What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

Peter Drucker

Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye:

1. The Leaked New York Times Innovation Report Is One of the Key Documents of This Media Age: What challenges does the nation’s premier newspaper face in holding on to readers? Many. The “newsroom innovation team” at the New York Times produced a report on how the paper is falling behind in adapting to the Internet age. It has now been leaked, and in a blog post Joshua Benton of the Nieman Jounalism Lab links to the report and calls it “one of the most remarkable documents I’ve seen in my years running the Lab.” Benton writes: “You can sense the frayed nerves and the frustration at a newsroom that is, for all its digital successes, still in many ways oriented toward an old model. It’s journalists turning their own reporting skills on themselves.”

2. What Data Journalists Need to Do Differently: Lots of new sites touting “data journalism” and “explanatory journalism” are up and running now, including FiveThirtyEight, ampp3d, The Upshot and Vox. All well and good, says Liliana Bounegru of the European Journalism Centre’s Data Driven Journalism Initiative. But, she writes at the HBR Blog, what they share is a reliance on data from a narrow band of sources: “mainly government bodies (such as national statistical agencies or finance departments), international institutions (such as the EU, the OECD or the World Bank) and companies (such as audit or polling companies).” This risks skewing their results toward the worldview of the organizations producing the data. Bounegru therefore recommends that “data journalists should strive to go beyond established sources to find or create their own data in order to bring about fresh reflections and insights or to bring new issues to the public’s attention.”

3. Harvard & MIT Students Have Created an Email So Secure Even the NSA Can’t Crack It: Do you want to keep your email secret, really secret—unless, that is, someone forwards it? A small group of students from Harvard and MIT, outraged by revelations of snooping by the National Security Agency brought to light by former CIA technical assistant Edward Snowden, have now created an email service called “ProtonMail,” set to launch in beta on Friday, according to a story in BostInno. “Even we don’t have the ability to read that email,” asserts one of the founders, Andy Yen. “If we can’t read it, we obviously can’t turn it over to any government agencies.”

4. Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we examined mechanization and the possible disappearance of “work” as it has traditionally been known, reader Maverick 18 had this to say:

If the need to work is eliminated, it may be likely that people will want to work anyway, perhaps even harder, on the things that interest them most. Nothing wrong with that. The problem with imagining the total elimination of jobs is that it implies the total elimination of competition. Man is a competitive animal, which is the real reason that jobs will never be eliminated.