News organizations should be focused on where they get their news from

One thing that's changed in the age of news on the net is that not only can we report the news more quickly, we can be informed of it more quickly as well. Everyone who takes an interest becomes part of the process. Every time an article is forwarded, shared, retweeted, liked, posted, whatever you call it, that's a signal to some piece of software, otherwise known as an "algorithm" (something reporters seem to have just now discovered) that this item is of interest to someone. Knowing who that is, and who that influences is what makes one algorithm better than another.

Each news organization, in the future, will compete not only to get the best news out of their newsroom, but more quietly perhaps, who will have the best news flowing into their room. I've been evangelizing this for years, you should should be working on this, leaving it less to chance, and connect yourself up in a systematic way, to those news sources you respect and whose authority you value. This obviously should include bloggers (see my definition) as well as other news organizations.

I've tried to set an example, by being open with my sources. This is where where I get my news. Twitter and Facebook pale in comparison. Techmeme is way slower. They show stories many hours, sometimes days, after they appear in my flow. Twitter tends to focus on the sensational, Facebook on the personal. They're all getting to the same place, I think. But journalism plays a role here, that up till now, it has not.

There should be a lot of competition here, and imho we should be a lot further ahead of where we are.

Journalists: Twitter does not have to be the last word in Internet-based news flow. Play what-if. Dream. Innovate! Imagine what would be the best inflow for you and then build it. Work with developers if you don't have the skills yourself. We should have a lot more flow of ideas between technologists and users of news technology.

It's up to journalists to make journalism on the net work. Technology can only take us so far. After that, it's how the technology is used that matters.


Last built: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 10:51 PM

By Dave Winer, Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 9:09 AM. Only steal from the best.