The “professional” bio

Over the last fifteen years David Cohn has been at the forefront of innovation in journalism, working on some of the first experiments in buzzwordy facets of journalism including “structured content,” “networked journalism,” “distributed reporting” and more.

In 2008 he created the first platform to crowdfund journalism. Next he was the Chief Content Officer of Circa, a startup redefining how news is consumed on the mobile phone and one of the first organizations to experiment with atomized news structures or “object oriented journalism.” Following this he was an Executive Producer at AJ+ part of Al Jazeera’s research and development team, leading efforts to turn a broadcast organization into a digital operation.

Today he is a senior director at Advance Digital’s Alpha Group, which does in-house incubation. Essentially, he gets to be part of the mad-scientist team.

In 2010 he was named one of the “Ten Under 30” by Folio magazine and in 2013 Columbia’s Journalism School gave him the Alumni Innovation Award.

David Cohn has written for Wired, Seed, Columbia Journalism Review and The New York Times among other publications.

In academics he has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s journalism school and was a fellow at the University of Missouri’s Journalism school at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. He serves on the board of several journalism organizations including the Global Editors Network, The San Francisco Public Press and the Online News Association.

He has been a contributing editor at NewsTrust.net, a founding editor of Broowaha and an advisor to many new media projects from OffTheBus.net and Beatblogging.org to The Public Press. He is a frequent speaker on topics related to new media and beyond.

The “keeping it real” bio.

The Many Faces of Digidave

David Cohn is an obvious ego-maniac. How else can you explain all the pictures of himself and writing this “about” section in third person?

His first big break in journalism was writing for Wired. By following technology, specifically the build up of Web 2.0 after the first bust, David realized many of the trends he was following can and should be applied to journalism.

As a result David has worked with pioneering journalism bloggers like Jay Rosen and Jeff Jarvis. He helped Jeff Howe on his book “Crowdsourcing” and he continues to rely on his otherwise useless knowledge of the Web to help develop the emerging practice of participatory journalism through all kinds of jobs (see professional bio) or just writing his personal thoughts in this blog. He tries to be as open and accessible as possible. One shouldn’t hesitate to contact David. We have been told his email is Dcohn1 at gmail dot com.

He likes to rock but hates getting into online arguments. David loves you.

David hopes you enjoyed this unprofessional intro which was painstaking to write.

35 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi, I’m a journalist degree student and am currently writing a feature about the effects of social media on the practices of journalism. Obviously since the introduction of Web 2.0, there is a lot more opportunity for use of social media. Do you have any opinions on how social media has affected professional journalistic practices – as a reporter for a publication or a free-lance journalist?


  2. My name is Patrick Quinn and I recently listened to you speak when you visited WVU April 5th. I was pretty inspired by the way you started from basically nothing and took ideas and ran with them to eventually make yourself successful. With that being said I have a few questions I would like to ask. I have an invention for tailgates/the beach/concerts etc. that I know will be successful. I have already sold a few of my products but don’t know how to go about getting the name out their on the market? I also really need to create a website for this invention (and I checked if the website name I would like to use is available and it is) where it accepts master/visa cards online. I am a business major here at WVU and know I have the face to face sales quality that leads to a successful business but am completely lost on how to build the technical things that really expand the business. My invention/game has potential to make a lot of money and was wondering if you could help me out with a few tips if you get some free time? Thanks a lot,
    Patrick Quinn

  3. Hi Patrick – I’ll send you an email.

    The original domain I wanted for Spot.Us was Spot.Org – but somebody owned it (and didn’t want to sell).

    So even if your domain is taken – don’t lose heart.

    Email to come soon.

  4. .


    I replied to your last message on the Breitbart article concerning Siskiyou County. I’d be interested in continuing the conversation if you’re willing. Thanks.

    And I’ll check out this site of yours to. It looks as though you’re up to something good here. Keep working at it…I’m impressed.

    Michael Ely


  5. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now
    each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Appreciate it!

  6. Hi Dave –

    I am a grad student at American University in D.C. and am writing a piece on using Instagram photos in news stories. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Do you have time for a quick chat in the next day or two?


  7. Hello Dave,

    I need some information from you to put on Poynter.org’s About Us page under the adjunct faculty listing.

    Basically, what title and email to use and whether or not you want a headshot to show.

    Please let me know so that I can update the page.

    Sandy Johnakin
    Administrative Assistant

  8. Hi Dave,

    My name is Seth Merrill, and I’m a communications assistant and writer with the Utah State University Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Every fall, our office organizes TEDxUSU, our local version of the national TED conference. One of our speakers this year – Matthew LaPlante, a professor of journalism and former reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune – gave a witty and poignant talk about the changing landscape of and relationship between professional and citizen journalists. (Tons of clever superhero metaphors, too.)

    I thought the content in the video matched the mission of what you are doing with your blog as far as educating up-and-coming journalism innovators, so I just wanted to share the link this video with you. TEDxUSU is a non-profit that believes in sharing “ideas worth spreading” as a means of promoting discussion and growth in communities, and I hope this video might be of some worth to you and your audiences. Thanks!

    Video via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APGom2dUyTw
    Via our website: tedx.usu.edu/videos

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