2009/11/27 Bod Notbod <bodnotbod(a)gmail.com>om>:
I think the BBC comparison is quite a good one. Rupert
like to kill the BBC. Yet the BBC does pay journalists to report
stories. We only really report reports.
The BBC is not a useful model. It's doubtful that any other government
backed organisation would be able to maintain that degree of
Again, as a reader, I found Wikipedia amazing with its
article on the
flood in New Orleans. I found our article better than any news story.
But we are rightly perceived as a threat and I'm not sure we can hold
the moral high ground. I'm happy that we compete with Britannica. I'm
not sure we should compete with newspapers.
The fate of newspapers is well beyond our ability to settle. Our
interests are that good quality reliable reporting of events across
the globe continues to take place.
A number of alturnatives to newspapers have been suggested or appeared.
Unorganized so called "citizen journalism" has failed. The US Airways
Flight 1549 crash showed that. A plane crashed next to one of the
biggest and best connected cities on the planet and for the claims
about twitter or whatever getting there first the citizen reporting
was extremely limited and extremely lightweight.
Slightly more organized does a little better. OhmyNews does okey
although it appears to be turning into a more conventional media
organisation. Indymedia does okey but with massive political bias
(since they don't pretend otherwise this isn't really a problem).
Specialist publications may be in better shape. With less crowded
markets and often rather loyal audiences they are perhaps in a better
position than most to survive. Already many make use of hobbyist
generated content. If you go down the line far enough you can get
purely hobbyist generated material. For example in the area of UK
canals you have the commercial canal boat magazine the medium sized
charity driven waterways then the smaller scale charity driven such as
navies and Dragonfly. However this sector does not publish that often
and by defintion will have little interest in events outside their
direct specialism. Their existing editorial arrangements may also not
survive a move online too well which is another.
The problem is far worse outside the first world. Other than a few
government backed media organisations and commercial companies little
first hand reporting goes on outside the first world that reaches us.
Heh to use the cliche there is no obvious alternative to the current
system that allows us to find out about the issues that most directly
impact the child in Africa or say Honduras.