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Question of the Day(s)

July 16, 2009

For the past couple of months I’ve been seeing this question brought up in different circles around the web and beyond: What is the future of journalism?

To be honest, I’ve taken most hypotheses from those outside of the realm of communications with a grain of salt. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that the question is pertinent enough where I need to hear direct answers from those who are in the industry.

And I’ve found one.

The article’s author names crowdsourcing, or accepting donations, as a means for the realm of journalism to make like the Energizer Bunny. I agree with many of the points in her article, especially concerning the need for a sustainable model to make this actually work. It’s definitely possible–working at PBS has shown me how possible it actually is. I remember watching PBS programming as a child and asking my mother why they kept thanking “Viewers Like You” when I knew for a fact I hadn’t sent them anything! Lol…

Anyway an idea I found important was the renewed reliance on professional journalism with crowdsourcing. Personally, I wouldn’t shell out money for news reported by my neighbor (complete with camera phone pictures! YES!). Something of this nature would put more pressure on news outlets, especially local ones, to get “real” journalists to do the job. Likewise, crowdsourcing also emphasizes how important journalism truly is. In the article, the author included a memo of sorts from Chi-town Daily News stating that it cost them $326 to report a story.

Wowzers.

No, I’m not surprised, but I’m sure quite a few of their readers are. Stating how much reporting cost them not only adds a dose of a reality already apparent to journalists, but screams that our job isn’t an overall piece of cake.

I’m interested in knowing how many other news outlets have started doing something like this. Paying for news isn’t anything new *ahem, I watched CNN today* and if folks are guaranteed unadulturated news from their friendly, neighborhood journalists, I could see this working some way in the future for even some of the more major outlets.

~ Bliss

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 17, 2009 2:32 pm

    Thanks for the interest in crowdfunding. The Mashable story did a good job of laying out the territory. It is a new space and we are still learning – but that is the important thing. We have to figure out how this all works.

    Hopefully our platform (spot.us) will improve more and more.

    Best

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