Carnival of Fail – the next #Jcarn

12 Apr

It’s time to put up a topic for the next Carnival of Journalism. And the topic is #fail.

The best explanation can be found in the video below which also has the instructions on how the Carnival of Journalism will continue as I pass the reigns to other hosts. For those that prefer text, keep on reading (but you’ll miss all the jokes I inserted into the video).

When: May 5th at 12pm PST.

Where: Publish on your blog

What: A failure in your life (personal or professional) that has lessons. It must be your failure and you must  take responsibility. But this will be a safe space to discuss our failings and what we can learn from them.

The Details

We talk about ‘failure’ a lot in the online journalism community. It can be a bit of a buzzword. “Let’s fail early and fail often” is a motto I personally have adopted.

But the true value of failing is if we can share the lessons learned. We probably do this all the time without knowing it – but rather than try to condense our lessons into 140 characters, let’s create a safe space this month to discuss a failure that others can learn from.

Three rules

  1. It must be a project you worked on. Let’s not turn this into a space to point fingers and lay blame on anyone but ourselves.
  2. It must be your failing within that project (see above)
  3. No apologizing. This is a safe space to discuss failure. In fact, I want there to be a fight at the end for the biggest failure of the lot. That person should be cheered for their honesty, insights and perhaps attempting something that none of us had the cojones to try.

This month’s Carnival of Journalism is in part inspired by Ethan Zuckerman who once discussed “Fail Camp” with me as a great platform to share lessons.

Look, none of us are perfect. Nobody expects everything we do to turn into Pulitzer investigations or multi-billion revenue streams. Everyone fails a little every day and occasionally we fail really big. The question is if we can fail well. One way to accomplish this, I believe, is if we share the failure, get it off our chest and help others avoid it in the future.

So with that – please join me for the Carnival of Fail, the failfest, failapalooza, all you need is fail. #jfail. Have fun with it.

Future Carnival of Journalism Hosts

Hopefully by now we all have a sense of how the Carnival of Journalism works. There is a host. Their job is to come up with an interesting topic and a date everyone will publish on their personal blogs. Everyone sends a link of their post to the host and the host then does a summary of what everyone said and tries to find next month’s host. Along the way – bloggers meet new bloggers, ideas are shared and the community of bloggers feels strengthened and empowered.

I’ve hosted the first four months to get things going.

But this is not a company. There is no ownership. It lives and dies if people take stewardship of it.

So email me: david AT spot DOT us if you want to host next month and let me know what topic you’d like to propose to the group. If you aren’t chosen – have no fear, you can email next month’s host with the same topic. Then both myself and the next host will choose the third month’s host. Following that the three ex-hosters will pick the fourth host. And so on and so forth until we’ve come full circle to 12 hosts.

If that happens…. well. Wow. That would really be a testament to everyone involved and how committed you are to discussing the future of media. We will then wipe the slate clean and start again with a new host. I’ll gladly do a Mardi Gras video #mardiGrasOfJournalism post.

I look forward to this and future Carnvial’s and I want to thank everyone for their time and energy. This has been a truly exciting endeavor and one that I hope continues well into the future.

13 Responses to “Carnival of Fail – the next #Jcarn”


  1. Carnival of Fail – the next #Jcarn | Daniel Bachhuber's weblog - April 13, 2011

    […] April 2011 editionCarnival of Fail – the next #Jcarn Posted on April 13, 2011 by Daniel BachhuberCarnival of Fail – the next #Jcarn. The question: What failure have you personally seen, and what lessons did you tak away from it? […]

  2. Carnival of Journalism: Failing to Watch the Sun Rise | UMass Journalism Professor's Blog - May 4, 2011

    […] David Cohn posted the latest topic for the Carnival of Journalism, I messaged him and said “interesting […]

  3. The Carnival of Fail: Too Slow, But Not Too Late | The Changing Newsroom - May 5, 2011

    […] is my entry in this month’s Carnival of Journalism, in which all of us journalism-nerd types blog on a particular […]

  4. Carinival of Journalism #FAIL: Step AWAY From The Spell Check, Kids! | NABJdigital Blog - May 5, 2011

    […] I saw the topic for this month’s Carnival of Journalism — a failure in your life (personal or professional) that has lessons — I felt myself […]

  5. Mediactive » Failing, and Learning - May 5, 2011

    […] of Journalism, a monthly collection of blog posts on a related topic curated by David Cohn. Our assignment this month was to talk about a failure, in our personal professional lives, for which we are responsible and […]

  6. Rejection takes you further than success: why getting rejected a lot brought me here « Christopher Wink - May 5, 2011

    […] Here’s my submission to the #jcarn FAIL blog ring. […]

  7. #FAIL, #JCARN: Journalists should learn to 'fail informatively' | Give the 'Net credit - May 5, 2011

    […] Note: This post was my fourth in the monthly Carnival of Journalism. This month’s topic was the following: What: A failure in your life (personal or […]

  8. Too open to #FAIL? | - May 5, 2011

    […] Journalism Institute Fellow, David Cohn has boldly asked us to reflect on our failures for the Carnival of Journalism (which he’s now handing over to the rest of us for future […]

  9. Failure Is A Not Four-Letter Word | WiredPen - May 5, 2011

    […] Is A Not Four-Letter Word Posted on 5 May 2011 by Kathy E. Gill This is my inaugural Carnival of Journalism post; this month’s topic is “failure” — professional or personal. I chose […]

  10. Digi-fail this month’s #jcarn » DigiDave - Journalism is a Process, Not a Product - May 6, 2011

    […] topic for this month’s “Carnival of Journalism” is […]

  11. Graphic Vendor Design Studio Blog | Santa Barbara » Blog Archive » Some Community Design #fail - May 6, 2011

    […] this prolly ain’t your post. The following entry is submitted as part of this month’s Carnival of Journalism, tackling the subject of […]

  12. Carnival of Journalism Fail « Innovation in College Media - May 6, 2011

    […] Journalism has been going on the past few months, and I’ve missed posting to them. However, this month’s topic is very interesting, and I feel like I have something to contribute, if a little bit past deadline. […]

  13. Carnival of Journalism: Fail | Journerdism - May 8, 2011

    […] joke about my Carnival of Journalism fail being missing the […]

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