Thursday, December 9, 2010

Innovation Communication in Virtual Worlds: A Multiple Case Study Analysis in Second Life

Innovation Journalism Vol. 7 No. 9,  29 Nov 2010
By Bettina Maisch and Katrin Tobies

Innovations help to ensure a company’s success if they are communicated appropriately in their innovation ecosystems. Virtual worlds offer interesting possibilities in this context. On the basis of a multiple case study analysis, this paper examines the fields of use, the potential and the limits of innovation communication in the virtual sphere. The area of study was the 3D online world “Second Life”. It is characterized by its high profile, a realistic design and far-reaching business opportunities and has, moreover, already provided first examples of how companies have used such online communication in innovation management processes. With the help of case studies of eight companies from different industry sectors, the potential for innovation communication available in virtual worlds will be illustrated: these include the identification of trends, the generation of ideas, marketing new products and positioning the organization behind these products as an innovator.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Innovation Journalists, Null-Hypothesis and the Forgotten H0 Heroes

Innovation Journalism Vol. 7 No. 8,  21 Nov 2010
By Göte Nyman, Jyrki Kaistinen & Jari Takatalo and Jukka Häkkinen

Null hypothesis (H0) is not an inviting theme for innovation and science journalists. But when it is not adequately described, the logic of the innovation or science story can become weak and the readers cannot evaluate the theoretical importance and novelty of the reported findings. This invites them to entertain false beliefs of what is new, what scientists actually know, what they see as possible and what they think about the reported issue. In the social and human sciences this can introduce false beliefs about our identity and about us as human beings. Here we analyze the journalistic relevance of H0 and give examples of its use and misuse. Paradoxically, we argue that in the expanding information space, there is a significant increase in the intellectual value of the best theories that fail in their scientific predictions.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Who Are The Tech Press Darlings?

Innovation Journalism Vol. 7 No. 7,  21 Nov 2010

By Morten Bay

Who Are The Tech Press Darlings? 
An Empirical Stidy of Coverage of Innovation-Driven Tech Companies in US Newspapers.

This paper contains a small study of empirical data collected between April 19, 2010 and May 19, 2010. The data is the five largest newspapers’ coverage of the ten largest innovation-driven technology companies in the US. The study is presented as a description of the current state of the presence of Innovation Journalism in American mainstream media. Newspapers have been chosen due to the fact that even though they are losing ground to web, mobile, tv and radio, newspapers still produce the vast majority of news stories proliferated through other media in the US.

The study shows an significant imbalance in coverage. There is a tendency towards coverage of two specific companies, Apple and Google. The difference between their presence in the newspapers, and the amount of coverage given to their competition is quite substantial, with the closest competitor, Microsoft, only obtaining approximately half of the coverage that the two companies get.

In the study, network mapping analysis is used to link journalists to companies in order to find out whether there are certain groups of journalists (e.g. specialized tech reporters) that help create imbalance by focusing on only a few innovators, or if –as is the case – it is a widespread tendency among all the journalists to cover Apple and Google more than others. The network mapping analysis is useful for identifying hubs, nodes in the network that are more connected than others, in this case either documenting that one journalist covers tech on a regular basis, or whether one journalist writes more positive stories about a company than negative stories.

The study also shows that positive stories are dominant. There is an approximate 20-30 percent difference in favor of the positive stories, sometimes even more. It is discussed whether this lack of balance and critical journalism is actually good for Innovation Journalism or not. Some argue that a positive slant works to build social capital for innovation in general, while others argue that not following ethical guidelines in Innovation Journalism actually diminishes coverage of the innovators and innovations that aren’t necessarily fashionable or popular at a given time – which creates an imbalance like the one we see towards Google and Apple.

Finally, it is discussed what creates an imbalance like the present one, and how to find a solution to the problem. It is argued that it is the success of building an effective reputation and a lovable brand through non-traditional PR and advertising that gives Google and Apple the edge. Towards the end, this paper criticizes journalists for not trying to even out the balance, and seeks to find a reason why a more balanced coverage is not available to the public. It is argued that a self-reinforcing media hype, which stems from the effective attention work of Apple and Google, also has a blinding effect on journalists, creating the illusion that Apple and Google are all the public cares about – giving the editorial decision-makers a reason to cover them more.

How Silicon Valley Journalists Talk About Independence in Innovation Coverage

Innovation Journalism Vol. 7 No. 6,  20 Nov 2010

By Kirsten Mogensen and David Nordfors

Silicon Valley has become known for innovations that have led to substantial changes for citizens around the world. In 1960s’-80s’ the innovation had to do with computers and electronics, 1990s-00s’ it was on Internet and Web services. Since the later part of the 00’s, clean tech has emerged as a keyword. The valley culture is known to stress the value of trust-based personal contacts. This applies also to journalists and their access to sources. This article discusses how this relates to traditional journalism norms that stress journalists’ independence from sources. Based on explorative, semi-structured interviews with journalists who cover the innovation economy in Silicon Valley, the article seeks to understand the professional challenges the network structure create for journalists and the strategies they apply. Comparing the results with previous research in journalism norms, this study suggests that as access to powerful sources becomes scarce and controlled journalists tend to be more innovative and diverse in shaping professional norms to balance access to sources with their readers’ mandate. The continued development of this diversity of norms, and its impact on society needs to be further explored.

Key words: Journalism practice, innovation, journalism ethics, qualitative interviews, Silicon Valley, ecosystem.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Innovation Journalism as Futures Journalism

Innovation Journalism Vol. 7 No. 5,  18 Nov 2010
By Sofi Salonen

It has been argued that futures orientation is one of the central aspects of innovation journalism. Reporting on technological innovation is especially seen to benefit from the scenario approach. This is to avoid an inherent sense of determinism present in much of the technology journalism. Moreover, the demand for horizontal, multidisciplinary analysis and the adoption of the systemic approach connect innovation journalism with the field of futures studies. The study at hand analyses the interconnections between innovation journalism and futures studies as regards values, goals, and applicability of methods. Along with theoretical considerations, a two-round Delphi is used to gather Finnish media experts’ notions of futures orientation in media. Emphasis is placed on analysing how journalists see writing about futures topics as well as on possible drivers and obstacles that either promote or restrain journalists’ adoption of a stronger futures approach into their work. The study combines theoretical arguments with the realities of the newsroom in trying to draw insights from futures studies to develop innovation journalism more into the direction of “futures journalism”. 

Keywords: innovation journalism, futures studies, Delphi method, narratives of innovation, newsroom perspective 

Friday, November 5, 2010

IJ-7 Academic Track

Innovation Journalism Vol.7 No.4,  5 Nov 2010

IJ-7 Academic Track, the academic part of the Seventh Conference on Innovation Journalism took place at Stanford University 9 June 2010. The Academic Track mission statement, conference themes and program is available on the Web and can as from now also be referred to through the Innovation Journalism Publication Series.

Program Committee:
  • IJ-7 Chair: David Nordfors, Executive Director, VINNOVA-Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism.
  • IJ-7 Academic Track Chair: Kirsten Mogensen, Visiting InJo Researcher, Stanford University and Associate Professor, Roskilde University.
  • Turo Uskali, University of Jyväskylä, Finland and Senior Research Scholar. VINNOVA Stanford Center.
  • Marc Ventresca, University Lecturer in Strategy, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford; Senior Research Scholar, VINNOVA Stanford Center; and Research Faculty, Global Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School
  • Bettina Maisch, Doctoral Student at Institute for Media and Communication Management at University of St.Gallen and Visiting Researcher, Center for Design Research at Stanford University

IJ-7 - the Seventh Conference on Innovation Journalism (Main Conference)

Innovation Journalism Vol.7 No.3, 5 Nov 2010

IJ-7, the Seventh Conference on Innovation Journalism took place at Stanford University 7-9 June 2010. The conference materials have since then been available on the conference website. They can as from now also be referred to through the Innovation Journalism Publication Series.

IJ-7 had two main parts - the main conference and the academic track

Main Conference (June 7-9 2010)

MISSION STATEMENT: The world is driven by creative destruction, when entrepreneurs introduce innovations that change societies and drive economic growth. How can journalism survive, while successfully telling the stories about it and facilitating public discussion? Is journalism+innovation a key to collective intelligence in the innovation economy? IJ-7 is a conference for everyone who thinks journalism and innovation is important. We welcome all journalism and innovation stakeholders: journalists, industry, policy-makers in media and innovation, PR, academic researchers, faculty and students in related areas of study, other professionals connected to the news industry, as well as individuals with a special interest in journalism and innovation.

Conference Committee:
  • Conference Chair: David Nordfors, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism
  • Academic Track Chair: Kirsten Mogensen, Visiting Professor at the Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism
  • Event Planner: Johanna Mansor, Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism
  • Conference Web Editor: Fatima Akhtar, InJo Fellow 2010, based at the Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism
  • InJo Fellowship Program Coach and Copy Editor: John Joss

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Intangibles & Innovation: The Role of Communication in the Innovation Ecosystem

Innovation Journalism Vol. 7 No. 2,  4 Nov 2010
By Vilma Luoma-aho and Saara Halonen

As innovations are established in ecosystems of dynamic multi-channel networks of researchers, funders, entrepreneurs and experts, the question of what and who keeps this ecosystem thriving is central. Intangible assets are central for innovation through concepts such as trust, communication and social capital, though little previous research has focused on them. In this paper we look at the role of intangible assets for innovation through a literature review, and suggest that communication is vital, and that the different attention workers maintain the innovation ecosystem by brokering intangible assets, creating a shared language and setting the agenda for the future.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

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Sunday, January 24, 2010


Innovation Journalism Vol.7 No. 1
By Chloë Salles

This paper is part of a wider doctoral study focusing on the acculturation of press of record to the Internet. The article presents evidence persuading us that the on-going crisis that the Press is enduring (and has for a while), though raising constant concern on questions of survival and democratic mechanisms, also sees the formation of small areas in which experiences are run, while symbolically and economically strong companies continue to function normally (i.e. according to historical norms). Here we describe localized areas based on coverage newspapers provide regarding their relation to innovation, perhaps a place to mediate two cultures: ‘old,’ traditional newspaper culture and the Internet. These suggestions are based on interviews at Le Monde with different hierarchy practitioners and the analysis of diverse entities in articles covering innovation, especially those mentioning ‘crisis’ and ‘blogs’.