business people, academics and politicians, not least the EU commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik, who's speech at this event is available in the conference documentation and here.

The first Slovenian innovation journalism awards were presented at the event. Apart from those earlier presented on this blog, the big news was "The Golden Pen", which supports participation of a Slovenian journalist in the international Innovation Journalism Fellowship Program 2008. The prize is funded by the foundation Ad Futura.

The conference included presentations of the Slovenian innovation journalism projects funded by the Slovenian technology agency TIA, including some very stimulating work by Slovenian school children, who reported on innovation processes in their local community.

I was fortunate to be able to participate in the conference together with my colleague Jan Sandred, Injo Fellow 2004, now with the Injo program at VINNOVA in Sweden.

The conference was organized by Vibacom, headed by Violeta Bulc (picture).

Sunday, June 17, 2007

EU Commissioner Potocnik: EU Needs Innovation Journalism

Here is a video of the EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik, delivering a speech in favor of the concept of innovation journalism. The transcript is here as a web page, and here as a pdf: Potocnik-injo-speech-14June2007.pdf

The speech was made on thursday June 14 at the regional innovation journalism conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The conference, a part of the Slovenian innovation journalism initiative, was arranged by Vibacom, the company founded by Violeta Bulc, who is spearheading the introduction of the injo concept in Slovenia.

As Potocnik refers to in his speech, in February I had the pleasure of a one-on-one with him in Brussels. Violeta and John Hagard, Swedish ambassador to Slovenia, had raised his interest in injo, leading up to an invitation to me to go to Brussels and tell him more about it.

Why should he be interested? As society becomes more innovative, it makes sense that it becomes more important to communicate how knowledge becomes valuable for people.

Another reason for interest is concern: Europe is losing competitiveness in the global innovation economy. Here is a BBC story on it from a few days ago, including quotes by Potocnik. The Lisbon Agenda from March 2000 aims at making the European Union (EU) the most competitive economy in the world and achieving full employment by 2010, i.e. within less than four years from now. Innovation is the key component of it. But in January 2006, former Finnish PM Esko Aho presented the EU "Aho Group Report", sounding the alarm bell, saying that Europe is not on track.

In unusually straight language, the Aho report pointed at a large gap between political rhetoric about the knowledge society and the reality of budgetary and other priorities. It urged Europe’s leaders to take radical action on research and innovation "before it is too late".

Here is where Injo comes in: (check out the earlier post on this blog: Injo Elevator Pitch - Why Democracies Should Care). For a democratic society to focus on the innovation economy, independent journalism needs to cover it. But news rooms are usually organized as traditional production line organizations, where each news beat is a separate line. Innovation crosses the traditional news beats (tech, business, politics, culture news), and is therefore a difficult for traditional news organisations to cover. So even though innovation is the leading driver of economic growth, it will be under-represented in the news. This is a strong reason to why the stumbling progress of the Lisbon Agenda has not reached the broader public discussion in the EU. Everything looks fine on the surface in European society, while it is slowly loosing its edge.

Good independent innovation journalism could make it possible for EU citizens to discuss their competitiveness in the world economy, and enable the democratic processes in the EU to address the issue.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Interview in Att:ention

The Swedish magazine "Att:ention" published an interview with me on Innovation Journalism July 2006. The piece is written by Johan Jörgensen and Olle Corneer. Although a bit dated, I am posting it to the blog in order to make it available for reference. Att:ention is a monthly magazine made by Veckans Affärer, published by Bonniers Publishing house. Veckans Affärer is the largest Swedish business weekly.

Here is a PDF copy of the interview in the paper magazine: Attention%20interview.pdf

Translation in English:

The Visionary Modernizes Journalism
David Nordfors / The Researcher / Lives in: Palo Alto / Occupation: Runs a program in innovation journalism at the elite university Stanford in California / Background: Has done research in molecular quantum physics at Uppsala University [in Sweden]. Played keyboards in the rock band N-Liners and shared debut LP with Lustans Lakejer, Kaj Martin & Stick and others.

“It is innovation that is driving the economic growth today. The main reason for increased societal wealth is no longer that more people work more, or that machines are purchased in order to do more of the same work in shorter time. The improvements come instead from new ways for people to be productive, or that they produce new and more valuable things.
Innovation is not the same thing as invention. An invention can be a contraption in a cellar, known by nobody else than the inventor. Inventions can be made by individuals. An innovation always happens in a community. Something that happens in a community, something that is important for the community – that makes news.
My director general [at VINNOVA] Per Eriksson bought the idea and I started to work on a program to develop journalism as a key actor in innovation systems. Today we have collaboration with editors of many news rooms, spanning from Wall Street Journal and Fortune to Technology Review and Science.
I was myself a journalist for some years at the beginning of the 90s and had probably continued, if not I had been offered in February 1995 to take part in setting up the Knowledge Foundation [in Swedish: KK-stiftelsen / transl.] that, among other things, took care of the so called “IT Billion” [the Knowledge Foundation was in charge of spending more than one billion crowns - approx 135 million USD – on spreading the use of IT in Sweden / transl.]
After more than ten years pause as quantum physicist it is fun to be researcher again, although in a different topic.” (ATT)

Friday, June 08, 2007

The First Slovenian Innovation Journalism Award

The first award for Slovenian Innovation Journalism will be handed out at the regional conference on Innovation Journalism in Slovenia on June 14. Nataša Koražija from Manager Magazine is the winner in the main category, "the best journalistic contribution on innovations in Slovenian media in 2006". She will receive support to participate in the 5th Conference on innovation Journalism at Stanford University, California, USA in 2008 . The prize is sponsored by TIA, the National Slovenian Technology Agency.

Vesna Petkovšek from Gorenje gets the recognition for the "best contribution on innovations within Slovenian company magazines".

The following journalists will also receive recognitions for good work: Marjana Dremelj, Podjetnik; Primož Kaučič, Podjetnik; Sara Sonja Lunder, IRT3000; Matej Peternelj, Profit;
Samo Kranjec, Finance.

The awards are organized by Vibacom, headed by Slovenian entrepreneur Violeta Bulc, who has spearheaded the Slovenian Innovation Journalism initiative.

More information about the Slovenian awards here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

NDTV Profit (India) Interview

When visiting the CII/NAS First Global Summit on Innovation in India in the end of March NDTV Profit ran an interview with me.

NDTV is India's first and largest private producer of current affairs, sports and entertainment television. NDTV Profit, a 24-hour business plus channel, is India’s number one business news channel. For more information:

IRT3000 Story on Injo

The Slovenian magazine IRT3000 recently published an interview with me on innovation journalism. Here is a translation in English (does not include the introduction part).

A pdf with the IRT3000 story is available for download:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

LisaCast Featuring Injo

Lisa Padilla interviewed Injo Fellowship Alumni Thomas Frostberg, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Rapidus, on Innovation Journalism. The interview is available here.

A short presentation from Lisa about Lisacast:
I wanted to tell you about this week's show on Lisacast is the Internet radio show I began after recently joinging BlogTalkRadio. My show is broadcast live and then archived for download. It covers media, communication and technology. I interview interesting people from all around the world, take listener calls and questions and usually post follow up information on the web site. If my show airs at a crazy hour for your timezone, that's ok, you can download it later.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

European Regional Conference on Innovation Journalism - Ljubljana 14-15 June 2007

The European Regional Conference on Innovation Journalism »Stanford after Stanford 2007« will be held on June 14-15th at the faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, European Union. The conference is supported by eleven Slovenian news outlets, including the major business and technology publications, and is presenting speakers from news media, universities, and the innovation ecosystem. I have been given the honor of adressing the opening session.

The aim of the conference is to deepen the understanding of new dimensions of innovation ecosystems empowered by the concept of Innovation Journalism at local, regional and global level.

The conference will present the first ever award for the best InJo contribution in Slovenian media.

The European commissioner for Research and Development, Janez Potočnik, is scheduled to come to the conference to present his perspectives on innovation in the European Union, together with his views on how independent news media play a part of the innovation economy.

The conference web site is here:

Hope to see you in Ljubljana!

Monday, May 07, 2007

The First Finnish Innovation Journalism Award

Finjo - the Finnish Society for Innovation Journalism - granted the first Finnish Award of Innovation Journalism, called Innovaatiokide 2007 (Innovation Crystal 2007) to Sami Suojanen, a business reporter for the daily newspaper Aamulehti. The award winning ceremony took place during the Media Fair in Helsinki.

The winner was chosen out of more than one hundred journalistic articles by Mika Mannermaa, an eminent Finnish future researcher. The winning article Puhdasta valoa (Pure light) discussed the future prospects of the Finnish laser industry and presented a number of promising laser technology start-ups operating in Tampere region.

The Innovation Crystal award was accompanied by a cheque of euros 2500.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Visit by Danish DR News Management

The News management team of DR, the public service Danish Broadcasting Corporation, visited the innovation journalism program at Stanford for discussions yesterday. Under the leadership of the charismatic new DR news chief Ulrik Haagerup, the management group is looking together with SRI International's Discipline of Innovation team at ways to introduce a culture of innovation in the Danish news. DR has put their bets on Haagerup to bring the Danish public service news into the new age.

Haagerup is one of those people who adds color to a place. At the age of 27 he received the Cavling Prize, the most prestigious Danish journalism award, and four year later he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of Jyllands-Posten, one of the major Danish dailys. (Jyllands-Posten acclaimed world fame recently for the" "Mohammed Cartoon" controversy. Haagerup was no longer at the helm when it happened). In 2002 he was appointed Editor-in-Chief for Nordjyske Medier, where he introduced multimedial journalism.

Apart from a previous track record of driving innovation in news rooms, Haagerup is the author of a book on innovation (sorry folks, only in Danish), which has been published in several editions. The book points out that knowledge is not enough, it has to be introduced in society as well to be valuable. The "knowledge society" paradigm needs to be substituted by the "innovation society".

What will happen at DR News is not public knowledge yet, but it seems like a safe bet that innovation will be a key word.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

EJC and Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University Runs INJO Seminar

The European Journalism Center (EJC) and the Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University will be running a three-day seminar on innovation journalism on July 25-27. I'll be going there - hope to see you in Maastricht, too!

The dynamic director of EJC, Willi Rütten, has selected innovation journalism as one of the themes for the EJC, so more things will be happening before long.

This is what the EJC writes about the summer seminar on their website :

The European Journalism Centre, in association with the Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University (AMSU), will organize on July 25 - July 27 the seminar “Innovation Journalism: Detecting Weak Signals”. The seminar will be held in the main office of the European Journalism Centre in Maastricht, in the south of the Netherlands.

David Nordfors, who has been developing the concept of Innovation Journalism at Stanford University, will hold the keynote speech on the ideas behind “Injo”. During three days the participants will discuss various topics related to innovation and innovation ecosystems in Europe. The seminar will provide a close look into the winners and losers in the innovation space (Apple vs. Sony, Skype vs. Telcos) and discuss innovation developments in the (soon to be) integrated newsrooms (e.g.: Workflow and convergence issues when integrating print/online/audio/video etc.).

The seminar is of interest to journalists, journalism students and other media professionals who are covering innovation within traditional newsrooms, or work as freelance “tech writers”. At the same time, it targets PR experts and business developers within innovation driven companies and also scholars in media and communication studies.

For more informations and to apply for this seminar, visit

Sunday, April 15, 2007

IANS: "Indian news industry should innovate to survive competition: Media expert"

Here is a news clip today from India:

By Nayanima Basu, Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, April 15 (IANS)

The Indian news industry needs to innovate constantly in order to survive global competition and cater to the changing needs of readers and viewers, says David Nordfors, a senior research scholar at Stanford University's Centre for Innovations in Learning.

Nordfors, who was in India to hold extensive seminars and discussions on 'Innovation Journalism', coined the concept in 2003. He is an adviser to the governments of US, Europe and Asia on the role of journalism in the economy and its application in public innovation policy.

"The Indian news industry needs to embrace innovation right now as it has the resources to take the lead in developing new markets and can be an authoritative source of knowledge for the whole world," Nordfors told IANS in an interview during his visit.

"If the Indian news industry chooses to lean back and not become innovative, it will fall behind, and others will tell the story of India to the rest of the world. The choice is with India and I believe it can be more competitive at innovation than China, who are going for innovation too," said Nordfors, who is also a writer and columnist with a leading Swedish IT magazine.

According to him, the Indian media, which grew at 20 percent in 2006, is held in high esteem in the world for its content and analytical ability. But in order to sustain the credibility the industry has to shift its focus from quintessential reporting to something new so as to take a lead in the developing markets.

"Don't lean back and focus only on traditional news on paper. This will work fine for some years, but it is a fool's paradise," Nordfors said.

He also said India should learn from the failure of the media industry in Western countries which did not shift its focus from the traditional mode of newspaper reporting and hence reached a point of saturation.

"Everywhere in the Western world, the news industry is being hammered because they hung on to paper for too long. Now they can hardly afford to develop the products they need for securing their future because they are too busy surviving," he averred.

Adding that the Indian news industry should try and find newer ways to innovate, Nordfors said: "The Indian news media should look into ways of publishing news to cell phones, personal computers for ordinary people. This way you (Indian media) can reach incredibly large markets, also outside India."

Nordfors, who as a journalist initiated and headed the first symposium on the Internet that was held by Swedish Parliament, said: "The newsrooms need to be reorganised, and the newsbeat structures need to be looked over. Develop expertise in reporting on innovation. It is the big thing in all industries today.

"It is not about business or tech or politics, it is about business and tech and politics. The journalist needs to combine technology, business and politics in order to get the bigger picture."

Indo-Asian News Service

Injo at Global Innovation Summit in India

Innovation Journalism was on the agenda when the 1st Global Innovation Summit in India was arranged by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with Dr. Charles Wessner of the US National Academy of Science (NAS).

The summit was headed by the CII chairman Dr. Surinder Kapur, and featured many of the top innovation leaders in India, representing industry, academia as well as government. I had the pleasure of being an invited speaker together with Prof. Clayton Christensen, who led a workshop on disruptive innovation.

Christensen's presented his ideas on how producers of low-cost innovations that turn large groups of non-consumers into consumers can pull the rug from beneath the incumbents. One example is the auto industry, and how Toyota managed to become the top dog from having started as a manufacturer of cheap low quality cars. This example is particularly pertinent in India, where Tata motors, the succesful domestic Indian automanufacturer is aiming at selling a car for under $2500. If they succeed, perhaps they can become a new Toyota? The tremendously large Indian population offers a huge amount of non-consumers, that can be turned into a powerful customer constituencies by low cost innnovations. Fuelled by a rapidly growing domestic market, perhaps India can make ripples across the world? This is definitely an interesting possibility!

The interest for Innovation Journalism is large. I met with editors of the major Indian business news publications, and was interviewed in the ADTV morning show. The IANS news agency (Indo Asian News Service) published a story (see next post).

Christensen's thoughts are definitely relevant also for the news business. India has excellent journalists, they are well educated, the job has a decent status, and best of all: the business is doing well. The growing literacy in India is providing many millions of new readers every year. The Indian media and entertainment industry is expected to grow by 18% per year until 2011, according to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry! If the Indian news industry goes for innovation, watch out competitors in the rest of the world!

For those who are interested, the program for the Global Innovation Summit in India is attached.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

MSM vs Google: News Follows Music?

(this is a re-post of a blog post I originally published elsewhere on Mar 17 2007)

It was bound to happen – Viacom is suing Google for a billion dollars for hosting uploaded clips of their stuff on Youtube. The prelude occured only a few weeks ago, when a group of newspapers in Belgium won a court case in Brussels against the search giant, barring Google from re-publishing any snippets of their news on the search engine. Google is now in danger of becoming a main target for the struggling main stream media.

The news industry has been facing tough times for a several years now, and it is steadily getting worse, as Craig’s list and other web companies are taking over ads that have been the backbone of the news industry for over a century. The foundations of the fourth estate are shaking, well respected newspapers are downsizing or being sold off. No more Mr Nice Guy, as the saying goes, Hollywood-style. The victory in the Belgium court raises hopes among traditional media houses that pay-back time may be coming, and their lawyers are most probably sharpening their knives.

This can lead to a very very bad development for us all, I’ll tell you why.

A lot of people want your attention, but it’s limited. The more competition for your attention, the more it’s worth. The news industry are “attention workers”: they catch your attention on a page by putting catchy stories on it, then sell parts of the page to people who are willing to pay for getting your attention diverted to their own stories. That’s ads. It was working well for 150 years. Enter the Internet.

In the beginning, many in the news industry thought it was a good thing to be visible on Google search, because it directed attention to their news stories on the web. Google was a young company, smaller than the news giants. They decided to stay out of content production, perhaps they thought this would keep them away from competing with the news industry. But the news industry does not sell stories, they pay for stories. They sell ads. Google sells ads, too. Google is now earning better than the news industry.
OK, they are not direct competitors to the news industry. Instead they are rapidly becoming the “alien invasion”, and that is not necessarily a more favored status.

Tourist guides like kids to direct customers to them, and they don’t mind if the kids get some pennies from the tourists while doing it. Replace the kids with grownups, give them more contact with the tourists than the guides have, and let them earn more than the guides. Now the guides will be less happy, they might even feel exploited. This is what is happening between Google and the news industry.

The news industry is paying for making stories, but is having a tough time selling ads. Google is not paying for making stories, and is selling ads like crazy. “Foul play”, says the news industry. “The stories are ours. If you sell ads on links to our stories, the ad revenues are ours, too”. Now it has reached the court rooms, and the battle might be long and bitter, like with the music industry and the Internet.

That will be too bad, because there is a fundamental common interest between the news industry and Google that can bring them to the same side of the table: both want to maximize the value of your attention, because this is the source of their income. They are only lacking a way to work together on it, and don’t have a working way to split the costs and revenues.

The larger part of the news industry does not know how to earn big on the Internet. Most of them don’t have the resources, the mindset or the traditions to innovate. For them, news is a commodity, innovation is a threat. Google is all about innovation and Internet, and they are earning more money on it all the time. No big match there at this time.

The old fashioned news industry has lawyers. So does Google. Match! It’s a big risk it’s going to end up in the court rooms. Once the parties dig into the trenches, people on both sides will be restricted from working together on a constructive future. It will be war between the main stream news and the web, like it was with the music industry.

In order to spend human time and resources on building value, not destroying it, the following is required: The news industry needs to become innovative and find other business models than paper. It will both provide them with a future and will save scores of trees from the axe. Google needs to realize that they are the big guys now, and that they will be put to blame by the echelons of society for the demise of the business of journalism, whether it is reasonable or not. High class content is good for their business, why not see what they can do for supporting its existence?

There are two types of deals that Google and the news industry can focus on. The first type is a fictitious zero-sum game, with endless fights in court rooms over how to split the pie, where the deal might even be obsolete by the time it hits the street. The other type is where the parties agree to work together on finding new ways of doing pies, or even doing other things than pies that might taste even better.

Isn’t it obvious what the choice ought to be?