The definition of networked news

I was asked to define networked news. Good question. Here’s my answer. What’s yours?

Journalism must become collaborative at many levels. News organizations should come to rely on citizens to help report stories on a large-scale level (e.g., some of the projects we’re considering at, at an individual level (citizens contributing reports to news organizations’ efforts), and as a network (news organizations supporting citizens’ own efforts with content, promotion, education, and revenue).

Journalism will become collaborative not only on this pro-am level but also pro-to-pro (we need not and cannot afford to send our own reporters to some stories just for the sake of byline ego but we can link to and bring our readers — and help support — the best reporting from other outlets).

The net results include:
* A change of the role of journalists — and their relationship with the public — from owner sof the story to moderators, editors, enablers, and educators.
* A vast broadening of the scope of journalism and news: together, we can gather and share more news than ever. The definition of news will also expand.
* Improved quality of journalism, as, with the help of the public, we have more means to get stories and get them right.
* A new architecture for news: one outlet does not own it all but becomes a gateway to much more (not just current news but also background and perspective).
* A new efficiency in the news industry, which it must find as revenue declines.
* New opportunities to act entrepreneurially, to develop new products and means to serve the public on a smaller scale with new partners.

  • That actually sounds like a winner to me. But it brings up the question – if the news in the networked format becomes platform independent, where is the line drawn between what is news and what isn’t? Because news isn’t really just factually supported stories. It’s op-ed, sometimes it’s rumor, or the reflection of conjecture and theory.

    On the one hand I believe I know bull when I see it, and I know truth when I see it, whether it’s a misquote in the mainstream media or a gem I read in my favorite blog. But then I see the only way to make sure you’re getting the right news is to become part of the media, in whatever small way.

    Not expecting an actual answer, just sharing my musings… long time listener, first-time caller, love this blog…

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  • Scott Suttell

    I’ll ask this because I don’t know:

    Who carries the liability if an established and deep-pocketed news organization runs into legal trouble with a story from a citizen journalist participating in this networked world of journalism?

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  • Major media companies will never voluntarily relinquish their control. As a primary influence determining the direction of public debate, they wield incredible power. The blogosphere will likely mirror this characteristic as time goes on. Powerful interests recognized the usefulness of blogging early. Many of the blogs already introduce their own bias. Networked news already exists in an arrangement that is not likely to change. Most news seeks to redefine the truth rather than find it.

  • adslfan

    just use your millions you make off buzzmachine and buy that wikipedia site
    and therefore you can control all the news you want.

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  • First question:

    Who makes the money?

    Second question:

    Where does the money come from?

    A Journalist that does his job, unless he has billions on his bank account (in which case it is very improbable that he has the hobby of jurnalism) does it for a salary.

    The people who act as journalists as a hobby are called bloggers and the network is called Internet.
    Nothing new….


  • The “nothing new” troops are everywhere, Jeff. They shoot without warning and they definitely don’t care if you’ve claimed there was something new.

  • Jim

    Look at football. Two teams, one field and the masses are in the stands. Everybody could be reporting about the game, except they are busy watching it along with the people at home who are watching it. Both are also getting drunk, so their reportage could suffer or be entertaining.

    Good reporting is difficult work, requires skills & talent and people aren’t going to do it for nothing or for the sake of being involved in a story. People can write and edit the Wikinews, which may or may not be better than the news a CBS, NBC or CNN produces. Common sense suggests that the CBS, NBC or CNN news product is better for a number of reasons, starting with talent. If you have skills, people are going to trust you to do the job. I read Wikinews now and then, I just don’t see it replacing or improving mainstream reporting. Placing news archives in a wiki or other web format would be a good resource to expand. It’s being done now. There are millions of old stories not online yet because it’s costly to digitize them and republish them. Plus servers cost money to operate and maintain. The new news is more expensive to produce than a simple digital archive of the old news.

  • Jim

    “They shoot without warning and they definitely don’t care if you’ve claimed there was something new.” Fire at will is now publish at will. They shoot without warning makes them sound like terrorists and they don’t care either. If there’s something new, people will know about it sooner or later. Today it’s likely to be sooner, which is always a good thing. A lot of people knowing nothing are know nothings. This helps explain China. In the U.S. we are information rich and take it for granted. The new stuff gets old faster in the U.S. than in China. We are blazing new trails and they are censoring everything. That’s why people aren’t in a big rush to move to China anytime soon. The people know what they want and they want new stuff. New is good, it’s also expensive in certain cases. Our Internet is newer than their Internet. Even our old stuff is better than their censored new stuff.

  • Jim

    What is networked news? I thought about this. You are keeping people informed. I don’t see how anybody could do much more. There’s always something more! A lot of people ignore the news, me included to a certain degree. Football is on now, so that’s what’s important right now. A blog without sports can never be confused with news. News covers it all. Get sports buzz and you’ve got a game here.

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