By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

John Yemma on open-source news

Christian Science Monitor editor John Yemma has some sharp observations about the demise of Encarta, the struggles of Encyclopedia Britannica and the dominance of Wikipedia. And he argues that there’s a cautionary tale for the news media therein:

If all the big newspapers at once adopted a pay model, some upstart would come along and use a small group of journalists and a larger group of Wikipedia-like amateurs to build a multimedia newspaper. Like Wikipedia, it would be the butt of countless jokes about unreliability.

Maybe it would even report on its own unreliability. But it would grow stronger because it would be organically constituted on the World Wide Web. That’s the power of open-source knowledge.

And that’s the challenge the news media face as they dive into the Internet.

This, of course, is week one of the Monitor’s Web-mostly existence, as the daily print edition has given way to a 24/7 Web site and a weekly magazine. (Via Jeff Jarvis.)

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1 Comment

  1. NewsHound

    The theory expressed seems very realistic. Google for example, did a great job finding an opportunity. AOL the same 20 years ago. Firefox and Open Office are two great examples of how this theory may work out. Not all will be a success but every once in a while there’s another Sam Walton which leads the way to the front of the class at the expense of USA’s one-time largest retailer – Sears – and not that long ago either.

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