Jay Rosen explained on June 26, 2008, why he believes that in the new territory across the digital divide, hybrid forms of journalism, which combine properties of open (amateur) as well as closed (professional) editorial systems, will be the strongest.
(Apology: while I hope this doesn't constitute a breach of "fair use", I struggle to paraphrase Jay's essay in a more compact fashion).
"(…) The First Amendment says to all Americans: you have a right to publish what you know, to say what you think. That right used to be abstractly held. Now it is concretely held because the power to publish has been distributed to the population at large.
(…) The land that newsroom people have been living on—also called their business model—no long supports their best work. So they have come to a reluctant point of realization: that to continue on, to keep the professional press going, the news tribe will have to migrate across the digital divide and re-settle itself on terra nova, new ground. Or as we sometimes call it, a new platform.
(…) And like reluctant migrants everywhere, the people in the news tribe have to decide what to take with them, when to leave, where to land. They have to figure out what is essential to their way of life, and which parts were well adapted to the old world but may be unnecessary or a handicap in the new. (…) This creates an immediate crisis for the elders of the tribe, who have always known how to live.
(…) Today, the press is shared territory. It has pro and amateur zones. (…) Part of it is a closed system—and closed systems are good at enforcing editorial controls—the other part is an open system.
(…) Open systems are good at participation, community formation, and locating intelligence anywhere in the network. They are good at sharing, and getting good at surfacing the good stuff. The two editorial systems don’t work the same way. One does not replace the other. They are not enemies, either. We need to understand a lot better how they can work together.
[UPDATE, August 28, 2008:
people simply do not hold with mass identity now that they are free to
find human-scale identity, and once they find it, they will not go
back. Newspapers and other mass media is falling first and fastest
because we are rejecting the ersatz, mass belonging that they offered,
as part of the expansion of the industrial Western democratic ideals. (…)"