Trust and News

Jeff Jarvis writes:

Trust is still important. In fact, in this new, distributed world of ours, it is even more important. Trust is our organizing principle. Trust is what makes weblogs, Technorati, eBay, Craigs List, RSS, chat, and email work: We pay attention to those we trust; we filter out the rest. We each decide whom to trust; it’s no longer decided for all of us.

We control trust. And so that is how we operate with news, too: We can get the source material on the web or via CSpan to judge the facts for ourselves; we can follow the track record of reporters and news organizations to see when they mess up and whether we should believe them; we follow the links of those who have not led us astray; we can see who is being transparent and who is not and judge accordingly; we decide what stories are important for us; we get to question those in power thanks to new media. We are in control.

It’s the top-down, one-way, one-size-fits-all news-extruding machine that’s ready for the mothballs. We’ve seen how this sausage is made and we’re not swallowing it anymore. It’s the old view of delivering the news that’s antiquated. We no longer wait for the news to come to us; now the news waits for us to go get it. We are in control.

Jeff also suggests a better way to do TV news with a four-point formula: Slice, Add, Link, Listen. Here’s Slice:

Cut up your shows into stories and put them all online.

After you air a story, it’s fishwrap. Nobody can see it. If they missed it, well, that’s tough for them. Is that any way to treat your public? Well, you don’t have to anymore.

You should put up every story you do — and not just as a stream but as files that the people can distribute on their own.

You can still make money on this — in fact, you’ll make new money: Put ads on the video; track those ads; and tack on a Creative Commons license that says people can distribute the video but cannnot muck with it. And you’ll find something magical will happen: Your audience will market your product for you and distribute it for you and it won’t cost you anything more. It’s free money, damnit. Tell that to your stockholders.

And while you’re at it, take your script for the segment and associate it with the video as meta data (that is, post it on a blog with a link to the video) so people can find your stories on search engines and then watch them.

This means that people who really want to see your stories and are interested in them can now do so. We’re no longer captive to your schedule and your selection; we can watch what interests us. We are in control.

The result: You will get a more interested and involved audience. You will get a bigger audience. You will get more people who will like what you do and start watching your old-fashioned shows. You will benefit. We will benefit.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.