KENT, Ohio-- A reason to make the trip from Tuscaloosa, Ala. to Kent, Ohio is what happened here within the last hour-- a real conversation about what the public thinks about journalists and their work, how we as journalists see our audience and how these all play out in recent news events.
The Poynter Kent State Ethics Workshop, now in its fifth year, began with Kelly McBride (the Poynter Institute) releasing some new data on just how much the public believes what we as journalists are putting out there.
These data, which I will detail in a later posting, are real "breaking news" about the perception of our profession.
From the release of these details, today's workshop moved to McBride arguing for a refined definition of the types of consumers out there and their needs
The idea of "The Fifth Estate" was a big "Take-away" from the session. Those who are not trained journalists, but who are contributing information (i.e. citizen journalists) would fall into this Fifth Estate.
By putting or classifying an organization as the Fifth Estate, we are differentiating between blogs such as HuffingtonPost.com, the Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo and news organizations such The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.
So, far, we have had some interesting questions from those working journalism such as Doug Opfinger from The Akron Beacon-Journal
The First Energy Lecture Hall is an ideal setting for such an event. You can see the students are packing out the venue for this first panel.
The good news, we out-of-towners got to sit down front.