The re-emergence of “paid content” in the past couple of years, most aggressively marketed by Rupert Murdoch, has dominated media coverage. But in the shadow of The Times’ new paywall and the apps for Apple craze another development has taken hold — an approach to news publishing that has the potential to reinvent the idea of public service media. This is the idea of promoting (almost) unrestricted re-use, re-publication of your material, in order to achieve the greatest possible impact of your journalism. ProPublica is one of the news organizations to embrace this principle in their invitation to steal their stories. Logically, they use the established Creative Commons licensing system, but they implement it in an innovative way. Instead of just the discreet Creative Commons logo attached to stories, there is a “Republish” button that produces the text with html tags, ready for pasting into a publishing tool — exactly the kind of extra service that has always been needed to unleash the potential in Creative Commons.
The US startup ambitious journalism projects that have sprung up recently, wholly or partly funded by foundations, in essence share the “steal this story” approach:
Instead of planning how to get the story published before word of it leaked, the excited editors started throwing out ideas for how they could share Johnson’s reporting with a large array of competitive news outlets across the state and around the country. No one would get a scoop; rather, every outlet would run the story at around the same time, customized to resonate with its audience, be they newspaper subscribers, Web readers, television viewers, or radio listeners.
The quote describes California Watch, who also have case-studied themselves.