Monday, November 17, 2008

Big Media Covers New Media

Interesting tidbit from the New York Times: how citizen journalism projects are uncovering stories in different parts of the country. 

I'm a bit disappointed though - they tend to focus on the big venture capital invested projects like Voices of San Diego and MinnPost. (Minnpost by the way approached the Twin Cities Media Alliance, which I helped found in 2005, about a content sharing agreement before they rolled out. I left the board of directors shortly after the presentation, so I don't know what happened with the relationship.)

I wonder if these citizen journalism projects like what we started in the Twin Cities with a start up grant from the J-Lab Institute will go the way of neighborhood newsletters started by unions and immigrants in the United States. Forgotten except by a few academics are dig into their meaning. Maybe that's the nature of news media - the big ultimately subsume the small. The big wait for the small to experiment with ideas and then incorporate them. 

There's something a bit sad about it. Maybe it's because I'm rooting for the little guy. Because I like to see media from the bottom up. Not from former editors and publishers and reporters of the era of newspaper hegemony. Not from venture capitalists. 

But on the other hand, it is gratifying to see people willing to spend the dough on an unsure model. Because we don't know what the model of news production looks like - we just know that we need news and information. 

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