Knowledge Federation Can Transform Journalism

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Changes made possible

  • From non-sustainable to sustainable [1].
  • From 'attention economy' [2] to consciously fulfilling journalism's key social and cultural roles.

Both changes are made possible by supporting the work of journalists with a whole knowledge work ecosystem (by making journalism part of a knowledge federation) [3].


  1. Paddy Coulter writes in the abstract to his keynote speech at Knowledge Federation 2010:
    News journalism for the most part no longer pays: consumers can get it for free on the internet

    In his speech Coulter pointed at good journalism as an essential component of contemporary civil society.

  2. I learned the expression 'attention economy' from David Nordfors, a Stanford University journalism innovator. This expression signifies the prevailing business model in contemporary journalism, where the aim is to captivate attention (measured as number of readers or viewer hours) and sell it to advertisers.
  3. A proposition that Knowledge Federation extends to journalism is to federate it with the rest of knowledge work. When knowledge workers, for ex. in academia, perceive themselves as implementing a key function within the collective mind, then communicating beyond their professional circle — notably to journalists and through journalists — is perceived as an integral part of the job. A knowledge federation can provide the participating journalist an abundance of sorted and prepared quality material free of charge. Furthermore, other people with talent (animators, camera people, writers...) can be found in knowledge federation to complete the work. Suitable business models remain to be developed.

    Public informing may be seen as roughly analogous to nutrition; there too it was believed that it was enough to please the taste and satisfy the appetite at low cost; but then it was discovered that proper nutrition is actually the main issue. A service that Knowledge Federation may perform to journalism is to foster completely new standards in public informing, by serving as knowledge-work counterpart to nutritional science.

See also

  • A journalist would have approached my present task differently — by telling a story; Money as Debt is my attempt to present a journalist-friendly case for federated journalism. The point I undertook to illustrate is a central one — 21st century's journalism (or public informing) must be able to foster insights by federating different ways of looking at situations and issues.

Back to 'Introducing Knowledge Federation'

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