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« Now, Now to Sit or Never | Main | Malaka Of The Week: Cathie Adams »

December 12, 2012


I might question the word "nonprofit."

I'm thinking about the trend of newspapers (and the expectation of the internet) that there are a host of folks out there begging for the glory of writing content for you - for free (including lifting material verbatim without a citation or link). I am worried that this trend will combine with the word "nonprofit" in the newspaper owners head to mean "no pay needed."

I can see a lot of good ideas in having a single investigative source serving all the media. That way, for example, you could get a small group of reporters with expertise in a given area (as opposed to a pool of reporters with various reporters who are seemingly assigned to stories at random without having a background in the area in question). You could also possibly get a greater number of resources into investigating that area (as you're pooling the funds that would have been spent by several media outlets). You could get an access that a small local outlet couldn't afford (can a small town paper afford to send a couple of reporters for a few months to cover Washington DC in depth?).

I'm concerned on a couple of items. At least logically, the rivalry of having several different reporters from different media leads to an issue being looked at from several different angles and also taking a more thorough look. It also makes it harder to compromise the reporting as the reporting from one source will be compared with what the other outlet is saying.

About the repurcussions of losing a paper - the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will be (it's rumored) sold shortly. I would rather it just burn down. As for the investigative shops, there's one in town that did a bang up job on sand mining. Maybe 1 month later they did a piece on how many JOBS the mines provide. A much lower caliber piece. Yeah. I guess somebody threatening came along.

Before I get called on this, I realize the naive nature of my comment in speaking as if there was a great diversity in media/news ownership. But at least the news media pretends that they get their news from different sources (and not a mega-monopoly of AP and UPI) and are owned by different people.

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