By Stavros Rougas
Co-founder of Media Spot Me, and former Guild member
Finding people to interview, this was the essence of my work as a TV producer at The Agenda with Steve Paikin. It was often a struggle, and when I had to compromise on a guest it frustrated me.
Fast forward to today, I have left television and I have co-founded a startup for journalists to discover people to interview. Media Spot Me (http://mediaspotme.com/) launches today.
As a journalist I spent the day on a computer connected to the greatest collection of information in human history, yet I was often reliant on techniques from a pre-web era. I did find online services that looked promising to help me find guests, but in the end none of them got to the heart of what I needed as a journalist.
My Inner Steve Jobs
Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science…I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place.
– Steve Jobs
I decided to pursue journalism as a career after producing reports for CBC Radio from Moldova and Kazakhstan where I volunteered on human rights projects. My time in the former Soviet Union found me experimenting with ways to maximize the creation and distribution of information at a low cost, technology was an essential part.
The net is the cataclysmic force of our times and it’s still in its infancy. I want to use it to help knowledgeable people find a voice, something that drew me to journalism.
Tech and Journalism
Technology needs to be imbedded, not added. It is not by chance that almost all web innovations are at least co-founded by a developer, this is also the case for tools used in newsrooms. Examples include Storify (http://storify.com/) and Toronto’s ScribbleLive (http://www.scribblelive.com/). This is why I co-founded Media Spot Me (http://mediaspotme.com/) with a University of Waterloo trained engineer.
To build something powerful online I have found it is important to have a basic understanding of computer programming. In the 21st century I believe understanding the basics of code will become part of the foundation of knowledge in a similar way that high school chemistry exposes one to the field of chemistry.
This coding literacy is essential to intersecting the humanities and science, something Steve Jobs believed is magical. We don’t see it more often because it’s hard to do.
Today we launch Media Spot Me (http://mediaspotme.com/) as the start of what we hope will be a path to support quality journalism.
Here Comes Everyone, Clay Shirky
Cognitive Surplus, Clay Shirky
Breaking News, Clayton M. Christensen, David Skok, and James Allworth
(Applies the lessons of Christensen’s disruptive innovation to the media industry, Skok is a Toronto journalist)
Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present
Emily Bell, CW Anderson, and Clay Shirky