Sunday, April 23, 2006

Show me the money

One of the most terrifying and exciting aspects of online journalism is that it's an evolving business model and no one knows quite yet how to manage it. I've been thinking about this a lot since one of the creators of blogburst came to visit my class, they basically syndicate the very best blogs and let news organizations cull through this content and use it as they please. Bloggers get little or no compensation from these deals, but they do get recognition. I just wonder how long good blog content can keep coming as long as "recognition" is the only compensation. More papers are asking their reporters to blog, or to multitask and make up online content (such as reporters taking video or audio) but they aren't paying them any more for doing this. I love the ideas of open source and citizen journalism, but I also worry that news organizations are seeing citizen journalists as a way they can cut back on staff; and that open source is just furthering that idea that the internet is a place where you can get everything for free. Talented, hard-working people should be paid for their hard work and talent, and the renegade spirit of the internet makes consumers believe that everything (especially good news and entertainment) should be free.
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