When news reboots, hopefully..
Tuesday, December 15, 2015 by Dave Winer

John Robinson notes that his local paper is much slower than Facebook and Twitter, often reporting local stories two days after it appeared on social media. What's the solution? Not sure there needs to be one. The news is getting where it needs to go. Maybe what's needed is a purpose for a professional news organization. 

Problem for them is that they have exaggerated their role. They are aggregators of information and perspectives that we have. The people. We give them what we have and their value is in accurately transferring that information, something they do really poorly in my experience. They don't even seem to try. You hear it all the time, when the news reports on something that you know, the story is unrecognizable. 

A great example, for me, is the oft-repeated wrong origin story of podcasting. They get the story from other news people, even crediting themselves for things that tech people did! Why not. They have the power, they think. 

So I say good riddance. Hopefully if they are replaced, let them be replaced by people with more humility about their role, and more interest in getting the story right.

  • Perhaps want we need is to separate out news organizations from aggregation/analysis organizations. For most people, it's ok if the news is delivered a few days or even a week late. They would be much better served by a publication or service that takes the time to gather all the known facts, provides commentary and analysis on top, and creates a coherent, well-written, correct narrative.

    I've been reading a blog called The Weekly Sift (http://weeklysift.com/) recently that provides a good model of this. John Oliver's Last Week Tonight might be an example of a video version of the same.