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.