Monthly Archives: August 2012

Collaborative news anyone?

I posted this in response to a LinkedIn question about reporter, collaboratively owned news operations.

I dream of these as alternatives to the status quo. I’m sure their time will come.


The best one I came across, before it expired, was this:

This is what it said about itself:
The NewStandard was a unique online newspaper founded on the belief that the dominant model and methods of profit-focused news journalism have failed the public interest.

This was a blog post I wrote about them when they expired:

Why spend so much time talking about a defunct publication? Because I believe their model was correct but they worked themselves too hard, stretched themselves too thin, without having found a way to pay for what they were doing.

Yeah, right, that’s the whole problem, I know, but I think they carried several seeds of possibility without having got them to germinate, if you’ll allow me a little, extended gardening metaphor.

These included an editorial line anchored in the knowledge of how journalistic economic models determine/bias output. They also included a work sharing and work rewarding process that was designed with fairness and equity bolted in rather than tacking that on as a fluffy after thought. They also refused adverstising (so as not to compromise their output) and even foundation grant money. They did some great grunt work for us all and then made it available for others, here:

and here:

(Some of the writers are friends of mine too, by the way, just so that you know).

The collaborative-owned model will have its day – this fellow Dave Boyle writes very engagingly about the possibilities here:

Alongside the possibilities of collaborative projects is the idea of making the dark arts of reporting far more transparent and more widely available to anyone who fancies trying their hands at citizen journalism.

The point of citizen journalism, for me, is to focus on governance and accountability questions as its whole reason for being.

I write about this at length as a former news insider in Fraudcast News – How Bad Journalism Supports Our Bogus Democracies. It is a paperback, eBook or free PDF that you can get via this link or the book direct here (

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What role for government in changing our behaviour?

Very little, I say, as I explained in a video recorded for a GlobalNet21 debate held in London on Tuesday, July 31.

Not least of the problems is the gathering, multiple crises in government legitimacy, at every level from the local to global.

There was an interesting array of opinions expressed on the night, judging from the visionOntv smartphone interviews posted afterwards. You can view them all via this link.

My contribution was purely by pre-recorded video interview, having left England for my usual home in SW France the day before.

This GlobalNet21 blog post gives more details on the evening’s discussions.

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