Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The potential of the lone, new-media journalist

There's a nice piece today in American Journalism Review about the growth of the standalone journalism movement -- in which talented reporters use new-media technology such as blogging, RSS feeds, podcasts, etc. to market their work directly to users.
I've written about the subject before and said the potential for the lone journalist in B2B is enormous. I've urged journalists to consider heading out on their own; I've urged publishers to be aware of the competitive threat now posed by their staff and their readers.
The piece in AJR focuses on the growth of the standalone movement in community journalism. But if you're at all interested in editorial or competitive issues (and who wouldn't be?), you should take a look.
If you still have doubts about the power of a lone journalist armed with new media tools, take a look at this. The About.com network had 22.6 million unique users in April, making About the 10th largest Web site in the United States, according to Nielsen. I've argued before that the citizen journalism movement began at About. There's a nice essay on About's history at Howard Sherman's blog. Take a look. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I was an executive producer at About, where I worked with Howard. After Primedia bought About, Howard moved up the ranks, while I moved to Primedia Business. Today Howard runs the editorial operations at SmartBrief, where I do some work on e-mail newsletters.)

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