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May 10, 2007

Symposium to explore the challenge of paying for good journalism

It's a question bedeviling everyone who cares about a well-informed citizenry: How will we pay for the journalism we need?

This month at Stanford, three people who have wrestled with this challenge in different ways will speak as panelists at the 2007 John S. Knight Symposium. The three are David Talbot, founder of the online magazine; Lauren Rich Fine, an online and publishing financial analyst; and Lem Lloyd, vice president of the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium. Vindu Goel, San Jose Mercury News editorial writer and blogger, will moderate the discussion.

The symposium, titled "How Will We Pay for the Journalism We Need?," is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 21, in Kresge Auditorium. Sponsored by the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists, the event is free and open to the public.

The question the symposium will explore is a significant one. "This wired world needs good journalism—to report the news accurately and independently, to serve as a counterbalance to power, and to be a window and a mirror on society," Knight Fellowships Director James Bettinger said. "But the journalism institutions we might have relied on—newspapers, broadcast news programs and magazines—are threatened by the erosion and fragmentation of their audiences, by the economic appetites of their stockholders and by the skepticism of their most significant advertisers. That's the landscape in 2007, and the future is anything but clear."

David Talbot founded in 1995 and was its editor in chief and chief executive officer for 10 years before becoming chairman in 2005. Previously, he was the arts and features editor at the San Francisco Examiner and was senior editor of Mother Jones magazine in the early 1980s. He is the author of Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, published this month.

Lauren Rich Fine, chartered financial analyst, was until last month a managing director in the Equity Research Department at Merrill Lynch. She joined the department in 1988, focusing on the publishing, information, advertising and online industries.

Lem Lloyd is vice president of the Newspaper Consortium at Yahoo!. He was formerly vice president of sales and business development at Oodle; corporate director of classifieds and vice president of classified and national sales for online at Knight Ridder and KR Digital; and senior director of business development at Knight Ridder Digital.

Vindu Goel is an editorial writer and blogger for the San Jose Mercury News. He joined the paper in 1999 as an assistant business editor after eight years at the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, where he also served as business editor from 2003 to 2005. Prior to joining the editorial board of the Mercury in October 2006, Goel studied the impact of the Internet on newspapers as a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

The Knight Fellowships program brings mid-career journalists, 12 from the United States and six to eight from other countries, to study at Stanford for an academic year. The program initiated an annual lecture and symposium series in 1988.



James Bettinger, Knight Fellowships: (650) 725-1189,

Dawn Garcia: Knight Fellowships: (650) 725-1188,

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