Useful post on Journalism 2.0

ReadWriteWeb has a useful post on what they call Journalism 2.0. It is a blo-jo viewpoint of blogging versus journalism without the whiny assed angst of the likes of Colin James or Deborah Hill-Cone.

Both of them would do well to read it and see where the world is heading.

Begone, You Self-Interested Tech Cynics

I have always been in the technology business. I like writing about the technology business because I find it fascinating and there are a lot of really smart people to talk to. But techies can spout the most self-interested baloney when it comes to content. The Web 2.0 vision of user-generated content is millions of passionate experts creating content that really clever algorithms deliver to audiences. The people who create those really clever algorithms become rich beyond the dreams of avarice while throwing a few crumbs to the content creators. Don’t try paying a mortgage with AdSense or other CPC-affiliate revenue deals.

To a techie, “content” is just something to throw in a software system. Content creators don’t talk about “content.” They talk about their art or craft. Journalism is a form of art, albeit closer to craft than art. To a techie, art is just content. Which is more important, code or art? If you had to choose between a world without computers or a world without art, which would you choose?

But let’s not get carried away with this. Journalism is still just a job.

Would Citizen Journalists Have Exposed Watergate?

Yes, they would have.

We don’t need to protect journalism with public money or grants. The greater social good will be delivered by thousands of people on the ground reporting what is happening. That massive flow will be analyzed and edited (“curated”) by a small number of experts who are motivated and trained to uncover the truth.

It won’t be perfect. But the current system isn’t perfect either. It is fair to say, though, that scumbags won’t rest any easier. They will still be exposed.

Sacrifices will be made. One cannot imagine foreign bureaus surviving in anything close to their current form. Instead of having a few stringers on a loose contract, media firms will have a standardized deal that applies to anyone who covers fast-breaking news. That way, whoever is on the spot becomes a “just-in-time stringer.”

Is that better or worse than what we have now? It’s worse for the people working today in foreign bureaus on good salaries. But mostly, it’s just different.