Jay Rosen, a leading thinker w/r/t new media and journalism, has launched the idea of NewAssignment.net. Launched an idea? Yup, he’s postulated a new approach to covering the news, and wants to see if his audience can take it to fruition. Craig Newmark likes what he’s hearing, and has offered to fund the first few stories. From Jay’s post:
In simplest terms, a way to fund high-quality, original reporting, in any medium, through donations to a non-profit called NewAssignment.Net.
The site uses open source methods to develop good assignments and help bring them to completion; it employs professional journalists to carry the project home and set high standards so the work holds up. There are accountability and reputation systems built in that should make the system reliable. The betting is that (some) people will donate to works they can see are going to be great because the open source methods allow for that glimpse ahead.
In this sense it’s not like donating to your local NPR station, because your local NPR station says, “thank you very much, our professionals will take it from here.” And they do that very well. New Assignment says: here’s the story so far. We’ve collected a lot of good information. Add your knowledge and make it better. Add money and make it happen. Work with us if you know things we don’t.