Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Journalism going forward

Maybe in the future, journalism will come to mean people who seek out news that is not fed by Algorithm. They use tools that give more direct control over what they see. The thing to know is that the tech industry cannot operate these for you for free. That's the bad news. The good news is that they run for pennies a day for whole organizations, and can be shared with your readers for a few pennies more.

The technical ability to run these "news aggregator" systems is about the same as setting up and running a laptop computer. The technology is already accessible and getting more so. With the emphasis these days on "learning to code" I don't see what the barrier is, other than possibly fear of exploring technology on your own, without the support and approval of multi-billion dollar companies.

But techies who are your friends can and will help you. People who want you to succeed. The mistake is viewing tech as a monolith. As if everyone in tech saw the world the same way, had the same goals, and were willing to burn up the web to make a few more bucks. Some of us think enough money is enough.

Anyway running an aggregator certainly is much simpler than learning to code.

The role of J-schools

One thing I'm sure of is that J-schools should be teaching students the basic technology now. That would do more to strengthen both journalism and the Internet, which are allies in getting people the information they need, imho, more than anything else.

And we should get workshops going everywhere there are news organizations, the way we taught people about blogging in 2003 and 2004. The idea that you can run your own timeline is one that must spread, and to do that we have to show people how to do it.

What does victory look like?

BTW, the picture in the margin of Knick players Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony, in 2012, begrudgingly acknowledging each other, is how I visualize tech and journalism. This team did not win the championship. I'll try to dig up a good picture of what that looks like.

That's the kind of inclusive victory I'm looking for. Sure big tech companies can participate. But the Internet should achieve its destiny of providing great timely news to people who care without waiting for the tech industry to do what is probably an impossible transformation. I want to live to see this happen! If you love news, you should want it too.

Last built: Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 5:50 PM

By Dave Winer, Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 3:37 PM. It's even worse than it appears.