Think Like an Editor blog by Steve Davis and Emilie Davis, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

How the past leads to greater good

By · Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Institutional knowledge. It’s essential for journalists.

It can be lost when people leave a place, creating an information void, and that’s always unfortunate. Worse, though, is when institutional knowledge goes untapped.

This could happen easily when:

Two pieces published recently bring to mind the feel-good outcome of looking back.

In both cases, people are invited to share their remembrances. Poynter says it could not get every story and would like to hear from staffers it did not reach. Kirst is looking to hear from people who remember the president’s visit and also from anyone who recognizes people in the photos.

Layer upon layer, it’s all institutional knowledge that contributes greatly to our present-day understanding of things. And remember, too, that each one of us makes up a part of another’s institutional knowledge in some way. That’s an awesome responsibility.

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