Media mogul Tina Brown delivered an opening keynote address at the Online News Association annual conference on Friday, in which she emphasized the importance of filtering news and information and how “it is time for editors to go back and curate material in a rigorous way to serve audiences”. Although I agree with Ms. Brown’s assertion, I’m curious to see if her new project, The Daily Beast, will end up fulfilling this promise.
The former editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker might seem an odd choice for an online news forum.
But Brown was here to shed some light on The Daily Beast, an editor-driven news aggregation website, a project with Barry Diller and IAC.
She started work on the project just eight weeks ago, describing the project as “a real high”, talking about working in a medium full of promise and potential.
In particular, what struck her was having to learn a whole new way of talking about journalism, saying she felt like an exchange student in Bogota with rudimentary Spanish.
Brown also talked about the “warp speed of the web”, especially compared to magazine publishing.
But she also talks about some of the dangers of this “unceasing hurricane on news and opinion on cyberspace”, arguing that this makes it hard for the consumer to navigate the virtual seas of information.
“Secretly, everyone feels out of the loop,” she argues.
She also warns about the potential loss of original reporting as reporters come under incessant pressure to service multiple outlets and the rise of churnalism.
Brown is clearly positioning her Daily Beast as a solution to this problem, arguing it is time for editors to go back and curate material in a rigorous way to serve audiences.
Among the sites she mentions who are curating the news are First Post, Drudge and the Huffington Post, but maintains there is room for another editor-driven, meta website.
Brown argues that The Daily Beast will help readers navigate the wealth of information online.
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