Innovation Journalism- Thinking outside the beat

A relatively new movement, innovation journalism, or ‘InJo’, is surfacing a fresh face in the journalism world.  Although InJo has achieved recognition by a few high caliber publications, the New York Times for example, its almost universal applicability and lack of a distinct traditional category cause it to be inconsistently published.  Because it does not fit neatly within an exclusive beat, innovation journalism can be thought of as ‘horizontal’- meaning it incorporates elements spanning from a variety of beats; politics, technology, environment, etc.

Perhaps one of the most prominent advocates for the idea of innovation journalism is Stanford, as the University has held an innovation journalism conference annually since 2004.   The conference features several speakers and discussion topics related to the relevance of innovation journalism, from current to potential usefulness.

In addition the conference, Stanford University hosts an innovation journalism blog, and several other innovation journalism blogs can be found on the web.  These blogs feature multi-facted topics on innovations within a variety of beats, using elements that are characteristic of InJo, such as creativity.

Although it likely has a substantial while of development to undergo before becoming closer to being a regular part of newspapers, innovation journalism’s potential has been recognized and its future has been speculated.

What kind of place will innovation journalism have in the public affairs news world…  Will it become its own beat, remain an element of several beats as more of a reporting style, perhaps die off all together?  Should we put effort into understanding and developing it, or dismiss it as another short-lived journalism fad?

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