Tish Grier says some nice things about me, but that’s not why I’m linking to her post. She makes some good points about not forcing the “journalist” label on independent content producers who are clearly uncomfortable being put into that category.
By tussling over who’s a journalist and who isn’t, both Newspapers and the Rabble get distracted and pulled into a useless argument that ends only in “I know what you are but what am I?”
Though I’m not sure if I totally agree with the second half of that same graph.
Newspapers should view the new media landscape like bloggers–choose who you want to link to, but don’t insist they write the blogs *for* you. That’s utter nonsense and to echo Owens’ assessment, doomed to fail.
I see nothing wrong with a newspaper web site creating a blogging platform for the local community and allowing users to create and manage their own blogs. That’s not “insisting” users create content for you. It’s providing another tool for conversation. However, the other vital tool of conversation is not ignoring bloggers who are not on your platform. Newspaper sites need to surface the conversation of all bloggers relevant to the location, the story or the issue, no matter where the link leads.
Relevant to another of Tish’s points: I probably shouldn’t comment on Triblocal, since the product is a direct competitor with my company’s web sites, but I will say, their model is not what I would do.