Chris O'Brien

Chris O'Brien is a business reporter at the San Jose Mercury News where he has covered Silicon Valley since 1999. Previously, he was a staff writer at The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., for seven years. He graduated from Duke University in 1991, and was an editor at the student-run, independent daily newspaper, The Chronicle.

by Chris O'Brien

I had the great privilege to be invited to sit on a panel earlier this month at the Institute of Design at Stanford to provide feedback on an effort called, “Redesigning Journalism.” I’ve been wanting to visit the “D School” for some time now. So I jumped at the chance to participate. In this case, […] more »

by Chris O'Brien

Now that I’ve officially completed the work on our Knight Foundation News Challenge grant that funded the Next Newsroom project, I wanted to share some of the horrendous, grotesque mistakes I made over the past 18 months. I’m doing it not because I’m feeling particularly masochistic. But rather, I hope there will be something valuable […] more »

by Chris O'Brien

It is with great pleasure that I’d like to announce that we have completed work on our newsroom proposal for The Chronicle, the independent, student-run newspaper at Duke University. The Chronicle’s board has adopted our proposal for a new home. That document will now serve as the basis for negotiations with officials at Duke University. […] more »

by Chris O'Brien

This thought occurred to me over the weekend when I heard that Barack Obama’s campaign had purchased advertising space in videogames. According this Associated Press Article: “Nine video games from Electronic Arts Inc., ranging from the extremely popular ‘Madden 09’ football game to the street racing ‘Burnout: Paradise,’ feature in-game ads from the Obama campaign. […] more »

by Chris O'Brien

Over the summer, I saw an incredibly exciting piece of visual journalism over at USA TODAY. The production involved a mash-up of sorts between one of USA TODAY’s bloggers, Twitter, some comic book artists, and a nifty bit of flash animation. You can check out the results here. There are a couple of things that […] more »

by Chris O'Brien

Last week, the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy arrived in Silicon Valley to hold the first of its three planned community forums. I was asked to speak on a panel that day about “technology and innovation” but hung around for most of the day to listen to the other […] more »

by Chris O'Brien

Last month, Dan Pacheco asked for readers’ ideas on How to Foster Innovation in Newspapers. He was speaking at an upcoming Knight conference and was looking for feedback to augment his presentation. I didn’t have a chance to respond in time to help him, but it’s a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot over […] more »

by Chris O'Brien

I was sitting at my desk at the San Jose Mercury News on Tuesday when I first heard about the Los Angeles earthquake through an inter-office message from a colleague. My next instinct was to click over to my Twitter account to see what was going on. Like a lot of folks who have developed […] more »

by Chris O'Brien

In April 2006, I was sitting in a Durham, N.C., sports bar with Gary Kebbel, who runs the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge grant program. Gary was officially letting me know I would be getting a grant for The Next Newsroom Project. Our plan was to research and design the ideal newsroom for The Chronicle, the […] more »

by Chris O'Brien

(photo by Rob Knight) As part of the Next Newsroom Project, I’ve been exploring several core questions about the structure of news organizations, both physical and operational. One of those central questions is this: What is the ideal relationship between a newsroom and its community? One of the exciting things about the era we’re entering […] more »