So, I discovered this thing the other day. Wikinews. I guess it's new. It's like Wikipedia and Wiktionary, but with news. In another interpretation: it's like Indymedia, but without the inherent political slant that's hard to get around (believe me, we talk about it all the time).

My first reaction was territorial -- "There's ALREADY an open-source news page. It's called Indymedia. GET INTO IT." Then I thought a little more about it. There are definitely shortcomings to Indymedia that I worry can't be overcome (e.g., the impression that the site is "just for activists/protestors/anarchists"). So, perhaps having this as an alternative is good. Perhaps this is even . . . BETTER THAN INDYMEDIA?!

But then I looked closer and realized that most of what's being posted on Wikinews (at least at this point in the game) is not so much independent, original reporting as it is synthesis, combinations of other news sources (mostly mainstream) into more concise articles written by non-professional reporters. It's not that helpful in getting alternative views aired, and it's not structured in QUITE the non-hierarchical way that the IMC is (although it's much better than the corporate media structure, to be sure). It's cool, it's useful, but it's still not the holy grail of alternative media that we're looking for.

Somewhere in BETWEEN, I think, lies the ideal type of reporting and communication -- something decentralized, with independent, original writing/media, produced by people from all different backgrounds, read with a discerning eye for bias, and no overall political agenda.

Is that too much to ask?

Perhaps right now it is, but trust me, it's evolving.