Rewiring Journalism: Open Source Models, Software, and Workflows

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The introduction and evolution of the World Wide Web and low cost digital capture and authoring tools brought profound changes to ways we interact with media. Newspapers, in particular, have been totally destabilized by the force of these technologies coupled with other outside social and economic issues. While the writing on the wall is “evolve or die,” there is hope. In addition to the internal R&D labs established at large papers like the New York Times, organizations like the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are funding efforts to transform the entire process of creating, publishing, and disseminating the news – as well as finding new models to pay for its production.

This panel will explore three open source journalism platforms: the Knight News Challenge winners Spot.US and Printcasting, and the Knight News Challenge finalist Innovation News. The heads of each project will discuss how their unique models seek to transform the practice of journalism, the technical origins of each platform and how they are transforming funding, gathering, editing, and publishing workflows.

Photo of Matthew Bernius

Matthew Bernius

Open Publishing Lab at the Rochester Institute of Technology

Matthew Bernius’ research focuses on studying how different media tools alter the way groups communicate, and, in turn, how those changes affect the evolution of said tools. In addition to his role as a co-director and researcher at the Open Publishing Lab (OPL) at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Matthew is pursuing an Anthropology PhD at Cornell University, where he is researching the transformation of text based journalism within the United States. Prior starting his PhD, Matthew was a visiting professor at RIT’s School of Print Media where he taught Database Publishing, Variable Data Print, and Web Development. He completed a Masters in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Matthew started his career at Eastman Kodak where he worked in the consumer digital camera group and at During his time at Kodak, Matthew was involved with web and product development, community management, and content strategy and earned one patent. In addition to his work with the OPL, he is member of RIT’s Lab for Social Computing, a cross disciplinary center focusing on the use of computing tools to facilitate these social and collaborative interactions.

You can view his personal blog at and follow his twitter postings at

Michael Riordan

Open Publishing Lab at the Rochester Institute of Technology

Michael Riordan is an Assistant Professor at RIT’s School of Print Media where he teaches coursework relating to the reproduction of content and accurate color between print and publishing production systems. He works closely with publishers, print service providers and creative agencies to help improve all aspects of production workflows and has worked with CGATS and others to create quality assurance mechanisms to support the same. In addition to actively providing training and consulting on related topics and being a regular presenter at industry events such as GraphExpo, Michael has written several papers on related topics and served as co-editor for the Pocket Pal: A Graphic Arts Production Handbook.

Photo of David Cohn

David Cohn


David Cohn has written for Wired, Seed, Columbia Journalism Review and The New York Times. While working toward his master’s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Cohn worked with Jay Rosen as the editor at and Jeff Jarvis from to organize the first two Networked Journalism Summits. He has been a contributing editor at and helps to run Broowaha, a citizen journalism network. Most recently he is the founder of Spot.Us a nonprofit to pioneer community funded reporting.

Photo of Dan Pacheco

Dan Pacheco

Dan Pacheco is the founder of, a 2008 Knight News Challenge project that democratizes the print publishing process, and senior manager of digital products at The Bakersfield Californian. He specializes in social media, the idea that anyone can and should participate in media rather than simply consume it. Dan’s work at the Californian has lead to numerous awards, including the National Association of Newspaper’s “20 Under 40” award in 2005; an “Edgie” award for in 2006; a Knight-Batten Award for Innovation in Journalism for the
Bakomatic Social Media Platform; and a grant for $837,000 to develop Printcasting, which was one of 16 winners of the 2008 Knight News Challenge.

  • Ingram Content Group
  • Qualcomm
  • Copia
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • Innodata Isogen, Inc.
  • Adobe
  • Aptara
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Bowker
  • codeMantra
  • Connotate
  • Google
  • HP
  • LibreDigital
  • MagMe
  • Malloy
  • Mark Logic
  • oXygen XML Editor
  • Chuckwalla
  • Foxit Software
  • Jacquette Consulting
  • Jouve North America
  • Lulu
  • Marvell
  • Media Services Group
  • PubServ
  • Safari Books Online
  • Silverchair
  • Virtusales
  • Vitrium Systems
  • Smashwords, Inc.

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