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The Amateur, the Audience, the Crowd, and other strange forms of journalism (and the crisis too!)

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Presentation on the future of journalism and free cultural projects in this field, given to student journalists during a conference on new media in Warsaw.

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The Amateur, the Audience, the Crowd, and other strange forms of journalism (and the crisis too!)

  1. 1. The Amateur, the Audience, the Crowd, and other strange forms of journalism. Alek Tarkowski
  2. 2. The Amateur, the Audience, the Crowd, and other strange forms of journalism. (And the Crisis too!) Alek Tarkowski
  3. 3. This presentation is available under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Poland license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/pl/) Some rights reserved by Alek Tarkowski. Slides on CC licenses borrowed from Jon Phillips (http://www.slideshare.net/rejon)
  4. 4. The Medium The Audience The Law The Money The Authors (The Alternative)
  5. 5. The Crisis The Medium The Audience The Law The Money The Authors (The Alternative)
  6. 6. The issue
  7. 7. The issue * end of press? * end of journalism? * end of public debate / public sphere?
  8. 8. The issue * end of press? * end of journalism? * end of public debate / public sphere? An alternative to endism?
  9. 9. The Medium
  10. 10. 1981: online press
  11. 11. 1981: online press
  12. 12. technological shift * key trends: 1) global connectivity; 2) speed increase; 3) democratization of production / distribution capacity * creative destruction of the media / press sector
  13. 13. * technology does not determine – but ofers crucial afordances * key lines of division: online / ofine; free / paid; author / audience
  14. 14. “A lot of things are happening on the Internet that never happened before because the Internet is a vehicle for everyone. The mass media is no longer only for the powerful, and that’s a huge change for the entire newspaper and news industry” Craig Newmark
  15. 15. “The people formerly known as the audience wish to inform media people of our existence, and of a shift in power that goes with the platform shift you’ve all heard about”. Jay Rosen
  16. 16. The Audience
  17. 17. Pew Research Center for the Internet and the Press * 1st time more people rely on internet than newspapers * among under 30, internet as important as television (60%) (from 68% vs. 34%)
  18. 18. Poland, D-Link Technology Trend: online communities (2008) What content do you fnd interesting? User generated 46% Journalistic 19% Corporate 4%
  19. 19. Traditional media remain an important source online NYTimes: 20 million readers online / 1 million readers in print
  20. 20. The Law
  21. 21. „archaic press law does not take account of digital technologies” Leszek Szymczak, Gazeta Bytowska
  22. 22. Media regulation Old standards in the times of convergent media Press law Copyright law Telecom law (shape of infrastructure) Professional code of conduct
  23. 23. The Money
  24. 24. The problem with press today: lack of good business model, not of good news
  25. 25. Why we need a business model? Because media institutions are important of the quality of news (and the public sphere).
  26. 26. „Because newspapers are a rusty industry. [...] They print lists of readers every day on the obituary page. Worse, as a class they are resolutely clueless about how to adapt to a world that is increasingly networked and self-informing” Doc Searls
  27. 27. * Free * Micropayments * Voluntary payments (Vodo) * Micropatronage * Press piracy * Example of Radiohead / NIN
  28. 28. The Alternative
  29. 29. Free software Steven Weber: success of open ● source - as a model “open source is not necessarily ● good or morally benefcial” … but we tend to underestimate ● value of openness (James Boyle)
  30. 30. Free culture  Inspired by free software – applied to cultural works and knowledge At its core, a legal project – to regain a lost balance About 10 years old
  31. 31. The inheritance Commons based peer  production (Yochai Benkler) (free) common good + new  models of production and distribution
  32. 32. Elephants Dream
  33. 33. Some rights reserved
  34. 34. Free culture  From intellectual property to intellectual generosity
  35. 35. Free licenses for every type of creativity
  36. 36. Creative Commons Some rights reserved – in particular, „as little as possible rights reserved” Millions of works, millions of people? Marginal – but at the frontier of change
  37. 37. The alternative * successfully developed for programming * clear examples for art, culture, education, science * how about journalism?
  38. 38. The Authors
  39. 39. “Terrorism made Stacey a victim; technology made him a reporter”
  40. 40. Eliot Ward, CC BY
  41. 41. “The frst-day story no longer belongs to newspapers - and hasn't for a long time. It isn't even the property of professional journalists any longer”
  42. 42. “[...] we could be assured that when a big news event happened, witnesses would be online with accounts of it in a matter of minutes. News was never like that”
  43. 43. Janis Krums
  44. 44. David Katz/Obama for America, CC BY-NC-SA
  45. 45. * amateurs vs. professionals * informal vs. formal * when do you become a journalist? * crowdsourcing does not mean full participation
  46. 46. Douglas Rushkof „Most stations are looking at the listener community as a bunch of consumers to be segmented, targeted, manipulated - the sort of spreadsheet approach to radio as opposed to the passionate approach”
  47. 47. Douglas Rushkof * involve listeners rather than just corporations / labels * invite not common denominator, but highest quality of listeners - „fans” * answer their needs * niche, not mass
  48. 48. * independent media are not new! * Indymedia * media hacking * (TV Solidarność)
  49. 49. Who are the new authors?
  50. 50. * one million penguins 1500 individuals 11,000 edits ‘not the most read, but possibly the most written novel in history‘ 75000 visitors 280,000 page views
  51. 51. * Current TV * users (called VC2 Producers) contribute 3-7min “pods” * content fltered by registered users through voting * pods are approved by Current's on-air programming department * “pods” are a portion of aired material
  52. 52. BBC Creative Archive * broadcaster's archives as free culture * ultimately just access (iPlayer) – Audience, not Authors
  53. 53. Assignment Zero * quot;trend reporting gone pro-amquot; – on an open platform * trend: spread of peer production / wisdom-of-crowd eforts * readers know more than journalists * goal: 80 features
  54. 54. Assignment Zero * get division of labor right: right size of chunks * self-assignment rarely works * sudden coordination costs of success * forming a whole out of pieces crucial build-up of common background knowledge
  55. 55. Assignment Zero * successful – but in a completely diferent manner than traditional journalism * depends on building a community * long-term process
  56. 56. Blogging * Rathergate: bloggers verify CBS 60 minutes story on G.W. Bush's army record * Poland: Bloggers prove a professional journalist is a plagiarist
  57. 57. Blogging * Kataryna: blogosphere has no importance whatsoever […] let's forget about replacing traditional media with blogs – these are two parallel words that rarely interact and do not compete”
  58. 58. Blogging * Kataryna: blogosphere is not efcient at “looking at journalists' hands”; not that it cannot do it – it's just that nobody cares
  59. 59. Blogging * not journalism, but commentary? * public debate / public sphere
  60. 60. Civic journalism * hype? * from civic journalism projects to a feld for “new media tools deployment for civic ends” * Youtube, Flickr, SMS, Facebook... * bloggers, eyewitnesses, pro-am journalists, random persons...
  61. 61. Civic journalism * diferent than „real” journalism * crowdsourcing as „civic” journalism * diference between democracies and totalitarian regimes? * it's not the name that's important
  62. 62. Summing up... * crowdsource * open source * civic journalism * public sphere * social media – horizontal communication
  63. 63. The future
  64. 64. The future What can I do? * Keep an open mind * Write Express * Support favourite (small) title * Make educational resources
  65. 65. The future What can I do? * Keep an open mind * Write Express * Support favourite (small) title * Make educational resources * Ride bikes! Grow plants! Bake bread!
  66. 66. Thank you! alek@creativecommons.pl www.creativecommons.pl

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