Interesting research paper from The Shorenstein Center on “Journalism without Journalists,” in which Michael Maier, who founded one newspaper that existed solely online and another fueled entirely by reader contributions, discusses the integration of citizen journalism mainstream media.
Old media would do well to take all these new approaches as sources of inspiration, and even collaboration. Some sites run by citizen journalists can cooperate very well with traditional media. Reuters has already set an example in its joint efforts with Global Voices; AP has teamed up with the news aggregation site NowPublic.com. Maybe most of the NP projects are not destined to last long but will merge into larger units. Websites like Slate, the Norwegian paper Nettavisen, or my own paper, Netzeitung, have all been taken over by old media.
Ultimately, it won’t be the angry bloggers or the clueless citizen journalists, not the crazy kids from YouTube or the dark forces behind MySpace who will decide the fate of journalism. Ultimately, readers and advertisers will show what they are willing to pay for. Network Publishing is the natural ally of traditional media. Even in a completely new media world, together, they can help ensure that society gets the kind of journalism it deserves.