pressed into a press gang?

07Nov08

Dave Winer of Scripting News suggests that a new model for journalism could resemble jury duty, where citizens are pressed into press gangs and given some brief training before they are sent out to report. The problem with this is that it fails to address the real issue of why professional journalism is floundering: the broken business model. Who will pay for all these citizen journalists that he proposes?

I don’t think there’s any shortage of people out there willing to commit acts of journalism, professional or amateur. What we need to figure out is who is willing to pay to have these watchdogs on the beat. Millions of readers are flocking to news Web sites, as I have mentioned. Journalists are finding innovative ways to report in new media. But the lights will indeed go dark for professional journalists if they can’t make a living, and then the real value of content will finally become apparent.

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