Jim Brady, daddy of metro/hyperlocal startup TBD.com, sent me pictures Tim Windsor sent him from our summit on new business models for news at CUNY two years ago. In the session on the new newsroom, Jim got up and started sketching the structure and size — little knowing, as he said in testimony before the FTC a while ago, that he’d end up building it at TBD.com. Jim at the whiteboard:
The detail. Note the reference to a blog network of experts — which TBD wisely built.
For the history books. If there still will be books.
Listening in to most of TBD.com’s press preview today, I was kvelling like a proud uncle. I’m so delighted to see Jim Brady and company create so many of the things I’ve wishing for in journalism. Ken Doctor beat me to a great list of many of those things.
What makes me happiest is that it recognizes that it’s part of an ecosystem and a network and it benefits the more it helps the members of that cloud succeed.
It is for-profit. If journalism isn’t profitable, it’s sunk. So that is God’s work, not the devil’s.
It recognizes the value and ethic of the link. It will do what it does best and link to there rest, damnit. DWYDBALTTR (in Twitter, @greglinch pronounces that “dwid-ball-ter-ing”).
It’s small and efficient and can be right-sized for the new efficient and targeted media landscape.
It’s collaborative in so many ways. It recognizes that the people formerly known as the audience are their best distributors. It recognizes that no story is perfect and the public often can help complete a story and make it better and more correct and complete.
When he testified before the FTC (or was it the FCC? so many hearings; they all sound alike) a few months ago, TBD founder Jim Brady said he recalled standing in a conference room at CUNY a bit more than a year ago whiteboarding what the new newsroom would look like, little imagining that he’d be building that very newsroom. He is.
I’m rooting for him. We all must. Yes, even the Washington Post should, for TBD will show the way to new means, methods, and efficiencies. They will succeed and fail and show us all new ways to make journalism sustainable and to build a new and much stronger collaborative relationship with the communities we serve.