Diaspora of Journalists

On Community Funded Reporting site Spot.US, David Cohn reports from Freelance Camp – “an unconference for freelance professionals of all sorts – artists, coders, writers, designers etc.”

The most pertinent session for me was aptly titled “How the Changing Nature of Information Affects Information Providers.” It was proposed by a local magazine writer who recently lost a column to content produced via “the wires.”

Simply put, the Reporter Diaspora has been exacerbated by three main trends:

  1. The growing supply of citizen journalism and user-generated content is effectively replacing traditional journalistic content.
  2. Newpaper business models based on print advertising slowly lose relevancy as fewer people read print.
  3. Newspapers must cost cut and writers are fired.
Journalists (now known as “information providers”) are positioning themselves to leverage specific expertise that bloggers don’t own – in-depth, quality research and reporting. This is in large part the mission of Spot.US – to fund raise and compensate journalists on projects for the common good.

More recent evidence of the Diaspora:

SFChronicle lets Real Estate Columnist go
Adding up the Newspaper Cutbacks
LA Times drops Print Real Estate Section

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.

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