Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Path to a Best of Both Worlds

Mainstream media vs. the blogs is one of those perennials that have already had more reruns than I Love Lucy, Seinfeld, and (tunk tunk) Law & Order combined.

But Jay Rosen is pitching an approach that combines the best virtues of both

Backing up a step... our story so far:

MSM has deep-pocket resources (although that pocket gets shallower by the click), editorial oversight, and training. On the other hand MSM sabotages its cred by addiction to access, feigning objectivity by giving equal weight to the claims of the wicked and the righteous alike (fueled no doubt by deep fear of being called biased by the mighty-righty Wurlitzer). MSM cloaks itself in a self-righteous sense of virtuous entitlement that's pegs the meter at 3.9 Liebermans.

On the other side, the blogosphere has speed, fearlessness, openness (or is it just cliquishness with better PR?), built-in instant corrective mechanisms, through comments, cross-links, ranking. On the other hand the blogosphere sabotages its cred by shooting from the hip, excessive first-name insider code-speak (the clicquish reality behind the open veneer), and nasty tendency (especially in comments) to debate in the style of the Monty Python Argument Clinic (Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, maloderous, pervert!!!). Not to mention a self-righteous sense of virtuous entitlement that pegs the meter at 3.9 Liebermans.

So, here's Rosen's idea;

"In simplest terms, a way to fund high-quality, original reporting, in any medium, through donations to a non-profit called NewAssignment.Net.

"The site uses open source methods to develop good assignments and help bring them to completion; it employs professional journalists to carry the project home and set high standards so the work holds up. There are accountability and reputation systems built in that should make the system reliable. The betting is that (some) people will donate to works they can see are going to be great because the open source methods allow for that glimpse ahead.

"In this sense it’s not like donating to your local NPR station, because your local NPR station says, “thank you very much, our professionals will take it from here.” And they do that very well. New Assignment says: here’s the story so far. We’ve collected a lot of good information. Add your knowledge and make it better. Add money and make it happen. Work with us if you know things we don’t."

Could work. Just as netroots contributions are changing the game for running for office, TheNewAssignment, could become a new force in journalism.

What am I missing?


Anonymous said...

"What am I missing?"

...a self-righteous sense of virtuous entitlement that pegs the meter at 3.9 Liebermans.

Anonymous said...
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