.. use open source methods to develop good assignments and
help bring them to completion; it employs professional journalists to
carry the project home and set high standards so the work holds up.
There are accountability and reputation systems built in that should
make the system reliable. The betting is that (some) people will donate
to works they can see are going to be great because the open source
methods allow for that glimpse ahead.
This equation summarizes what this new experiment means –
Reporter + smart mob + editor with a fund get the story the press pack wouldn’t, couldn’t or didn’t.
Though one can safely replace this equation with this and still get similar punch –
blogger + digg.com + independent ex-NYT editor with a fund get the story the press pack wouldn’t, couldn’t or didn’t.
Some part of this equation will soon get co-opted by smart editors and also would put a dent to all the individual brand oriented media properties (such as GigaOm, PaidContent etc).
I believe there is a good disruptive idea locked up somewhere between personal media sites (like GigaOm) and social news sites (like digg and reddit). They just need to figure out a sticky bi-directional working relationship. Going beyond providing a digg it link will go a long way in promoting the concept which newassignment is proposing.
This is definitely an interesting experiment considering the players involved. It expands on the network journalism idea started by Jeff Jarvis.