Arts journalism showcased at summit

Sophie, NPR Music among those in competition

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and the National Arts Journalism Program, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, will present the first National Summit on Arts Journalism on Oct. 2 at the Annenberg Auditorium on the USC campus.

Ten innovative models of the next generation of arts journalism will be presented at the summit. Five of the projects, chosen from among 108 submissions, will be in competition for a total of $15,000 in prize money, courtesy of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. They will be announced on the day of the summit.

The five other projects will not be in the competition, but will also be presented during the summit as models notable for their use of technology, contribution to online community growth and the advancement of arts journalism's future.

"The summit is part of our commitment to help reinvent journalism in the 21st century," USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III said.

Primarily a virtual event, the summit will be streamed live in front of a live audience; viewers from around the world will be able to participate via text messaging and Twitter. All ten presentations will be archived and available after the event on the summit Web site:

The five showcase projects that have already been chosen are:

-- Sophie: A new authoring tool for multimedia developed by the Institute for Multimedia Literacy that suggests new possibilities for presenting critical response.

-- The Indianapolis Museum of Art: With its Art Babble and Dashboard, the IMA is an example of a cultural institution extending its reach into areas that have traditionally been the province of journalism.

-- An example of an aggregator attempting to gather everything about an art form (in this case classical music) and making it accessible in one place.

-- NPR Music: An example of a traditional big media company that is reinventing itself across platforms. NPR Music blurs the lines between journalism, curation, presenting and producing.

-- Gazette Communications; Cedar Rapids, Iowa: An example of a local media company that is trying to reinvent the idea of what is news and how it might be gathered and presented.

The summit will also include two roundtable discussions; one moderated by Laura Sydell, arts correspondent for NPR, will focus on the evolving art of arts journalism, and the other moderated by Andras Szanto, director of the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera, will explore the business of supporting arts journalism.