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Advice to Global Independent TV Network: Go Viral

Independent World Television is building the world’s first independent global non-profit news network.

That’s from its network’s site, where it is pitching its concept.

It is also looking for support; you can even view its business plan. But I like these notes from Robin Good. It is excellent advice for anyone thinking how to reinvent journalism or at least reinvent how journalism is distributed::

IWT / The Real News needs to embrace fully the opportunities offered by participatory citizen journalism, grassroots distribution approaches, including P2P, RSS, video sharing, citizens contributions, content syndication and more, I don’t see IWT going much beyond the hybrid position so far conquered by CurrentTV.

Too bad, that in this alternative and independent effort to spread alternative news, IWT has not embraced some of the key traits that characterize open, non-commercial, viral and distributed content delivery approaches which would allow for a much faster and wider reach.

For example video interviews now posted on IWT are cannot be easily syndicated or republished anywhere else. This centralized model, which is going to suffer inevitably from the variety and extreme granularity of non mainstream news, may be, in my humble view, IWT weakest trait today.

Unless these news can be easily spread, in a customized and personalized way to the many interested niche audiences out there, IWT may be competing for attention and air space in which the competition is orders of magnitude stronger and more experienced.

IWT talks about primetime as if there was still, for a global television channel in the era of PVR and TiVos, a dedicated time zone and a prime-time slot. Primetime is a term used to serve the advertising market and its interests. In an open, up-to-date uninfluenced news network prime-time is anytime. Their first priority is the creation of ITWNightly. A primetime news show covering global news.

ITW, like traditional television appears to still hold too much interest in centralizing its news production.

I personally think that the true first independent digital news channels, of which there are no major examples yet, will work the opposite way, by leveraging a highly distributed network of contributors, reporters and citizen journalists as well as utilizing internal editors, distributed around the world to aggregate, edit and comment mainstream news clips while juxtaposing opposing viewpoints or adding useful and complementary information often missing from them.

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