Journalism is in a state of upheaval and change. Because of this, our society has an unprecedented opportunity to direct that change toward the direction of radical transparency and decentralization. This is our chance to own our media.
The old establishment media conglomerates are going the way of the Dodo for a variety of reasons and now is the time that we can take the reigns and distribute the responsibility across the populace. With this radical change in power must also come an equal change in accountability, community input and openness.
With the emergence of blockchain technology combined with what amounts to an entire media production suite in our pockets, we have the makings of a new age unlike anything we have seen before. This could be an age where people are responsible for thinking for themselves and information comes from the people themselves.
Why open source the education of journalism?
Free to share information.
The essence of journalism is the collection of quality information. In an overcrowded marketplace, it’s ultimately about turning out the highest-value work on a given news topic. To do that, there needs to be high quality research to source. Resources such as the Journalist’s Resource could be recreated with thoroughly open source and open license for its content.
Open source culture is a completely different paradigm than the conventional system.
The “teaching hospital method” works, but many schools are not doing enough. Try as they might, conventional institutions are slow to change and modern communications is a world changing at unbelievable speeds.
The ability to change is a hallmark of open source projects. Even back when open source was a concept just for software, it was clear that problems could often be solved immediately, while their proprietary counterparts had to wait for the next release and hope that a fix would make it in.
This is because in an open source project, you can find the developers and talk to them. Those developers have the power to make the changes and push them out as soon as they have the chance to do it. That is just a simple example and there are many more that we can use as an example of the agility that open source is capable of.
With the use of blockchain platforms that reward communities and cooperation like Steem, competition starts to look a lot more like cooperation. Combine that power of the blockchain with the principles of open source and we have a tool set that can keep pace while maintaining a transparent chain of data.
What would open source education look like?
I envision something like a GitHub repository that can be edited communally and shared with anyone. This could be used to develop curriculum for a variety of types of journalism (or anything else). Using something such as a Steem community, the students of these curriculum can be mentored and monitored to keep their achievements accountable.
Communication: There are so many tools out there that this becomes a challenging topic, but if we are to stick with the open source theme, which I think journalist of all people should for trust reasons alone, then we can narrow things enough to have a discussion about what a workflow might look like.
I think a combination of Steem and LBRY.io could be a primary way to decentralize the curation and distribution of curriculum.
The decentralized nature of crypto-currencies in general make them the obvious choice over politically burdensome Fiat. Beyond that, though there are an lot of tools that have come available in the crypto-sphere that are very well suited for a variety of funding schemes.
Exploring Open Source Journalism Series.
This is an ongoing and regularly updated series exploring as deeply as possible the possibilities of open source journalism. As a picture unfolds as to how this paradigm might work, I hope to start seeing a structure begin to develop where realizing the dream of a decentralized, open and accountable environment arises where people can learn the skills of a journalist, gain experience and reputation as well as funding to accomplish a sustainable lifestyle.