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Reporter Wanted: Representative Journalism Trial Project

March 10th, 2008 by Leonard Witt

Things are moving forward for our Representative Journalism trial project in Northfield, Minnesota. First big news is a job opening. As you will see, it is a temporary, part-time gig, but could grow into something more permanent — but we can’t make any promises. Here is the job description, spread the word:
Northfield, Minnesota has [...]

Representative Journalism Funded For $51,000

February 21st, 2008 by Leonard Witt

Let the Representative Journalism begin, here is what I posted at the
Hello Eric Von Hippel and thank you for convincing me that “free revealing” works.Several months ago, as regular readers of the know, I started freely revealing my idea of Representative Journalism to the world. Ruth Ann Harnisch, a former TV, print [...]

Consumer Reports, A Paid Online-Subscription Model

December 8th, 2007 by Leonard Witt

The New York Times has an article today on how Consumer Reports online survives from paid subscriptions, while the prevailing wisdom is that people will not pay for online information. Here is an excerpt:
For a decade, however, Consumer Reports has charged Internet readers the same price as print subscribers, currently $26 a year (or $5.99 for a [...]

Time for Journalists to Act as Entrepreneurs

November 10th, 2007 by Leonard Witt

Back at Jeff Jarvis’s Networked Journalism Summit as I was networking with Lisa Williams of and telling her about Representative Journalism and about a grant I was writing aimed to it. She took a look at my grant proposal and then wrote in it:
 Journalism is becoming a high-tech profession.  And like other high-tech professions such as software [...]

Medical, Science News Perfect for Representative Journalism

October 24th, 2007 by Leonard Witt

At my sister site,, I have been running a series of videos on the future of journalism. Today I decided to run one of the videos here instead because it plays into the Representative Journalism concept so well. At ConvergeSouth 2007 I did an interview with Anton Zuiker of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of [...]

Provide Great Journalists with Great Editors

October 16th, 2007 by Leonard Witt

I have touted the idea of hiring super journalists, who provide so much good and new information that they create value for their Representative Journalism communities. However, these excellent reporters will need excellent editors — and often they will need excellent editors who understand the issue or discipline underlying each Representative Journalism community. If the [...]

Save the Manatee and Journalism Too

October 1st, 2007 by Leonard Witt

The New York Times has a story about the nonprofit St. Petersburg Times, with this key excerpt:
 “We don’t put out a newspaper to make money,” says Paul C. Tash, the chief executive of the Times Publishing Company, which oversees the paper. “We make money so we can put out a great newspaper.”
Still the St. Petersburg Times [...]

Finding National Stars to Cover the Hyperlocal

September 23rd, 2007 by Leonard Witt

Using Robert Picard as my touchstone, earlier I wrote that too many journalists lack value. They are all but cogs in a machine.  However, my idea of a Representative Journalist is someone who would provide plenty of value for a Representative Journalism community. So much value that rather than hiring a kid right out of college, the [...]

Another Voice on Improving Reporters’ Value

September 19th, 2007 by Leonard Witt

 Saul Friedman, a 1963 Nieman Fellow and  former White House correspondent for Newsday and Knight Ridder newspapers, writes at Neiman Watchdog Blog:  
Why can’t reporters who cover their beats well and who become as expert as possible in that field–the law, courts, medicine, consumerism, politics, the Congress, even the presidency–write for their newspapers as if [...]

Doc Searls: Journalists’ Work Must Have Value

September 15th, 2007 by Leonard Witt

Doc Searls, co-author of the The Cluetrain Manifesto, in talking about the new ecology of news writes:  
…the larger trend to watch over time is the inevitable decline in advertising support for journalistic work, and the growing need to find means for replacing that funding — or to face the fact that journalism will become largely an [...]


About RJ

  • Your host

    Leonard Witt

    Leonard Witt is the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University and the chief blogger at

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  • Advisory Board

  • What I'm thinking about

  • A Definition

    Representative Journalism, a term coined by Leonard Witt, aims to build sustainable journalism one small group at a time.

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  • Your Role

    Leonard Witt has been developing the Representative Journalism idea behind the scenes for several months. Now he is going public. You can help develop the concept into a workable model or models for mainstream media, small operations, start-ups or individual endeavors.

    Join this online think-tank either ad hoc or sign up in the box that says "Join this Community." Let's make postive change together.