(2013-09-08) Assemble It Yourself Component Based Journalism

Contra Jeff Bezos' dream of returning to the Glorious Bundle of the Newspaper, I think we need to unbundle Journalism itself.

Context/goal (of the Reflective Thinker-reader): Making Sense of the world through 2nd-hand streams.

Forces:

  • It's difficult to become an Expert on something from the outside.

  • The typical Journalist is a Generalist, a deep expert in no more than 0-1 topics. (Gell Mann Amnesia)

  • Publications try to drive multi-visits-per-day by having a continuous feed of new content.

  • Journalists like to eat and pay rent, so they rarely say "no I shouldn't write about that topic I know nothing about".

  • Because Digital Media and Social Media have sped the pace of content production/consumption, there seem to be fewer opportunities to hold an article on a hot topic until it is better understood.

  • The "objective" or Neutral Point Of View is often not very helpful. An Expert has often been Captured by the Status Quo. Having a clear description of each writer's Point Of View is more transparent/honest.

  • The reader's need to Making Sense of the world is not dry/objective, but tied to their own desires/contexts.

Solution:

  • Sources Go Direct
  • Journalist-s should be more explicitly/honestly Curators of other sources. Direct interviews should be isolated just like a 3rd-party article.
    • see Jeff Jarvis chapter from GeeksBearingGifts about Andy Carvin and other curator-journalists. In the future, journalists must ask: How do we encourage and support flows of information?... It becomes necessary for news organizations to develop relationships with people in the places or fields they may cover so they can discern and connect with nodes and networks of witnesses and sources.
  • Maybe Journalists (and bloggers) need a system like LinkedIn "endorsements" to tag their viewpoints/contexts and areas of actual Expert-ise, to make it easier for readers to fit them into a bigger picture.
  • Stories should be broken up into small/granular chunks, each with its own explicit purpose/lede. A Macro Story container provides a map/Table Of Contents for the chunks (not just a list like the old Yahoo News Full Coverage). Chunks will be added over the course of days/weeks, with the Macro Story being updated accordingly. Sometimes an earlier chunk will be made obsolete by a new chunk with the same topic: the old chunk should disappear or get over-written, but should disappear from the Macro Story, and the old-chunk should have a link to the new-chunk at its top.
  • Blog Comment systems should make "best" comments much more visible, and allow both reader-mass and writer/editor input into selection.
  • Readers (still) need to seek multiple journalists to follow with appropriately matching contexts.

cf 2013-05-13-RosenQuartzCrowdsourcedJournalism, 2012-12-03-JournalismServiceListsOutlinesAndData


Edited: |

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