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About the Future of News projects

These projects were created by students in my Future of News class in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University in the Fall of 2014.

The class spent the first half of the semester studying how journalism is changing and examining new media ventures such as Vice, Vox, ProPublica and the Texas Tribune. In the second half, the students had to apply those lessons by creating a prototype for a new media venture.

They had to create a mock-up of the project, examples of the journalism and a brief business plan that showed the project was sustainable. Their media venture could take many shapes -- a website, an app or even (egads!) a newspaper.

Their projects are smart and creative. One student devised a scalable platform for college news. Another student created a web magazine for healthy, spicy foods.

Many of the projects involve structured journalism, the promising new approach that goes beyond the old story form and uses "atomized" storytelling to give readers more power to interact with the news. One structured site tracks crimes in Oakland, Calif. Another follows athletes who have gotten in trouble with the law.

One note about the mock-ups on this website: The students were graded on the creativity and appearance of their project, as well as samples of their journalism. But the articles you see on the sites are just samples and the students were permitted to use stock photos and fictional content to illustrate how their projects would look.

The students made presentations to the class as if they were making pitches to a venture capitalist and the entire class chose the top three. Those three students -- Lizzy Raben, Daniel Carp and Thamina Stoll --  then made encore presentations to Kip Frey, a venture capitalist and Duke professor. Kip chose Lizzy’s College Story as the winner.

I think you’ll find all the projects to be an interesting glimpse at the future of journalism. I hope you enjoy them.

-- Bill Adair, Knight Professor of Journalism and Public Policy

bill.adair@duke.edu