What can journalism learn from I Can Has Cheezburger?

Scott Porad, who is part of the team behind I Can Has Cheezburger? and the Cheezburger Network, says journalism can learn from I Can Has Cheezburger? “There are probably many lessons, but one that stands out to me is a fundamental shift in the concept of reporting from ‘sourcing’ toward ‘filtering,’” he says.

There is still value for news reporters and organizations to be “source leaders.” I am one who believes that there is an important role for the professional news reporter in our society. But it is clear to me that user-generated content or crowd-sourced information is a valuable addition to news journalism because it can yield more and better information, and often faster.

However, as I’ve illustrated, that information comes with a cost which is finding ways to separate the signal from the noise. The task news reporting has shifted toward filtering. My view is that winners in the Internet era of news journalism will be the people and companies who, like Cheezburger, ReadWriteWeb and Amazon, develop systematic ways of filtering the flood of user-generated content and sources down to those with the best content. The result will be higher quality news and information, that is more relevant and on target with the audience, at a lower cost.

  • http://www.adamwestbrook.co.uk Adam Westbrook

    I think it’s true there’ll always be a value in filtering the noise (that’s what traditional media have always done, I guess), but people still put value in original journalism right? Problem is, who’s gonna pay for it…

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  • http://www.jpkupdate.blogspot.com jason brown

    . . .

    A shift from sourcing to filtering?

    Absolutely. When the term cyberjournalist was coined, it referred mostly to internet investigations, sourcing information.

    Now no longer in widespread use, the word cyberjournalist is due for some retro-style cred, as a specialised field in it itself, blurring borders between previously distinct journalist rounds as crime, business and politics.

    This is an essential trend to identify in the future of news.

  • AW

    I think what he really meant to say was that you can make you users do all the work for you buy stealing content from around the web, then watermark it and surround it with ads. These people also owns failblog, which basically just makes money off of ad revenue from other peoples videos.

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