How About a Web 2.0 Newspaper
Every once in a while I see an article like this, moaning about how stodgy the old media newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times are. Many print reporters are supposedly considering leaving the papers they write for and blogging. Meanwhile, readership is falling and advertising is leaking away to the internet via Craigslist. Dave Winer of Scripting News cynically wonders what is worth saving at the “old media” companies.
Meanwhile, there are tons of social bookmarking sites out there that basically link to content, a lot of it located on these old media websites. Yet it’s painfully obvious what the New York Times has that these sites don’t: reporters and writers. Bloggers can’t completely fill this gap for the social bookmarking sites as most don’t have the resources to do in-depth investigative reporting (I’ll be the first to admit that). A second detail to note is that a lot of these websites are supported primarily by advertising. Remember that the same is true with many newspapers.
So one possible answer is right in front of all these old papers, which is basically what Dave Winer suggests. Let’s see a traditional newspaper just bite the bullet and turn their website into a full-fledged social one.
Give every reporter a blog, pay them the same salary, and open each article up to comments. Have users rate each article. If you really want to still have a print edition, only print the articles that are highest ranked. Let users help determine what stories to cover. Lastly, slap advertising all over everything.
It seems like the revolution in newspapers is obviously pointing in this direction. Is there something I’m missing here?