Baking the Daily Me

Jeff Jarvis explains why half-baked writing can be better than a copy-edited, fact-checked final product, and touches upon how and why journalistic standards of the twentieth century won’t be recognizable to our grandchildren:

But what’s interesting about this notion of fully v. half-baked is
that it addresses an assumption behind all media, an essential snobbery
that, by necessity, got cooked into old media: The limitations of old
production and distribution — the fact that someone owned the printing
press and paid for the paper and would not allow anything to get onto
that paper until it fit his definition of baked — meant that we all
thought something wasn’t good or right until it was declared done by
someone with the power to do so: The tyranny of the chef.

But when you think about it, that attitude reveals such hubris:
believing that a thought can ever be done, that one author or one
editor can know more than all their readers is so egotistical.

That is the essential attitude shift that must happen in media,
especially news media: Discussion is often more intelligent than
content. Paraphrasing Dan Gillmor, the audience knows more than the

I’ve said it before; will say it again. Everyone’s a reporter. But — and the caucophony on the ABC message board on the 20/20 story discussed below validates this — editors curators are about to become very dear commodities.

Signal and noise are both growing exponentially. And your noise is my signal (and vice-versa).

How do we find our signal? Anyone who thinks that the average person is going to go through a complex tagging or preference-ticking process to find what they want is hopelessly naive. Someone has to edit curate the Daily Me.

Mike Orren is the Chief Product Officer of The Dallas Morning News; President of Belo Business Intelligence; husband to Crystal Orren; and a Mungarian at Munger Place Church in Dallas, TX. All opinions herein are mine alone.