Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Would you write for NewAssignment?

Jay Rosen (his blog is amazingly good) has come up with a new idea for citizen journalism

It's called NewAssignment It now has its own blog in place.

High quality journalism, funded, with professionals and amateurs working together.

Others have tried and failed. Read Dan Gillmor's analysis of how things went wrong for him

You need to read Jay Rosen's blog to pick up on the depth of his thinking about this issue. For example, I like point 9 from his current post:
By “right” for a NewAssignment.Net test I mean something that:
  • is under-covered, poorly covered or not covered at all by the major news media;
  • lends itself to “distributed reporting,” where a bunch of people—dispersed but connected by the Net—could contribute knowledge in a manner that would be hard for a reporter or even two or three to duplicate;
  • is a story of national, international or regional importance— newsworthy, in other words;
  • is doable in about six weeks time;
It’s the second bullet, the lends itself to “distributed reporting” part that seems to be the trickiest. Many readers of my blog and a good number who wrote to me after the first wave of publicity for New Assignment suggested stories that were under-covered and possibly newsworthy, but had no distributed reporting dimension to them at all
Doable, distributed, under-covered ...

Possibly there are some great educational stories waiting to be written along those lines:
  • How censorware around the world is driving students and teachers nuts
  • The place of game making and game playing in education
  • Virtual P2P School
I think these are doable, distributed, under-covered ... can the people, formerly known as the audience, do this thing?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bill, thanks for the comment you left me about NewAssignment. I read this post a few days ago, and I've returned to leave you this comment in order to pull together a couple of things. Marco Polo blogged about an event that occurred in the middle of the last century called the mass_observation movement. I compiled some links about it, and added the NewAssignment project to the list.

I believe that our stories must and will be told, and that if we invest sufficient care in their telling, they will acquire powerful significance. Who can know, though, at this point, what will be of interest to anyone in years to come?

I read some advice to writers recently - wish I could remember where - that resonated: Write what only YOU can write.

If each of us looks carefully at things that are unique and important in our own situation, we may all learn to place a higher value on our own point of view, and work for changes that satisfy needs we may not otherwise have recognized.

The local-global nexus that is emerging in weblogs and social mass media may help to resolve the schisms of class and competition that have been so poisonous to the world.