'Bring it on!'

Jay Rosen launched the idea for an online community, NewAssignment.net, that proposes and commissions reporters to write journalistic stories its members want covered. Rosen discusses his idea in an NYU J-School "interview". I'm imagining a Digg-like feed for stories---the public voting to the press on what stories it wants to learn about. I like it. Rosen may have something else in mind. But he does envision donations fueling writers' fee--perhaps they could be a paid with user/subscriber fees intstead (in addition to the expected ads).

This would be a smart, natural compliment to the community-editorial process of news bookmarking: if everyman can be an editor who likes/dislikes a story, they can certainly be an editor who commissions them too. What else do editors do? Let's make a list at maybe trump Javis (fat chance) next time around: hmmm, copy-editing, maybe not.

Getting the public closer to the story is an issue that has always bugged me. This would be particularly useful for political, investigative stories. There is so little money for that hardest-of-hard work---all the economic game theory is against it, you might say. Here it might find a better foothold because the stories would be so specifically demanded and particularlly funded: proof of demand--without all those lingering questions of 'will this cover sell advertising?' (Magazines are the best for journalism and the worst for funding, so depressing.)

In this vein, there's the new PopUp Politician that will display basic information & 'dishes dirt' when a politician's name is moused-over. (via TechCrunch.) Someone make this a Firefox extension!