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VA Tech massacre breeds news innovations that defy need for media-men as middlemen 4/23/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Citizen-generated news, Journalism, News Innovation, Planet Blacksburg, VA Tech, Virginia Tech, Wikipedia.

Individual citizens with stories to tell, feelings to express, a passion to write, and indifference to compensation have spontaneously created at least two innovations in news in the past week. The NY Times reports on the remarkable Wikipedia entry under “Virginia Tech massacre,” which combines the work of more than 2,000 “editors” who, working without coordination, have created an evolving, seemingly high quality piece that falls somewhere on the spectrum between news and history. Also, there is a remarkable ongoing news blog called “Planet Blacksburg,” which has spontaneously transformed into what I refer to as a “News Associator” in the Permanent Articles section of this site. It has formed a community among like-minded citizens who share a specific news interest. This is one more indication that Journalism’s greatest challenge is to find new reasons to justify its members’ value as “middlemen,” now that their print and broadcast technology no longer are indispensible links between news sources and news consumers. (Hat tip: David Strom)


1. David S Johnson - 4/23/07

Unity of interest can be informative but obsessive interest in the actions or environs of a madman is borders on unhealthy compulsion.
I prefer in-depth information about events that shape the future as was the case of the Gulags or the concentration camps.

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