2009 Joseph Howe Symposium considers the future of news

The news business is facing life and death challenges. On Saturday, Oct. 17 at the University of King’s College, a powerhouse of journalistic thinkers will consider where it might be going next.

They’ll examine the state of the media in Canada now, peer into the digital future and ponder how quality journalism can be maintained in a world of round-the-clock deadlines and staff reductions. It will culminate in “10 ideas for 2010 and beyond.”

All of this is happening at the seventh annual Joseph Howe Symposium, presented by the King’s School of Journalism. There is probably no more pressing issue now than the future of news itself.

“That the news business is changing, no one can deny,” said Tim Currie, who teaches online journalism at King’s. “But where it’s going, no one really knows.”

The Internet, social media and mobile communications devices are radically reshaping the definition of journalism. Meantime, the disappearance of mainstays such as newspaper classified ads, is putting the traditional business model of news production under severe stress.

The rush is on to find a way to make money online before the traditional model is gone for good.

Headlining the event is Michael Rogers, the former futurist-in-residence at The New York Times. He continues to work with the paper on advanced media projects. He’ll give his unique take on where the media might be headed.

John Honderich of Torstar Corp, which owns the Toronto Star, will talk about how quality journalism can be maintained in the digital age, and Donna Logan, president of the Canadian Media Research Consortium, will discuss major findings of the consortium’s State of the Media in Canada study, which is to be released in final form shortly.

Joining them are Bruce MacCormack from the Chronicle Herald, Kyle Shaw of The Coast and Kevin Cox of allNovaScotia.com.

The event is free and open to the public. It runs from 10-4 in Alumni Hall in the New Academic Building. King’s is located at 6350 Coburg Road in Halifax. Lunch is available for $7.00 in the King’s dining hall.

Every year the Howe discusses a pivotal issue related to freedom of expression and the media.

The event will be live-blogged on J-Source and a summary, including the 10 ideas, will be available afterward.

More information is available here.