Dave Winer says in “What is Web 3.0?” that traditional media organizations will make it through their currently tough times by embracing bloggers and other kinds of new media, “without interpretation by professional reporters.”
I’m cautious about that last bit. Why? Because, slowly but surely, traditional media folks are embracing the audience in ways that would have been unthinkable not very long ago. (We discussed some of those ways in Lisa Williams’ terrific report earlier this year.)
This doesn’t mean that newspapers and broadcasters should try to control everything that they take part in, though lawyers get very hinky when such questions arise. If the choice is between, say, no coverage of a local school board and pointing to bloggers who are covering it in their own ways — including the possibility, or probability, that a local school-board blogger has a stake in the outcome, which can be handled by transparency — then the choice should be some coverage as opposed to none. The news organization can and should help people understand the principles of journalism, meanwhile.
The collaborative potential is what gets me going. We can create new models if we all do this right.