Pajamas Media Now Open Source Media
The long-awaited debut of Pajamas Media, relaunched as “Open Source Media,” is finally here.
A media Web site scheduled to debut Wednesday will seek to blend traditional journalism with the freeform commentary developed through the emerging Web format known as blogs. Some 70 Web journalists, including Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds and David Corn, Washington editor of the Nation magazine, have agreed to participate in OSM Ã¢€” short for Open Source Media.
OSM will link to individual blog postings and highlight the best contributions, chosen by OSM editors, in a special section. Bloggers will be paid undisclosed sums based on traffic they generate. The ad-supported OSM site will also carry news feeds from Newstex, which in turn receives stories from The Associated Press, Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service and other traditional media organizations.
“We’re deliberately trying to do something new by affiliating blog and mainstream people,” said Roger L. Simon, a blogger and the venture’s co-founder.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 9 percent of adult Internet users in the United States have created their own blogs, and about 25 percent read them. The audience tends to be more influential: blog postings can affect what news organizations cover or politicians discuss.
Many details of OSM remain unsettled. For example, OSM wants to create a mechanism for citizen journalists, including bloggers, to submit original news during natural disasters, civil unrest and other newsworthy events. Simon said organizers still have to come up with ways to check submissions for accuracy. Initially, OSM will create blog-like discussion panels surrounding major news events, with three or four bloggers and non-blogging experts chosen to contribute.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I was contacted by Mark Danziger about the project in February when it was still in conceptual stage and signed a non-disclosure agreement with them in order to secure a slot as a charter member. Months letter, I got another note saying that the initial group had fractured into two separate projects. I eventually got an offer from Roger Simon to join this venture that included surrendering control of my RSS feeds and giving up my advertising space in exchange for a third of what I was getting from BlogAds; I naturally declined.
More recently, I was invited to tonight’s launch party in New York featuring as its headliner the infamous Judith Miller. As noted around the Blogosphere, this choice and some others were genuine headscratchers. Certainly, I have no problem with intermingling bloggers and traditional journalists. One would think, though, that there would be more worthy choices. (The inclusion of Michael Barone on their editorial board, for example, was a natural.)
Several very prominent bloggers whose work I respect have joined the venture and I wish it well. Like the AP writer, though, I remain somewhat confused as to what the goals of the project are.