I got a link today in the email to a report about Bernie Sanders putting a hold on one of Obama’s nominees from a website that I can’t remember if I have heard of or linked to before, but one that I know I never really examined closely. At any rate, here is the link to the story at the American News Project, with a nice several minute youtube video with Chris Hayes and a brief write-up:
I note that they are funded by some foundations and non-profits, and the fellow I talked with, Lagan Sebert, responded really quickly to my questions. I can’t help but think that this may be the future of news, to some extent, as the old media/new media thing sorts itself out. I’m adding these guys to the blogroll to keep an eye on them, and I think many of you will find these guys right in your wheelhouse.
This is key. One of the things that is killing local newspapers is that Craig’s List has stolen their local advertising monopoly. If no one is buying classified ads, newspapers need to find some other way to pay for investigative reporting.
While I was half paying attention the other day I heard someone on the news report that a Democratic congressperson introduced a bill that would allow a company that owns a newspaper to easily convert to a non-profit corporation. Not sure how that would work vis-a-vis shareholders, but I thought it sounded like an interesting idea. God knows something needs to give.
Eric Alterman plugs ANP a lot, and sad to say, I’ve never remembered to make it a regular stop. I’ll have to rectify that.
@Walker: newspapers need to find some other way to pay for investigative reporting.
I think for the last 8 years or so their model has been "don’t do it at all."
a couple of links from chris hayes re gary gensler:
sigh, this is disappointing. i hope his nomination does get blocked. but on the other hand, i know sometimes it takes a crook to stop a crook. that was the rationale when FDR appointed joe kennedy to head the SEC. joe kennedy, already wealthy from gaming the stock market, knew which loopholes needed to closed in order to make it honest again and to restore confidence.
i hope it’s that and not corruption wielding its way. we shall see.
Just Some Fuckhead
Today’s news tomorrow just doesn’t cut it when you can get today’s news a hundred different ways today.
newspapers need to find some other way to pay for investigative reporting.
lawsuits killed investigative reporting. you dare to utter a word uncomplimentary of their product, they hit you with an army of lawyers, threatening years of litigation.
Never heard of them but I love these guys already. I would love to take down Reid. I think he’s the biggest part of what’s broken in the Senate.
I really don’t see why for profit production of news is such a concern. Clearly the example of NPR shows that non-profit national news is a viable model. News, especially at the state and national level, really fits the description of a public good, rather than a private one. If that’s the case, there’s not going to be much room for profit driven companies.
Amy Alkon's Testicles
They may or may not be the future of news, but if they don’t discontinue the practice of embedding videos that play as soon as the page is loaded, I’ll never go back. I’ll play the video when I’m ready to play the video and not before, TYVM.
@Walker: This is BS. I know someone who works in the internet department for a mid-size media company that owns a ton of newspapers in the midwest. The only people not cutting is the internet. They actually need another person and are the only department making significant profit so they can afford but aren’t because all the other departments would hate them for their success. The biggest problem the internet department has in being more successful is that the non-internet people they deal with just cannot seem to grasp the nature of New Media, PARTICULARLY the idiots in add sales.
I’d tell an anecdotal story about it, but I don’t want to get the person in trouble.
Did you say Chris Hayes is involved? He’s pretty good. Why didn’t I know about this? Thanks for the heads up, John.
I find this very, very hard to believe. Can you point us to any lawsuit that was ever actually filed?
a couple of famous examples off the top of my head:
the big tobacco lawsuits for one. the real life story got made into a movie the insider with the whistleblower starring russel crowe. 6o minutes buckled under legal pressure and took a pass from airing the story. the producer resigned out of protest and moved onto pbs.
another one was a couple of reporters investigating whether artificial growth hormones in milk should be an issue of concern. lawyers flew in and the story got blocked from airing.
oh, and oprah was another one. she made a disparaging remark about beef, covering a story about mad cow disease. she got hit with a lawsuit as a result. that creates an atmosphere that causes people to watch what they say.
Its Senator Ben Cardin from Delaware. Until this point he was probably most notable for beating Michael Steele in 2006 for Paul Sarbanes old seat.
I really like the idea for a site like this and the execution is good if not flawless. Thanks for the tip.
I find this very, very hard to believe.
why would you find this hard to believe? we live in a litigious society.
Baltimore City Paper had an article yesterday about refugee journalists of defunct newspapers making their way into small internet publications. Wish em luck.
the milk story:
W00t! Land of Mary
Dóh! Carper/Cardin. I’ve been doing that for a while and it certainly doesn’t help that the states are next to each other.
I was talking to a guy from the South Florida Business Journal today about this. It’s really an adversarial relationship between traditional media and new media, and it doesn’t have to be. Effective advertising campaigns should cover as many media channels as possible, not just one or the other.
They both could stand to learn a lot from each other, and hopefully one day they will. Then they can BOTH be more profitable.
kommrade reproductive vigor
@guest omen: Um, no. The company I work for does a lot of I.R. To my knowledge they’ve been sued twice over a thirty year period and both cases were dismissed.
I.R. at dailies was grievously injured by BoD’s who didn’t want to put the money into paying for reporters who can do I.R. These stories can take months to produce (while the reporter is still drawing a pay check) and take up a lot of space. The geniuses in many boardrooms decided to go for shorter stories that required less of the reader’s attention and then went back to scoffing at blogs.
Why does it seem that Reid lets the GOP’s holds stand, yet over rides those of his own caucus?
Maybe an over generalization, yet that’s my gut take away.
It seems that way because he’s a spineless, corporatist douchebag.
Another good alterna-news provider is the Real News Network although some here might find it a bit too lefty. (Lefty by modern American standards, anyway.) They have a pretty good YouTube channel as well.
Al Jazeera English on YouTube is great too.
I think part of it is the nonsense about the Senate somehow having this gentlemanly sense of decorum and noncombativeness, something that the Democratic leadership of the past decade has been hiding behind whenever a showdown over stark differences in ideology was necessary. And part of it is that many Democrats (most Democrats?) really are of one mind with the Republicans when it comes to real reform. They want to be seen as reformist, and anti-laissez faire, to a certain segment of their constituents who care about that sort of thing, but really, the rule for these guys is going along to get along. It’s perhaps unfair to call this sort of thinking "Clintonite" as I do think that on some level Clinton wanted to put the government on a more liberal course, but all too often he tried to outflank the GOP from the right for short-term political advantage. The one lesson I wish the Democrats would learn from Tom DeLay is when you have control of Congress, you should act like it. Elections have consequences, damn it.
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Once upon a time, news wasn’t printed. Instead, it was done by word of mouth. Now while gossip is nice, the real importance of news was survival and profit. It was a good thing, if you were catholic, to hear that the protestants had just taken over the local government (by force). It was profitable if you, a cloth merchant, learned that the seamstresses for the local nobility had just purchased a dozen bolts of linen of a particular hue.
The problem with word of mouth was twofold – you may not have been in the right place to hear it, and it’s almost certain you heard it after it’d been through several sets of ears and mouths. (If the latter confuses you, go play a game of telephone.)
The pamphlet printer who got the bright idea of putting down the previous day’s bits and pieces and selling the sheet to anyone who wanted it got some money, and got the three primary complaints that led to our news as we have it today. First, "What you printed is not true." Second, "But what about [that]?" And third, "That is none of your business."
The first two led to reporters. The printer could remove some liability if there was a named person responsible for the report. It eventually also became necessary for the printer to work to ensure the reporters were of good repute as well, but still in most states and times Truth is an adequate defense. The second led to hiring the reporters who had demonstrated accuracy, a pleasing talent with words, and the time and inclination to go looking. To the third, well, that’s a constant balancing act. On the one hand, we want to know when those we trust are violating our trust. On the other hand, most of us have interests that would offend someone in our community who has the power to make our lives uncomfortable – we generally think we should be allowed to keep some things private. The tensions between ‘freedom of the press’ and ‘MYOB’ are always going to be with us. That said, in the US and most of the western world, FotP has a lot of weight.
Let’s jump some history to look at ‘future’. The internet creates an opportunity to listen to (potentially) MILLIONS of news sources. Everyone can publish. It is possible – if you’ve time – to hear every single voice who speaks on a subject in which you’re interested. Time, though, is the killer. Because of that… I think the future of news is showing in two places.
One is just what you said. Narrow interest groups who pay dedicated researchers to be reporters. The internet’s global nature allows those groups to have their reporters in a variety of locations with no more need for a big building for all.
The other place is most easily demonstrated by Drudge. Aggregators who browse through a variety of the former group – and through other aggregators – searching for things they (and hopefully their customers) find interesting.
Note that the GOS and RedState are something of a blend between the two. What they choose to aggregate, what they choose to pull themselves, their standards of accuracy and reliability – they’re different, and so they have different customer groups. But they also demonstrate that the two avenues of the future of news are not mutually exclusive.