Just weeks away from launching my Knight News Challenge project, SochiReporter.ru, I organized a seminar for third, fourth and fifth year students from the five leading Sochi-based universities. Thirty-five journalism and IT students participated in the two day seminar called “Web and Journalism: The New Trends.” We received press coverage in over 30 online publications, in newspapers and from three of the city’s leading TV channels. Clearly, this city, which will host the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, is ready to embrace new ways of reporting and sharing information.
One goal of the seminar was to let the students, who are the most active web users in Sochi, be the first to learn about the project. We also want to give them the tools and knowledge needed to document and report on the changes in their city. SochiReporter is the first ever initiative to build a multimedia archive about the preparation of a host city for the Olympics. We expect to have many contributions from students.
Obviously social media and blogging has evolved A LOT over the past seven years, but wouldn’t it have been great to see a similar initiative when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics back in 2003.
With the 2010 Games only six months away, look for coverage to be divided into two camps – the old-school accredited media with their all-access passes and the “un-accredited” folks congregating at True North Media House (TNMH).
Luckily it looks like 2014 in Sochi will be a much different story thanks to Zolotarev and the Knight News Challenge.