Journalism has been in a state of upheaval for years. The Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and people in the news business will tell you that the future of media in the digital age is still to be determined.
“To be determined” — sounds like a great name for a news outlet. And it is. TBD.com, a local news venture funded by the same company that built Politico, will go online in the Washington region next week.
I was immediately intrigued when the talk of the as-yet-unnamed TBD started in media circles several months ago. TBD had big money in the bank (from Allbritton Communications), and it had a digital news visionary at the helm (Jim Brady, who built washingtonpost.com). I also was ending a contract job at the time and eager to work in local journalism again, so I tried mightily to join the TBD team.
Alas, with so many qualified journalists in the Washington area looking for work, I never made the cut. So like many others, I’m relegated to watching from the sidelines as TBD tries to win the game of media innovation in a changing marketplace.
I like what I’ve seen and heard so far. For the past few months, TBD has been focused on building a network of more than 100 local bloggers whose work will supplement TBD’s original reporting. And yesterday, TBD shared more of its plans for rewriting the future of news. Here’s a recap by tweet from Steve Myers of Poynter Online:
Myers also tackled four questions TBD could answer about online news.
Like the news industry as a whole, the future of TBD.com is still to be determined. But I join Jeff Jarvis and many other journalists in rooting for TBD. (The bonus is that the site will be covering local news where I live.)
As Jarvis said yesterday: “TBD will show the way to new means, methods, and efficiencies. They will succeed and fail and show us all new ways to make journalism sustainable and to build a new and much stronger collaborative relationship with the communities we serve.”
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