By Melanie Gibson
Harvard University’s new Encyclo offers a look into the organizations impacting the future of online journalism.
Produced by the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, Encyclo is an online encyclopedia of journalism websites. The website says, “The Nieman Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age.” The Nieman Journalism Lab works with the Harvard Business School, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, all of which are located at Harvard.
Each post on the Encyclo site contains “an encyclopedia-style write-up summarizing what’s important about the subject from a future-of-news perspective,” according to the site; a list of links, articles and commentary about the subject; a listing of the subject’s peers, allies and competitors; the five articles from the Neiman Journalism Lab related to the subject; and there are links to the five most recent articles on Mediagazer’s website. For those of you who don’t know already know, Mediagazer is news aggregator website focused on journalism and media.
The official description of what each post contains is very in-depth, but most of the posts fall in the same vein. For somebody researching a media outlet or news organization, this is the place to come, not only because of the information contained in the posts, but because it is so easy to search through the database. Also, after just playing around on the site, I found the Encyclo Roulette option, which pulls up a randomly selected organization for the user to read about. Overall, the site is impressive – it’s user-friendly, fast and informative.
The sheer range of organizations included in Encylco is impressive. There are nearly 200 entries, from mainstream organizations like NPR and CNN, to strictly online publications like the Huffington Post. Companies that impact the news industry — Facebook and Apple — are also included.
There could, as previously mentioned, be more information about news organizations in Oregon and Rocky Mountain states like Idaho and Montana. But to its credit, the team behind Encylco acknowledges that the site isn’t complete, and there is an option to send comments and suggestions to the people behind the project on the site.