Nieman Journalism Lab unveils ‘Encyclo,’ a reference of news organizations

Nieman Journalism Lab
Today Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab launched Encyclo, a microsite that synthesizes “future of news” coverage by Nieman and other sources into topic pages. Josh Benton explains, “It’s an attempt to figure out who the most important players and innovators are in the evolution of journalism — and to provide a centralized source for background, context, and the latest news about them.” Each entry has a narrative with key links, a list of “peers, allies and competitors,” and links to Nieman stories and to news from around the Web, collected by Mediagazer. More from Benton after the jump.

I emailed Benton with two questions. Here’s our exchange:

What are your goals for this?

Benton: We write about a lot of these news organizations and companies on a daily basis, and we usually focus on what’s new and what’s innovative. But there wasn’t a really good resource for the backstory, the context. We might write something about the latest thing MinnPost is doing, but there wasn’t a good place to turn for answering what MinnPost has done in the past, and why MinnPost matters. So we decided to try to build that resource.

I think we can do a good job on this because we’re committed to keeping it current. Mark Coddington already does a great job with his Friday Week in Review column, and he and the rest of us will be ensuring the entries stay fresh and grow when appropriate. We launched an hour ago and we’ve already got a list of six or seven great entries people want us to write. We’ve got our own list of several dozen more, and we’ll be expanding the site in a variety of ways in the coming months.

How will you measure success?

Benton: I don’t have a set traffic goal or anything else numeric, because I don’t think we know yet how much demand there’ll be. But I just want to create something useful for people. It’s already been useful for our own staff.

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