A 'Source of Inspiration' for news reformers

In their weekly "Rebooting the News" podcast, NYU's Jay Rosen and the Internet's Dave Winer have started a tradition of citing a "source of inspiration" each week. It is one person or idea that brings much needed clarity and optimism amid the sea of uncertainty about the future of news.

I have one of my own to share. This comes from a recently posted talk from TED (a group I've previously touted). In it Bennington College President Liz Coleman calls for professors and scientists to break out of their narrow, isolated disciplines and work together in political and social activism. In noting the difficulty of the task, she closes with a call I find rings true also for those of us struggling with finding the sustainable future of news.

She says:
"If the question of where to start seems overwhelming, you are at the beginning, not the end of this adventure. Being overwhelmed is the first step if you are serious about trying to get at things that really matter on a scale that makes a difference. So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Well, you have two things. You have a mind, and you have other people. Start with those, and change the world."
And that, to me, is about right. As huge as the idea of reinventing an entire societal system of journalism sounds, it really just starts with applying your own mind honestly, critically, openly (pushing past your own biases and traditional assumptions) -- and joining with others who do the same to collaborate and develop solutions.

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