Speaking at McMaster on Tuesday: Open data changing communications

Note: You are welcome to attend, there is room for about 5 people in addition to the class. Details at bottom of post.

I’ll be speaking to a 4th year Communications Studies class at McMaster University on Tuesday afternoon about journalism and open data.

This is the third year speaking to this class and my presentation will be very different this time. I’ll be focusing on how the growth of open data and hackivism is changing communications practice (journalism is a subset of communications) and forcing transparency upon government, corporations (including corporate journalism), and public individuals.

Open Source philosophy is now being applied to government by a generation that interacts with knowledge on platforms such as Wikipedia where more knowledge and more information is always a click away. The closed window of government is unacceptable to them. I’ll speak to what this means for communications practice.

Many of the students in the program are hoping to enter public relations practice. They are entering a field on the verge of a major disruption – sites such as Churalism.com are about to change the dynamic between journalism and public relations. Developers are  working to connect the churalism.com engine to Google News feeds and public relations release wires. Once achieved, every news story will be automatically compared to public relations copy and rated for its originality.

Rewritten press releases will become a thing of the past.

I always enjoy speaking to classes about journalism and I find the McMaster communications students ask insightful and challenging questions.

Last year, one of the students asked a question that I didn’t know how to answer. I’m hoping this year another student does the same.

The presentation will be in University Hall room 103. I’m schedule to start at 1:30pm.

There is room for about 5 people to sit-in on the presentation. It’s free and you’re more than welcome to ask me questions afterwards.

I hope to start a little earlier, so don’t be late 🙂