News Leadership 3.0

October 04, 2008

Weekend reading: Beyond AP

Amy Gahran offers an intriguing vision
of one future model for sharing local news

Gahran’s “what if’s” challenge existing models and suggest alternative paths. A taste:

“What if a coalition of news orgs within a state teamed up with talented technologists, database architects, librarians, search optimization experts, ad networks, and maybe even print-on-demand pros to create a new type of news where packaged stories are but one resulting product?

“What if this kind of team built a replicable, open-source, customizable infrastructure that would make it easy for people to track any issue in the state—regardless of the sources of information (such as public utility commissions, local governments, transit organizations, sports leagues, school boards, citizen groups, or even those notoriously tortuous legislative information systems), and regardless of whether their topics of interest would traditionally make it into the paper?

“What if the core of a news org wasn’t only a staff of trained journalists and editors gathering information primarily to produce packaged stories based on just a small fraction of available info? What if librarians and technologists also were on the job, getting as much info as possible into useful, modular, searchable formats that could be easily searched and mixed according to relevance to particular communities, interest groups, or even individuals?

“What if news orgs’ core offering was not a basically one-size-fits-all newspaper, but rather a statewide or regional “relevance window” service that could be tailored to meet the needs of lawyers, businesses, property owners, schools, activists, healthcare providers, parents, teens, etc.? What if news orgs became very, very structured and flexible about how they collect, collate, and distribute information? What if, as a result, citizens, organizations, and communities could easily stay better informed than was ever before possible?”

Here’s the full post, and it’s worth a read.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

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