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@Brian - part of me says "yay!", part of me knows that news organizations are not built that way and will not be able to sustain that kind of collaborative effort. Heavens, even inside the same company people still fight for who gets the credit! It will be interesting to see what develops from these kinds of initiatives. I'd love for something new to happen in the news industry. Or maybe the industry goes and the news becomes supported in totally new ways.

@Liz - people collaborate because it's in their nature and especially when there are no incentives to do so. The incentive thing and one variable conversation need some serious revisiting in light of current events. Digital media will go two ways - hyper local and hyper mass. It already has.

This is the big question for the future of journalism, isn't it? The way journalism is currently financed doesn't bring optimum results - collaboration is hindered by revenue sharing concerns, and there is an incentive to focus on 'sensationalist' topics to attract more readers.

The online model seems to exacerbate these disadvantages.

Sure the internet is helping collaboration, but I don't know if anyone is actually making a profit from that, or rather people are collaborating because it's in their nature (please prove me wrong!)

You can disintermediate the content production and this will probably improve the quality and possibly the credibility of the end product. However, the organisations which commission / publish the work still have to find a way to make money, and this is the most pressing problem.

I think these journalists are onto something really big, here. By collaborating to report the story in real time, as real people, they establish a sense of legitimacy among their readership. Rather than being viewed as typical, sensationalist puppets of the mainstream media, they are viewed as peers who ensure they share something important with their communities. News becomes credible again.

As these "real" journalists build greater followings, they become more valuable to the news outlets. It could be that this sort of collaboration shifts the trend to the reporters developing the networks and market, and the news networks merely supply the venue in which they practice their art. Unless I'm mistaken, this would be a completely new business model for the news industry.

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