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8.07.2009

Prelude to outcome-based journalism

Journalism 1.0 is obligated to remain scientifically objective and politically neutral. Exceptions are allowed in editorials or Op-Ed pages in print and opinion segments in broadcast.. This requirement eliminates the possibility of outcome-based journalism that is inevitably subjective and politicizing. It's looking to me like conventional journalism will "stick to its guns" while outcome-based journalism takes hold. To the incumbents, this will look like lowering professional standards and pandering to short-sighted interests. However, the non-consumers will receive outcome-based journalism as a viable value proposition that helps them get their jobs done The migration out of Journalism 1.0 will gain momentum as more seek news that helps them make a difference in other lives.

It's impossible for a delivery system designed for mass production and consumption to be outcome-based. What the hordes of their consumers do with the delivered output is "none of their business". There's no way to listen to that many voices, customize to that many specifications and respond to that many opportunities for add on services. The product has to be put on the shelf or in the mail and then leave it at that. The only feedback that's manageable at the scale of mass production is received through suggestion boxes, complaint forms and refunds/cancellations. Those appear as insignificant blips on the radar, not the drivers of strategic innovation and value proposition revision.

Discovery systems are inherently outcome-based. They deliver as a follow-up to their discoveries. There is nothing they send out reliably, consistently or mechanically because nothing is called for by every constituent in context. Every situation offers much to learn, explore and respond to effectively. The potential always exists to get far off track, deluded by false positives, and over-confident from early successes. Discovery systems require outcome data to find a path through the forest of infinite options. They need to know "how it turned out", "what came of their response" and "what remains to explore further" after every contribution to the situation.

Where delivery systems can do their thing unilaterally, discovery systems only function by partnering with their "customers". They cannot go it alone and get it right. It takes a two-way street to work through the alternatives. The purpose is achieving particular outcomes, not delivering products, expertise or services. That purpose is owned by the customers. The discovery system serves the purposes brought to them by customers. A discovery system maintains processes that serve social purposes.

2 comments:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Susan

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  2. Thanks for taking the time to leave me some feedback. I'm glad you're finding my writing to be valuable within your own frames of reference.

    Tom

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