Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Is it journalism, or is it blogging?

An interesting report, from the AP:

New web site to meld journalism, blogs
AP Internet Writer


A media Web site scheduled to debut Wednesday will seek to blend traditional journalism with the freeform commentary developed through the emerging Web format known as blogs.

Some 70 Web journalists, including Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds and David Corn, Washington editor of the Nation magazine, have agreed to participate in OSM _ short for Open Source Media.

OSM will link to individual blog postings and highlight the best contributions, chosen by OSM editors, in a special section. Bloggers will be paid undisclosed sums based on traffic they generate.

The ad-supported OSM site will also carry news feeds from Newstex, which in turn receives stories from The Associated Press, Knight- Ridder/Tribune News Service and other traditional media organizations.

"We're deliberately trying to do something new by affiliating blog and mainstream people," said Roger L. Simon, a blogger and the venture's co-founder.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 9 percent of adult Internet users in the United States have created their own blogs, and about 25 percent read them. The audience tends to be more influential: blog postings can affect what news organizations cover or politicians discuss.

Many details of OSM remain unsettled. For example, OSM wants to create a mechanism for citizen journalists, including bloggers, to submit original news during natural disasters, civil unrest and other newsworthy events. Simon said organizers still have to come up with ways to check submissions for accuracy.

Initially, OSM will create blog-like discussion panels surrounding major news events, with three or four bloggers and non-blogging experts chosen to contribute.

Although Simon and co-founder Charles Johnson are often described as conservative, Simon said the site will transcend labels and include bloggers of all political leanings.

OSM was founded last year as Pajamas Media, a play on bloggers' ability to opine from home at all hours, day or night. It has raised $3.5 million from venture capitalists.


On the Net:



Screwy Hoolie said...

I think it'll be interesting to watch. The concept's not new, but the bigsplash media event complete with letting the 'mainstream' think they're half as interesting as blogs.

The Huffington Post has been doing a variation of the OSM idea for a while, and it seems to be working out for them. I read an article by John Cusack there today...

It'll be very interesting to continue to watch the evolution of this medium. I think that the 'crossover appeal' notion will grow blog readership while watering down blog honesty. I don't mean accuracy. I mean honesty.

ash said...

i don't know, screwy. i don't think it will be the crossover appeal that will hurt blog honesty, which is exactly the element readers want. in my humble opinion, it's blog money that could hurt the honesty. the Huffington thing has only been around for a few months, hasn't it?

Screwy Hoolie said...

Yes. And Huffington's got her own bankroll already.

I think that the efforts to have blogs turn more of a profit is behind the search for crossover in OSM's case.

Huffington is seeking influence alone while the OSM gang will likely be happy enough to create another cog in the right-of-center media as long as they can clock some dollars. More power to them. I think that Americans are ready to stop buying Rove-style spinning, so that's no way to start a new empire. We'll see where they take it.

Edgy Mama said...

While I'd love to pull some cash through blogging, I don't want to be constricted or controlled in any way by whomever is willing to pay.

I think the pot of those who will make $ from blogging is small, however. Most of us will continue to slog along, pouring out our stories and hoping for hits.

ash said...

For bloggas like us, the power is in banding together. We really should put our power to the test some time on something. Could be anything. But if all of us got behind something - helping the homeless, etc. - someone would notice. I think. Or maybe not...

Screwy Hoolie said...

I think you're right, Ash. We might be able to pool our collective audiences to promote something more socially responsible than giblet juggling...

Edgy Mama said...

Hmmmmm, we've got the three resident smartasses talking about pooling our resources and creating something beautiful...or making money? or saving the world? or all three? YES! Yes. Yes.

Energy, creativity, and over-confidence--let's do it!! (what is it again?).

Sorry, I'm tipsy. But cute.