Putting a boot to the rear of the industry

The auditorium wasn’t as packed as the previous session featuring Amy Webb’s top tech trends, but from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., audience members had the unique experience of participating in a live podcast.

New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen and visiting NYU scholar Dave Winer hosted an edition of “Rebooting the News,” a podcast that has been running for 70 weeks. The podcast rethinks the role of the journalist and the best way to cover the news. Winer and Rosen took questions and statements about the current state of the industry.

An audience member asked how to reboot the coverage of midterm elections.

Rosen elaborated on a model he calls the citizen’s agenda for election coverage. Instead of focusing on the showmanship of elections and reporting only results and events to do with the races, Rosen suggested that journalists find what citizens want the candidates to be discussing and use that as a template for coverage.

Someone in the room asked how to build trust with a source or audience.

“It’s easier to trust a news producer saying here’s where I’m coming from then out of nowhere,” Rosen said.

In journalism today, Rosen said there is no complete objectivity.

“How can you stop a newscast to say, ‘By the way, I voted democrat,” Winer said.

The Web allows for a space for the reporter to give his or her background. Rosen suggested journalists link their bylines to another site that includes background and personal views on the nuances of a subject.

Winer warned journalists to avoid getting carried away with new technology, which he said is not the future of the industry. Winer’s opinion is that news is stepping aside for technology, which Rosen said “Journalism covers … like the messiah.”

“Twitter is the dress rehearsal for the new system of the future,” Winer said. “There are already great real-time systems without the ‘Fail Whale.’”

Rosen said the way to reboot current practices is by offering context and background on a story before adding continuous updates.