Jay Rosen lays all his cards on the table, posting his plans for NewAssignment.net, a to-be-constructed site where reporters and The People Formerly Known As The Audience can party together.
And by “party together,” I mean the masses can use all their social bookmarking/tagging/networking power to point to the stories they want to see covered more and/or better.
So instead of using all these great new Web 2.0 tools to let “users” point other people to the already-extant content they like (a la Digg, Newsvine, etc.), Jay is proposing we use the new toolbox to let “readers” be the assignment editors, pushing for the stories they want to know more about.
But more than that, now the “readers” get to play along at home, doing some distributed journalism of their own, for example, tracking the price of a prescription drug in their neighborhoods to figure out whether it’s being priced differently in different parts of the country. From Jay’s example:
The users help find out what a drug costs “everywhere.” It would be hard for a reporter to do that alone. Journalists are hired to get answers to questions developed by users, filtered through editors, who in turn enforce a certain standard of excellence, fairness and transparency that is indistinguishable from New Assignment’s reputation.
The masses of interested citizens drives not only story selection, but provides a paid journalist with information and ammunition to seek out the answers to their questions.
There’s plenty more of this in Jay’s post.
For even more, listen to the Citizen Journalism session from last month’s Bloggercon.