Erin Meyering

Jay Rosen critiques modern journalism, tending toward individual expert franchises

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Blogging: the dreaded b word. It’s a word to describe an, often simple, citizen-run website but journalists may think of blogging as a potentially noteworthy way of niche writing.

Jay Rosen, sharp media critic, writer and professor at New York University, is using a better term: Personal Franchise Site.

Personal Franchise Sites can be created by professional journalists, but also support the notion of community journalism, where citizen experts on specific niche subjects contribute their own opinions and information.

The creator of the Personal Franchise Site carries a strong, loyal following, either from a connection to a larger news institution or organically grown through interested web viewers pursuing information on a particular subject. Examples Rosen finds successful include: ESPN’s Grantland on sports and popculture, Dealbook on Wall Street dealmaking, Wonkblog on politics and public policy, among several others.

These incredibly tender and flexible sites give journalists the opportunity and forum to have a, more or less, direct conversation with the reader. Becoming an expert on a subject encourages knowledgeable journalists to reveal their personal opinions concerning their area of expertise.

“There’s a gap between what [journalists] know from reporting and what they can [actually] say,” Rosen said.

He further explained that the journalists leaving larger institutions to transfer their effort into a Personal Franchise Site, don’t want to live in that gap of providing only part of the story. In other words, people innately love to share their own opinions and people ingesting news want to hear informed, real opinions as opposed to completely objective .

Because this form of transferring information and current news is becoming increasingly popular, it’s natural to wonder where the big guys like the New York Times, National Public Radio and Bloomberg lie.

“Big institutions will struggle to adapt and they have big challenges ahead of them,” Rosen said. “[But] no one can do what they do.”

In a lecture at the University of Nevada Reno on Wednesday, Rosen seemed to reference the idea that both big brand, big name objective journalism can coexist with these Personal Franchise Sites, unveiling perhaps more detail and opinion on specific subjects.

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Written by emeyering

February 6, 2014 at 3:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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