tiistai 24. toukokuuta 2011

Is there still going to be The Hunt For The Scoop?

“Like other forces brought to bear by the web, there’s no getting around this one — rewards for originality are what we want, not just as consumers but as citizens — but creating an environment that generates those rewards will also mean dismantling the syndication model we’ve had since Havas first set up shop”, says Clay Shirky on the Nieman Journalism Lab.

The question 101 is: How do we get rid of, or around, the new journalism driver – the hunt for The Scoop? Or, does The Scoop mean something else in web journalism?

Jeff Jarvis is probably right when he suggests “Report what you do the best, link to the rest”. In practice this would mean huge resource savings, since reporters wouldn’t have to work on every background detail, which would give them real resources to create and present new news.

Well, sharing is not what journalism has been about. The driver has been Our Scoop, which again generates consumption and revenue – and some media sticking out in the business. A media that produces scoops IS doing something right. News is still something that someone somewhere doesn’t like to see in publicity.

Take away this driver for The Scoop and you take away lots of the heart of news journalism.
But Jeff Jarvis did not say scip the scoop. He said that by sharing old news you would probably have the time to investigate and come up with pieces of real, relevant, mattering new news. 

Does it work in practice? I don’t know. In Scandinavia news media on the web share, but they don’t seem to build further on shared news stuff. It very much like Shirky puts it: “Giving credit where credit is due will reward original work, whether scoops, hot news, or unique analysis or perspective. This will be great for readers. It may not, however, be so great for newspapers, or at least not for their revenues, because most of what shows up in a newspaper isn’t original or unique. It’s the first four grafs of something ripped off the wire and lightly re-written, a process repeated countless times a day with no new value being added to the story”.

Being first with a revealing is still, I think, one of the most important competitive edges in the business. Yes, we can share. But no, we are not going to give up the race for being first. Being first is still The Business in the business.

I don’t believe in citizen journalism in the sense that almost everyone could become a good journalist. I believe in the profession. But still, this is nothing that would not prove Clay Shirky right. The drive for The Scoop is probably going to mean that we will have a lot more professional journalists out there publishing scoops or “scoops”.

Then again – the “scoops” will either mess up, or clean up, the market. Poor journalistic revelations will shoot down “professionals” as unreliable. But, on the other hand, good revelations by small new, or single publishing journalists, will expose big media corporations as dinosaurs or mummies.

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