Here's something you don't see every day -- a call for more professional journalism. Russell Beattie uses the upcoming launch of Newsvine, which will combine straight news with blog-like conversation, to explain the need for professional journalists compared to blog-columnists like him:
Forget all this “social news” crap where lazy people read a bunch of news sources, add a bit of uninteresting, usually uniformed opinion or analysis and throw it out there as a story. There’s a real need for professional journalism, but published with a blog-like versatility, accessibility and accountability. We don’t need more columnists - we need more journalists, willing to get their hands dirty, keep their opinions to themselves as best as possible and help inform the rest of us of what’s going on in the places we live.
Can't agree about the more columnists but he raises an interesting idea -- and not simply because I think he's describing what we do at paidContent.org. (one difference: we include opinions although news is always our prime focus.) Russ's focus is on local news, where those willing to accept the responsibilities that come with committing journalism may be able to make the biggest difference.