News Organization Realizes The Future: Train People To Help

from the the-role-of-the-professional-journalist dept

As newspapers struggle, some seem to think that those of us advocating newer, better business models think that professional journalists somehow go away. That’s not true at all. There’s still a tremendous role for them. The point that we try to make, though, is that their role changes a bit, and it needs to incorporate what the rest of the world is doing. It’s good to see some news organizations figure this out. Aaron deOliveira points us to Jeff Jarvis’ coverage of how a news organization in the Philippines is training the public to help out in covering the upcoming election. The idea isn’t to replace the journalists but to augment them, by training everyone to help capture, report and spread the story. The professional journalists still have a role in working with everyone else, but it’s a much more collaborative effort. As Aaron points out:

  • They get people over the learning curve of how to operate their cell phones, cameras, etc. as well as upload content.
  • They’ve magnified their reach far beyond what they could ever pay their own reporters to cover.
  • They’re doing it far more cost effectively.
  • The trained news staff in the news room can use their experience to do editorial work on the submissions as well as curate. They can also pass along their experience to these 15,000.

Seems like a great idea, and one that plenty of other news organizations could use effectively to empower their community, rather than just looking for ways to suck money out of them.

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Comments on “News Organization Realizes The Future: Train People To Help”

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Nick says:

Licensing rather than assignment

That can be dealt with by letting people retain their copyright, but provide the material specifically to the news organisation under a liberal licence that allows relicensing under different terms.

E.g. the Python Software Foundation do something along these lines with their Contributor Agreements. Copyright in submissions remains with the original submitter (unless they choose to assign it to the PSF), but the PSF still has the ability to relicence the whole Python project if it proves necessary without having to go get the OK from every copyright holder.

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