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.