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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A New Assignment, Oh... My... God

Jay Rosen has developed an exciting new idea that the new media glitterati (doc, winer, jarvis, steve, craig) are all buzzing about. It's a totally fresh concept. I love it. What's even more awesome? Jay is using the community to iron out the kinks before he launches the effort. Smart.

My concerns (which I left in a comment on Buzz Machine):

I’m with Brett on cutting as many middlemen out as possible. Can the community be the editors? Can we develop some kind of efficient process for that?

I also question Jay’s point about having “professional” journalists do the reporting. I’d personally like to see a mix of reporters, both “professionals” and “amateurs”. My guess is that the community will either respond to the person, or not. It has little to do with their title or background. If they trust the person, and that person is smart and engaging…that’ll be what counts. Let’s not just leave this to the “professionals”. If we do that, we’re missing the whole point.


  • At 11:41 AM, Blogger Teresa said…

    I will be graduating from journalism school in a few weeks.
    I'm almost done with my thesis!!!
    I've heard that some 'professional' journalists are scared but I don't think we should be.
    I've been applying for jobs in
    old media type of journo jobs such as local news stations and newspapers but it is ridiculously
    I think the internet gives everyone
    a chance to do what that love and to me that is reporting.
    I trust people and I know they follow people with good reporting and writing skills.

  • At 11:50 AM, Blogger sans_port said…

    Souds like a brilliant idea. There are very few major media sources that bring people news that is up to date and well written, plus it being open source will allow more information to get into each story. I hope it works out because it would be a great opportunity for journalists and readers alike.

  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger Daniel said…

    Very exciting stuff. I can see this filling a major gap in the old media model.

    That being said...cruel tease, Amanda. When I saw your title, I thought you had a new assignment. My first thought was, "That's great...she really needs this after that short-order thing fell through."

  • At 2:01 PM, Blogger Jay Rosen said…

    Hi, Amanda. Thanks for the link and your enthusiasm. I thought I would clarify one thing. What I mean by "professionals complete the reporting" has nothing to do with credentials, or resume. It refers to paying people to work full-time on the story. That could be anyone who can do the job-- a smart blogger included. I think you are right: the smart mobs that collect around a story will either respond to the person or not.

  • At 2:29 PM, Blogger BionicBuddha said…

    It was going to happen someday - great job with it. Open source the news stories and see what the networks want! Could be alot of money in this...

  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger Amanda said…

    Jay! Wow. Thanks for stopping by.

    Thanks for the clarification. It's a very forward thinking idea. A totally NEW idea. And I think it will work.

  • At 3:15 PM, Blogger J.W. said…

    If you've got it together
    and you know your better
    than old news and weather
    We'll all find you then
    and we'll be your best friend.

  • At 3:40 PM, Blogger ScottyGee said…

    Sounds like a very cool idea and it will be nice watching it come to fruition.

    If you ever need a story about maniacal NASCAR fans and their love of beef jerky and Sundrop, I totally have you covered here in North Carolina!

  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger Bryan said…

    :) What a good Idea. Is it journalisim about anything?

    Or just the top stories?


  • At 5:13 PM, Blogger Kaitlyn Patia said…

    Hi Amanda-

    You don't know me, but I'm a fellow Northwesterner...well, as of recently. I was at Boston University before.

    But to the point! I'm just getting started in the blogging world, but this sounds like a really great and innovative idea. I mean, I would definately want to participate.

    Your blog is really interesting. Keep up the posts and good luck with all that has been going on in your life lately.

  • At 5:35 PM, Blogger Andrei said…

    “Finally, professional journalists with the required skills and a commitment to truth.”

    Who’s truth? Cnn truth? Fox truth? My own truth?

  • At 7:05 PM, Blogger rayo said…

    The prev. comment is interesting.
    What would stop a group of people to order up a story that supports thier point of view?

    Say a story comes up. "Why Bush is good for the world?"

    I'm sure lots of people watching Fox News will contribute to that story :)

  • At 8:23 PM, Blogger Seneca the Younger said…

    Ravo, there are a lot of people talking about that over at jay's blog.

    The thing I wonder about is where the value-add is. What do the people getting the assignment do for the money, once the blogswarm has converged on it.

    Still, you can't tell if a new idea will work unless it's tried.

  • At 8:26 PM, Blogger poetslife said…

    I agree...but there should be more amateurs and fewer professional journalists. Rocketboom...when Amanda was there...was fresh, creative, interesting, quirky, irreverant, edgy, entertaining, and educational. Why? Because an amateur...a bright amateur, was creating the magic.

    Professional journalists I've known, and I was interviwed about why poetry was the 7th most commonly searched word by a USA Today journalist, are boring, full of themselves, don't listen, ask bizarre questions, and don't understand that they are not the story.

    Another interviewed me on a radio station and when I said I was going to read a poem called, "Everybody Should Have an Aunt Pat" and explained that I wrote it for her funeral, he said, "Did she like it when she heard it."

    So, there is great talent out there and the wonder of the Web is that it gets to see the light of with Rocketboom when it was in it's Golden Age when Amanda was there. The new girl just doesn't have it...but she's probably a "professional." Point made.

  • At 10:08 PM, Blogger Christian Grant said…

    Internet based news coverage is the future. Slowly internet based comedy shows, talk shows and news casts are replacing old media, just like MP3 and iPods replaced CD’s and Walkman.

    A new generation of producers and video content is emerging. Amateur producers and professionals will each get their following. Professionals are after all just amateurs with a little bit of additional experience.

    Amanda, Andrew, YouTube, Google Video and others are accelerating the transformation from broadcasting and cable casting to video blogging, web casting and IPTV.

    New internet based TV stations will become as successful or more successful as old brick and mortar TV stations such as CNN and FOX news. Funding and advertising dollars will shift to where the audience is.

    Christian Grant
    Executive Producer
    Executive Conversations

  • At 10:09 PM, Blogger Christian Grant said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 10:29 PM, Blogger Lucana Man said…

    I think it "sounds" like a great idea. Buuuut I would want it to have an integrity and accountability of some kind.

    For instance, when I read Time Magazine I know it's dealling out a certain kind "journalism" (if you can call it that) as opposed to Mother Jones or Harpers for instance. I can trust all of these magazines to be something that is structured to suit a certain audience.

    For me the question is dependability and authenticity. For me this would be the greatest challenge to be met in a project like this.

    Although I really love Wilkepedia and it's concept I can't always feel it's trustworthy because of the nature of it's structure.

    In order for this to be a "profound" work in within the world of journalism I think the authenticity issues have to ironed out and proven first if I am going to be able to read it and "know" that what I'm reading is the bottom line truth.

    And even though it is being funded in a certain way we never can clearly understand the motives (ego, building a bigger career) of the person doing the work.

    All this said....I think it really deserves to be taken seriously and put to work as a possible new model for gathering "the news".


  • At 1:24 AM, Blogger Michael S. Troop said…

    Today’s market demands a mix of professionals and amateurs in order to generate new sticky traffic. You must ask yourself "what am I providing that my customers that they cannot get else where"? The PROAM mix is it!

    This lesson I learned last year.....


  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger J-Dub said…

    Another factor to consider is the "nosy neighbor" problem. Most online journalists don't have Amanda's access to billionaire philanthropists. The average vlogger will mostly have to air opinion pieces or on-the-street interviews and investigative pieces.

    I wonder about the spread of rumor and gossip about average people. Hopefully trust, decency, and common sense will prevail upon internet age journalists, but we'll see.

    The impact on average people could be astounding. Before all you had to worry about was someone who might, as Carl Perkins used to sing, "slander my name all over the place." With the rise of pro-am journalism, will we have to worry about online defamation? Even with your name removed, what could you do to protect your privacy and reputation? A person need not be a celebrity to be concerned about their public image. Every dentist, drycleaner, and barber has a stake in their personal and professional reputation.

    Something to think about.

  • At 11:59 AM, Blogger Teresa said…

    Lucana man,
    I agree with what you are saying.
    The great thing about the internet is also its downfall.... no accountability.
    Part of good reporting is having someone to be accountable to.

  • At 7:09 PM, Blogger sull said…

    amanda, sull here.
    come see what I am up to on
    could use your feedback.

  • At 10:00 AM, Blogger Michael Wishick said…

    Hi Amanda

    This is an amazing idea. With you participating I am sure it will succeedd. Now that Tina Fey has left SNL I think you are the perfect replacement. Your style of humor is perfect for the weekend update segment. Just my three cents. You should send an audition tape.


  • At 7:01 PM, Blogger charlie maravilla said… sound as a guru...this professional/amateur thing is typical of amateurs, i think the internet encourages everyone to be more professional, that's the idea i guess, but the way you and people is using it here seems that's better to be an amateur, it sounds a bit resented...or maybe i don't get the idea cause i'm an amateur in so many things and also an amandateur. :* :* :* :) *do you like my kisses amanda? ;)*

  • At 7:20 PM, Blogger Amanda said…

    Teresa and Lucana man -- I hear you. It's all in the execution. If Jay listens to the community and sets up a system that can make his vision a reality, it will work. The constant feedback and tweaking of the system from the community will make this idea float or sink. Maybe I'm a bit idealistic but I think it will work. I believe in Jay and I believe in the community.


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