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Salon: Open-source journalism

Oct 08, 1999, 14:43 (5 Talkback[s])

"On Monday, Jane's Intelligence Review, the "international journal of threat analysis" (a must-read on your average CIA spook's list), solicited feedback on an article about "cyberterrorism" from the geeks who hang out at the Slashdot "news for nerds" Web site. On Thursday, after the Slashdot members sliced and diced Jane's story into tiny little pieces, an editor at the magazine announced that the story would not be published as planned. Instead, the editor, Johan J Ingles-le Nobel, declared that he would write a new article incorporating the Slashdot comments, and would compensate Slashdot participants whose words made it into the final copy."

"When you ask for feedback you get feedback," wrote Nobel, "and since roughly 99% of the posters slammed the article, even saying things like 'we'd expect better from Jane's', I've informed the author that we're not going to run with it. Instead I'm going to cull your comments together and make a better, sharper feature out of it -- I'll be getting in touch with several of you for more specific details or for more clarification..."

"Open-source pragmatists believe that better software arises from the scrutiny inherent in the collaborative process. Will better journalism ensue if more reporters and editors beta test their own work? Hard to say -- in the deadline-crazed world of technology journalism, there's often hardly enough time to get a story properly copy edited and proofed, let alone reviewed by hundreds of frothing critics..."

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