Okay, you've heard that I've been fooling around with media ventures, and you probably know that I'm out of my depth. Here's a little on what's going on.
Just a reminder, this is me talking, not craigslist.
Democracy requires an active press, asking tough questions, and speaking truth to power. When that fails, we get ineffective government. I figure people of goodwill gotta stand up and support the press.
In my case, I have no background in journalism, so I'm listening hard, and relying on people who really know their stuff, some of whom are taking big risks.
People have asked me for help in a few cases, mostly getting the word out, connecting people doing similar work. While I've made a few financial contributions, the money ain't significant.
Here's a few notable efforts, with more in process:
- congresspedia which is like wikipedia for the US Congress, backed by the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Media and Democracy
- Center for Citizens' Media which is Dan Gillmor's venture, trying to figure out the state of community journalism
- NewAssignment.net which is Jay Rosen's effort to figure out new ways to fund investigative journalism
- daylife which is the effort by Jeff Jarvis and Upendra Shardanand to figure out new ways to aggregate new and present the better trusted versions of big stories
I also talk to people doing work I think's important, like the BBC World Service effort to train citizen journalists across the world, and investigative journalist groups like The Center for Public Integrity and The Center for Investigative Reporting. (I have a feeling I'm forgetting something.)
I feel that professional and citizen journalism are converging, merging their strengths. Professional journalism tends to involve professional editing and factchecking; citizen journalists frequently have the courage to speak truth to power.