Jay Rosen beat me to the punch but I'm still going to jot down seven goals that I think the perfect news system would address. I used this list as a foundation when thinking about how to utilize digital media and it is what I feel any type of aggregation system should include. Afterwards you'll find a quick summary of the idea that got me into this big mess in the first place.
The perfect news system would...
• Maintain credibility in all articles and uphold the values of journalism.
• Empower information consumers to find and view all news that interests and concerns them.
• Let individuals publish content they believe is essential for their physical, intellectual, or global communities.
• Create a network that connects people with common interests and concerns in a way that directly facilitates the development those communities.
• Communicate at a level of synthesis that allows for easy dissemination of information without loss or distortion.
• Eliminate the rift between mainstream News Media and quality weblogs.
• Establish and distinguish categories of information as news, opinion, and/or infotainment/entertainment.
The idea that I proposed to the Knight Foundation
addresses these issues by incorporating "Geotagging, a robust user contribution and peer analysis system, and powerful filtering capabilities." Geotagging would allow authors to directly associate news with physical locations; consumers could then define regions of interest on the globe.
Content could be provided by anyone using the system. This would grant a voice to typically underrepresented factions of the News Media landscape, particularly those in underserved communities. Peer analysis hybridized with wiki-style moderation would ensure that all content is credible and appropriately categorized.
The system would allow community members, primary sources, professional journalists, and independent journalists to publish news with credibility and completeness through a globally accessible system. In the end this would give both physical and non physical communities the ability to effectively communicate information on specific issues, as members of these communities will be able to publish the news that matters most to them. Consumers would have the power to shape their own informational agenda by specifying locations, topics, and defined regions of interest.
Those last paragraphs pretty much came straight out of my proposal to the News Challenge and I'll be explaining them in much more detail over the next few months. In the mean time, what other goals can you come up with?