Friday, September 14, 2007

The Future of news: Read more, write more, partner more

As was expected, yet another attempt from mainstream media to define and analyze the boom in user-generated news was hotly debated and trashed in equal measure on blogs and news sites.

Project in Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) analyzed headlines on social news sites (Digg, Reddit, comparing them with mainstream media headlines.

The only useful thing I found was that people forwarded ‘How To’ lists and advice more than other story types. The rest of the findings were along expected lines:

- The increasingly fragmented online readership
- Frontpages of MSM and Social News sites rarely match: since both have different editorial setups. Editors rule on MSM sites and the crowd is supreme on social sites.

Not wanting to comment on the usual outrage of bloggers , I have three takes on this:

1. Those who like to read love the new setup
Read the best of mainstream media and your favorite bloggers. Never before did I have so much data on any given issue at hand. Now, I can read the NYT and Guardian’s take on Hillary vs Obama and then look at how bloggers and members of Digg and Reddit have aligned themselves on the issue.

Given the abundance of available information, the modern editors’ bias is easily brought into focus now than before.

Now, the reader can ask the editor ‘if you knew A was B, why did you say that…?

2. The power of comments, link forwarding and bored people
Social News is driven by the hordes of bored workers in offices and in dorms everywhere, who submit links, forward links and comment their hearts out on the social news sites.

I believe comments on news items on social sites are richer than the news items themselves.

Among news anization, Guardian’s Comment is Free is a worthy attempt and I never miss reading the comments below any readable Guardian column.

3. Let’s work together
That’s what owners/editors at established news organizations should be telling to social news sites, bloggers, commentators and other enthusiastic participants, making it possible, and profitable, to both parties to include each other’s content in their offerings.

For your consideration:
A: Local paper + best of local bloggers
B: Local paper’s shoddy, mostly fluffy tech coverage and what bloggers think about Apple’s iPhone tactics and why doesn’t Apple do something about the battery?
C: New York Times plus Best of Digg and

Rather than bicker about what is news, what is not, or whether bloggers are useful or whether social media is making us dumb, let work together and create 'news that is fit to comment and act upon?' (Sorry, NYT)

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home