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Reporting-quality death spiral

Gawker today features a run-down on the future of newswires (AP, Reuters): http://gawker.com/5713362/

So instead of paying all the money to have its own exclusive correspondents on the ground, Thomson Reuters can pay much less to license content from the standards-less content mill Examiner.com—the world's largest "news" organization, LOL! Plane Crashes in Dubuque; Local Chinese Restaurants Unaffected, Reports Dubuque Chinese Restaurant Examiner Armond Potash.

The first subscriber is Tribune. This will perfectly complement their "TV news without anchors or reporters" journalistic paradigm shift.

The basic economics are that major newspapers want to save money, so they lay off reporters. They replace that reporting with content from newswires (AP, Reuters). But the newswires themselves need to save money too, so they lay off reporters, replacing that reporting with content from specialty sites that already don't do their own reporting.

Fortunately (kinda), AP and Reuters aren't the only conduit between actual news and readers' eyes. That conduit's break-down, however, opens another space for civic media experimentation over the next decade. So while Gawker's headline is "The Future of Newspapers Is Crap", we simply reply "The future of newspapers is...something else entirely."

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