Open Media

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Notes from session (contributed by anonymous participant - thank you!):


- average user is less concerned where they're getting news from

- well-informed citizen : quality content

- local, global

- watchdog & transparency role

- transparency from media

- media literacy

- how to work with traditional media and not journalist

- accuracy/ objectivity

- reliability

- tranparency of regional information (what's coming out where)

- convenience/ accessible and find the good stuff

- transparency is a means (independant feedback & verification)

- personalization

- multiple voice of one story/ many prespectives

- maps - ways to analyse where media comes from

- an editorial judgements

- interactive

- community building (part of journalism)

- aggregate - whose job is it


Advertising business models/ pleasure models sustainability cost of investigative reporting? market forces access/ cost class education establishment media/ traditional media / there's lots of minging lousy metrics brand loss - perserve identity foreign news is not clicked or lost people don't read we want sound bites demand isn't being met

ACTION (what should we be working on? what kind of projects? pratical and research) - distributed reasearch

- find out where the market isn't addressing the problems/ market failure

- find nonprofit fixes

- tools for enhancing visibilty (fight googlarchy)

- sifting and surfacing info

- de-geekify/ simplify tools

- news trust/ users role/ consumer responsibility

- research in how ratings catch on and what drives news

- improve the quality of internet metrics

- contextual aggregator

- Open ID (folow conversations across sites)

General Comments:

advertising is being stripped away from Journalist

get to categories

reasons for opt: age of democratized media

we create and make available (a change)

cost of trying new kinds of media is dropping to zero

best time ever to invent their own job

try many things

a lot of problems from here to where we're going

optimistic camp

market failures in traditional media model

ways that forces can be brought toegther

not just the people that have the time

get the mix we need not 25%

distinct between the internet and what we want as a whole

media is people

what do we want media roles to be?

sunlight media - tiny experiemnts

realtime investigations

put more information out there

entertain/ education/ transform

center for independant media

spotus - community funded journalism

simplified drupal for local groups to use

hovington post

citizen's market

global news

More notes, these from Rob Faris

Advertising ripped away from journalism – let’s move on.

Cost of media dropping to zero – its only your time.

What do we want?

Well-informed citizenry

Quality reporting

How do we tap into GV and other new sources of global news

Watchdog role

Media literacy

Watching the media



Tools to sort and filter

Individually targeted news – do we want it?

Multiple voices and perspectives

Maps and analytical tools


Community building

Civic engagement


Convenience of access

Intentional bias

Independent feedback loop to address media bias

Traditional media incorporating UGC


Business models





Understand media

Center for Independent Media

Spot-us – Knight funded David Cohn: cost-sharing/crowdfunding to instigate reporting




Citizen’s market guy would like to see

OpenID to track users who comment across many sites – would create greater prominence for users who comment


New institutions for media – more room and need for non-media enterprises to intermediate

Is it a demand or supply problem?

Charlie S: too much emphasis on non-profit approaches, need to explore for-profit approaches. Global news will be based on advertising and membership via frequent clicks.

Persephone's Pre-Session scribblings

“It’s a few nanoseconds into the Big Bang, we have four light elements and no galaxies” – Doc Searls describing the state of new media

This session will be an open discussion of what projects, tools, ideas, actions, might make the emerging online news and information environment as good as it can be. Hand-wringing and rehashing of "bloggers vs. journalists" strictly discouraged.

Some assertions we might discuss:

1. (Old media are broken) In the United States, content creation and dissemination possibilities afforded by new technology are disrupting the scarcity-based business models of all forms of traditional media. There are already examples of market failures to meet the information needs of a democracy, and the trend is accelerating. The effects are less acute in countries with more dominant public media or lower Internet penetration, but the tendencies are the same.

2. (Bloggers didn’t break 'em) The rise of non-professionals critiquing, aggregating, pointing to or creating news-related content is parallel to the changes in the traditional industry; it is not the cause of the disruption.

3. (Bloggers won’t fix 'em) At least not on their own. The new participatory media sphere is expanding rapidly, but without intervention will not develop the specific functions needed to fill the gaps created by the crumbling of the traditional institutions.

4. (There are lots of new things we can try) The networked media environment offers huge potential to engage new participants, make new connections, and use new techniques and technologies to enhance and improve every aspect of the news and information environment: reporting accuracy, depth, context, responsiveness, comprehensiveness, analysis, links to civic engagement.

5. (But we won’t) However, the mechanisms of the market and the non-market that currently drive investment of human and other resources are not working to take full advantage of that potential to improve the quality of civic debate and ensure that there are independent institutions able to challenge the powers that be. None of traditional media, tech companies, individuals, and most grant-making institutions have the combination of motivation, expertise and resources needed.

6. (Unless you help) Coordinated efforts by multiple stakeholders are needed to stimulate media projects with public service missions, regardless of their revenue model. They may be standalone, within existing media organizations or new networks of organizations and individuals.

7. (Use cross-breeding to let 1000 new hybrid flowers bloom) Projects should be based on cross-sector, multi-media collaboration and experimentation that builds on the expertise, resources and energy extant in traditional media institutions, technology companies, civil society, and the audience itself. Small experiments should be encouraged.

Perhaps some promising examples of "1000 new hybrid flowers" blooming here in the [newly announced Knight News Challenge Winners][1]

What do we want from the news?

Functional roles



Providing context, analysis, “making sense of the world”

Watchdog function

Building the public sphere/community/social capital, promoting engagement

Qualities needed to achieve those functions

Classical (I purposely leave out “objective” -- it’s lost its usefulness)




Accessible (language, price, delivery)



Politically Neutral



Representative of the community







What Kinds of Content Are We Talking About

Can we put "news" content into three categories?

Information – i.e., various kinds of content directly from the source and/or publicly available: sports scores, stock prices, calendar of City Council meetings, state budget

Reporting – stories or other items created by author(s) based on gathering information from one or more sources and/or observing events

Deliberation – analysis, opinion, discussion

Hypotheses for discussion

No one who makes any pretense of interest in current events actually relies on blogs or other amateur content alone for her news (or ever will)

Low-income and minority communities are underrepresented as both topics and authors in online media: as much as in traditional media? or more?

Online pointing activity (blogging, social bookmarking, aggregating) tends to amplify a specific subset of mainstream content, making other content less visible

The long tail effect has limited power in the arena of current events - time sensitive material needs to be found in time to be relevant, it can't build an audience slowly

Linux/FOSS development is either the wrong model for participatory media or the right model interpreted the wrong way (meaning: in order to achieve the qualities and carry out the functions of news media, participatory media needs to be more organized and less volunteer-based than most people seem to think)

Editing in every sense of the word is indispensable and there are critical editorial functions that are not being fulfilled by the non-traditional media

Hyperlocal reporting might be accomplished w/volunteers, but only with a carefully designed robust organization, probably with some central support structures

News agencies may end up ruling the world

It's not about people losing their willingness to pay for the news: in fact Americans have long had a culture of getting broadcast news for “free” and perhaps paying for the delivery systems, it is primarily the traditional newspaper industry’s failure to re-imagine themselves that is responsible for the business crisis they are in