Open source news

Perceptive column by Jeff Jarvis. Excerpt:

A week ago, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger made quite a stir when he announced that some articles destined for the newspaper would now go to the web first. This may not seem like a big deal, except to the journalists whose circadian rhythm of meetings, deadlines and drinks will now suffer chronic jetlag. And you might say that this is being done already as major newspapers put updates online. But in giving the web priority over the paper, the Guardian is handing its crown jewels, its polished final product, to the future. And that is changing the nature of that product.

When the paper puts an edited story online hours before the old evening deadline, it means that readers may then react, asking more questions, offering more facts. And that means the reporter can augment that story for print. Thus the simple act of exposing a story to daylight before the dark of print can improve the journalism in it. After publication, this continues as readers offer more help and the story is updated online, in its text or in the discussion around it. This needn’t become an endless edition. But it is the end of news on the stone tablet. News becomes plastic. And news opens up…