Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tennessean to Embark on "Crowdsourced" News

The Tennessean's parent company, Gannett, is transforming the way its newspapers collect news and, according to Wired News, all of its newspapers will be restructured by next May. 11 of Gannett's newsrooms have already undergone the conversion, and they have been renamed "Information Centers." Those centers collect news through "crowdsourcing," which involves taking functions traditionally performed by employees and using the internet to outsource them to an undefined, large group of people. The Gannett initiative emphasizes four goals:
  • Prioritize local news over national news
  • Publish user-generated content
  • Become 24/7 news operations
  • Utilize watchdogs and whistle-blowers for investigative reports (crowdsourcing)
I see both positives and negatives in this change for consumers. Having the Tennessean operate closer to the ground and develop a relevant problem-focus at the local level is laudable. This approach can be criticized insofar as it is open to information that is filtered by special interest groups, thus undermining its independence and impartiality; also, it provides another excuse for big corporations to cut labor costs and put professionals who live in our community out of work.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, it's been evident where they're going with this, farming out their work, and "sources" should refuse to work for The Tennessean in any capacity unless the "sources" are paid for their input.