Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Small But Mighty Gesture:
Biz Week Credits the Source

With the traditional business model for journalism under steady assault, we've been witnessing an ever-growing stream of alternative approaches to gathering and disseminating news. They include everything from pure citizen journalism (for Cleveland-area readers, we have two right here in our midst, one east and one west) to all manner of experiments that would fall under the general heading of a movement that's come to be called news as a conversation (rather than the one-way lecture it's traditionally been). But the other day, I noticed something Business Week did that reminded me of how powerful small gestures toward transparency and audience participation can be. On one level, it might seem so simple that it wouldn't warrant comment. Still, it's such a great idea, but one I really hadn't seen anywhere else until then: the magazine simply credited the source for a good story idea, by name, with a photo. What a wonderful way to actually practice rather than preach about rethinking traditional practices. Among other things, it should serve to stimulate many more story ideas from readers who think it would be cool to also be featured in the magazine. We hope this simple tactic, and a thousand others like it, spreads to other publications.


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