The old dust-up over newspapers (and other media) paying non-staff bloggers for their contributions is being debated on the Center for Citizen Media Blog and only Tish Grier got it right in her comments (“…what’s wrong with just aggregating this content and sharing traffic with local bloggers?”).
I think that’s the answer for newspapers: Aggregate and point off.
It’s a win-win.
Newspapers get great local content (but not all of it), and bloggers get traffic most of them couldn’t get on their own.
If the bloggers optimize their sites and the traffic amounts to even modest numbers, they can make more money than the newspaper would be willing to pay.
From the newspaper’s perspective, it’s not essential to own ALL of the content, only to be able to point readers to it.
The newspaper’s new role is to give readers the opportunity to find the best information in their areas of interest, either geographic (neighborhood) or thematic (sports, movies, news, politics, etc.). Continue reading