July 25, 2006

Rosen introduces NewAssignment.net

Jay Rosen today introduces the idea for NewAssignment.net, an experiment in pro-am enterprise reporting. He says:

In simplest terms, a way to fund high-quality, original reporting, in any medium, through donations to a non-profit called NewAssignment.Net.

The site uses open source methods to develop good assignments and help bring them to completion; it employs professional journalists to carry the project home and set high standards so the work holds up. There are accountability and reputation systems built in that should make the system reliable. The betting is that (some) people will donate to works they can see are going to be great because the open source methods allow for that glimpse ahead.

Today marks the official separation, or distinction, of two terms (now two concepts): citizen journalism and networked journalism. Both operate, or should, by open-source or collaborative methods (we’re still working on what those are). Whereas networked journalism is a collaboration between citizens and professionals, citizen journalism is, or should now be considered, those efforts by the public to create their own journalism.

These are not opposing ideas. Ideally, citizen efforts should inform the professional product and professionals (and their institutions) should be willing to nurture the citizen product.

I’ll be looking forward to this project with great interest. I also hope to contribute in some way.

2 Responses

  1. Tim Schmoyer 

    Networked journalism? I guess it’s better than “transactional journalism.” I like “distributed journalism” more than networked. Collaborative journalism works, to counter the current expository journalism.

    Is the ideal motivating this the “omnicompetent journalist”, the “omnicompetent citizen” or something else? Is it omnicompetent journalism through collaborative competence?

  2. acline 

    Tim… The idea of “omnicompetence” does bring up some uncomfortable questions about the ultimate product of distributed or networked journalism. Who knows? Those with concerns need to get into the game.

    I believe my contention holds, however, that we now have a distinction between something purely citizen-driven and something that’s a hybrid. I think that distinction is important because the citizen product may have the potential to do real watchdog work on the MSM and the hybrid.