Nieman Lab’s Encyclo Focuses on Journalism’s Evolution

By: Heidi Kulicke

You may be familiar with Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, an organization known for its reporting, analysis, and commentary on how the world of journalism is changing. But what about the dozens of other organizations involved with documenting journalism’s evolution? In response to that question, the Lab launched an encyclopedia of the future of news, called Encyclo, May 18.


Encyclo was made possible through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, enabling the Lab to increase its reporting staff. The result is an in-depth analysis of news organizations for everyone involved in the future of news.


The initial focus of the project is the companies and organizations that are having a big impact on the future of news, including traditional news organizations that have looked to innovation as an answer (such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Guardian) as well as newcomers with fresh business models made possible by the rise of the Internet (such as Talking Points Memo, GlobalPost, and West Seattle Blog). Others are nonprofit organizations with an investigative emphasis, while others are mainly aggregators looking to search engine optimization as a way to bring in revenue.


Lab editors believe each and every outlet has something to teach the world about how the business of news is changing — regardless of the size, age, number of employees, or generated revenue.


In addition to news outlets and organizations, technology companies such as Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, and Craigslist have been included as a result of their impact on the news. The project is in phase one, but in the coming months and years, the Lab hopes to take Encyclo in new directions — providing the industry with valuable information about the issues facing journalism today.


The Encyclo team asks its readers to let them know if any news organizations are missing, as well as any important details in specific entries that were forgotten. Readers can submit their suggestions at

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