Another hallmark of the nearly bygone era was the idea of news as content. News was substantial and write-ups were regarded as first drafts of recorded history. The newsmakers were respected as historical figures when the news they made took on historical proportions. News of progress and setbacks made the passage of linear time seem significant. News cycles would go around on the straight track that advanced into the future. Anyone who did not follow the news was behind the times, out of touch and neglectful of their civic duty. Citizens were expected to be perpetually well informed in order to vote intelligently on candidates and ballot issues. They depended on the delivery of news as content to help them get that job done.
All that is changing as Journalism 2.0 takes shape. News is becoming processes with purposes. Content is part of those processes, but no longer news in itself. The passage of time and recording of history is losing significance as something that makes a valued difference. Newsmakers are everyone of us who is making a difference in others' lives, as our upgraded civic duty. The difference we're making is news to us when we find out it actually occurred as we intended or some variation of that. It's news to others for whom the difference was made that it was contributed, intentional and open to more feedback. The news of making a difference plays into making more and better differences. Newsmakers change the lives of newsmakers who then do the same in return. These cycles are virtuous, energizing and sustainable. These processes of making reciprocated differences are easily made transparent and embedded in online content.
Freemium models for news delivery are not likely to be sustainable when they get constructed out of 1.0 components. Free news as content that lures some to pay for additional content fails to offer 2.0 value, even if the newsmaker is high ranking or the news itself will make history. News about someone else (a newsmaker 1.0) making a difference is of little use as 'food for action". It will be questioned with disruptive frames of reference:
- what am I supposed to do with that information?
- how does that relate to what I'm intending to accomplish?
- what context of mine could find that personally relevant, productive, strategic or valuable?
- what's the real purpose of giving me that information?
- what does that tell me about the differences I've made lately?
- what opportunities does that define for me to make more and better differences?
- what does this set me up to expect, predict or prepare for that serves my objectives?