Reuters is giving NewAssignment.Net a $100,000 grant to hire an editor. NewAssignment.Net is the brainchild of NYU journalism prof Jay Rosen, who wants to experiment with making news through a pro-am collaborative process (it'll involve regular folks and professionals).
The idea is to draw “smart crowds”—groups of people configured toshare intelligence—into collaboration at NewAssignment.Net and getstories done that way that aren’t getting done now. By pooling theirintelligence and dividing up the work, a network of volunteer users canfind things out that the larger public needs to know. I think that’smost likely to happen in collaboration with editors and reporters whoare paid to meet deadines, and to set a consistent standard. Which isthe “pro-am” part.
NewAssignment.Net is a not a plan for a company; in fact, it’scloser to a charity, an editorial engine anchored in civil societyitself, rather than the media industry or journalism profession. Astoday’s announcement shows, New Assignment can be on friendly termswith Big Media, which it is is not trying to destroy or supplant.
Wish I had something clever to say about this, but all I can come up with is, "interesting."