"Journalists" R' Us
Glenn Reynolds follows the Grand Central today's explosion and notices how the first reporters there are ordinary people. "But what caught my eye via Drudge was this picture. Everyone is taking video, or snapping photos with their cell phones. I imagine they easily outnumber the journalists doing the same."
This was the subject of a July 16 Belmont Club post, The Shape of Citizen Journalism. With people carrying the equivalent of audio, still and video capture instruments on their cell phones, it will be possible to create hyperlocal layers to the headlines -- and the Washington Post was already experimenting with such sites -- for a reason. I wrote:
Here's what I think people will see in the next decade. Big news won't go away but readers will be able to drill-down on news stories in a way impossible before. For example, suppose new riots break out in the banleius of Paris in 2017. The reader will be able to drill down into every greater detail. Was a man burned on a torched bus? Click and find the micro-journalist who is following the recovery of the victim in a hospital. Or discover how the riots have affected a particular suburb in northern Paris. Not only will you be able to drill down, but you will be able to interact with the news. With online payment systems I believe readers will be able to support micro-journalist efforts to find out more details about an story, in a miniature version of the way readers support Michael Yon in Iraq today.
Most news will be about non-political events. The consumers of the new news will be stock analysts, market researchers and the aggregators of special news products. While the headline will not go away, the story behind it will be fleshed out to a degree now impossible. And that's just the beginning.