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November 2, 2007

Is the Internet the antidote to media consolidation?

by Rick Karr

Rick Karr by Robin HollandA majority of Americans (pdf) think media consolidation is a bad thing, as we report in this week's JOURNAL. So why do Republican members of the FCC want to allow more consolidation?

The answer, in two words, is "the Internet”. Let's look at the argument that leads up to that conclusion:

(Photo: Robin Holland)

Continue reading "Is the Internet the antidote to media consolidation?" »

April 27, 2007

"Open-Source Journalism"

Back in 1999, Salon columnist Andrew Leonard coined the term, "Open-Source Journalism" while describing a story where a writer for JANE'S submitted an article for critique prior to publication to "Slashdot," after which readers "sliced and diced the story into tiny pieces," to such degree that an editor at the magazine later announced that the article would not be published after all. Leonard poses the question:

Will better journalism ensue if more reporters and editors beta test their own work? Hard to say — in the deadline-crazed world of technology journalism, there's often hardly enough time to get a story properly copy edited and proofed, let alone reviewed by hundreds of frothing critics. Still, the principle is worth taking a look at. There's an immense amount of expertise on the Net — sites like Slashdot are pioneering new territory as they facilitate access to that knowledge, to the great and last benefit of all.

The tremendous growth in readership of political blogs in the last five years, such as Josh Marshall's Talkingpontsmemo, which receives close to a million visitors a month, has put this concept to test outside just the technology news arena. As Marshall explains in a blog post from April 3, 2005:

"It would have been impossible for me, for instance, to have written most of what I've written on Social Security over the last few months if I didn't have literally thousands of people reading their local papers and letting me know what they're seeing or reporting back from townhall meetings or giving me the heads up on things that are about to break on the hill. That's not a replacement for journalism; it's different. But it's potentially very powerful."

What do you think?

Have blogs and the Internet in general strengthened or weakened the craft of journalism?

A Companion Blog to Bill Moyers Journal

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