Yesterday’s newspaper lines birdcages, but yesterday’s web stories will be showing up on Google five years from now. An editor selecting stories needs to be thinking about not only tomorrow’s page views but next year’s as well, and also, crucially, how the story will function in combination with stories from other outlets. There are close ties here to the concept of stock and flow in journalism, and the new-media notions of topic pages and context.
An this one:
The web demands that we put more online than we would publish on paper, and provides a place for information of all grades. In this new medium, amateur journalists (such as bloggers and thoughtful commenters) are often much more adept at creating value from information by-products than their professional peers. News organizations will have to find forms for publishing unpolished information, such as the beat blog.
Still, while I buy the idea that there is value in publishing "unpolished" information, let's not get carried away. The web's credibility will suffer as long as there is a lack of "distributed trust network," as Craig Newmark calls it. And this won't emerge until the public demands more trustworthy journalism, web or print, polished or unpolished.