As part of the development of both this project and the book, Prof. Patterson has been examining and theorizing the need for “knowledge-based journalism”: A conceptual reorientation of the way media members frame issues and conduct the information-gathering process. This would mean a fundamental shift, he says, toward bodies of systematic knowledge generated within universities and non-partisan research organizations, as well as the empirical data synthesized by government and other institutions. This is not a call for dry policy stories, he says, but a shift in the way the press should contextualize partisan claims and ground anecdotes in wider intellectual frameworks and research findings.
These ideas spring in part from the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, which has implemented curriculum reforms at many journalism schools with the hope of retraining the press to face a changing society. For journalists, this means an emphasis on both increased technological skill and greater policy understanding.
The following are a series of conversations with Prof. Patterson about the future of the press and its role in American democracy — and the world.
“Refocusing the press on knowledge”
“Media problems and the public interest”
“The Internet, globalization and the media future”