You know what is scarce? Time and attention. People are inundated with abundant information these days, and what they look for are trusted aggregators, curators and filters of that information. They seek those out because it saves them time, and lets them direct their attention more efficiently. In other words, people value the aggregation, because it serves a valuable role when the content is infinitely available, but time is not.
Instead of aggregating news headlines, [The Study is] going to aggregate academic papers from universities and think tanks—a genre of writing and thinking that has a lot to add to the world but that doesn’t get much attention from the media. We’re going to marry this academic writing to the day’s headlines, tying together what people are talking about in the world as a whole at any given moment with what various researchers and thinkers have discovered about these topics. Hopefully, if we do a good job, this project will inject some unexpected and valuable perspectives into the political debate.
Richard Just, The New Republic, Introducing ‘The Study’.
Just describes TNR’s hesitation about typical aggregation strategies but the necessity of implementing the practice in general. We think their idea is great and look forward to following as they proceed.
I can’t decide whether serious journalism is the kind of thing that lures an audience to a site like The Huffington Post, or if that’s like hiring a top chef to fancy up the menu at Hooters. But if serious journalism is about to enjoy a renaissance, I can only rejoice.
Bill Keller, Executive Editor, New York Times, All the Aggregation That’s Fit to Aggregate.
In which he discusses how he’s number 50 on Forbes’ most powerful people in the world list, frets about people fretting about media and takes a few shots at Arianna.
Smartly, he notes about his top 50 listing: “If I were vaporized by aliens tomorrow, my family would miss me, but the 1,100 journalists of The New York Times would not miss a deadline.”
I pretend not to care not to care about journalism, but I sort of do. It’s no longer enough just to throw out the rehashes.