Nov 22, 2007

A few more questions...

Jeff Jarvis wants the future newsroom to be both an aggregator and producer of content. Aggregate what others do better than you, he says, and produce yourself the stuff you do best.

The more I think about this, the more ridiculous it sounds. If we're talking AP, then that model already exists. But if we aren't, I have a few questions about how we're supposed to do this and maintain quality and consistency.

Should we have huge copy editing rooms full of people leafing through Internet pages looking for things to aggregate and then rewriting (with who's permission?) the copy to fit a certain style? What about fact-checking? What about liability?

How, if no one is competing, will we know which free-lancers or blogs are really getting at the heart of an issue? Who will we trust locally to decide whose copy to use? And from whose ranks will these higher-level publications recruit when everyone local has stopped trying to compete for the bigger, non-hyperlocal stories?

Sorry to be an anchor on your Utopian vision, Jarvis, but I don't think you're thinking things through.

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