Well my favorite news portal just made the first acquisition of its 11-year history. MSNBC.com has acquired Newsvine, a site that aggregates both citizen and mainstream journalism into a news package driven by reader input a la Digg and Reddit.
Of course with its 29 million monthly visitors, MSNBC.com need only post this news — along with a decent dose of ebullient quotes — on its home page to gain attention. The space and effusiveness of the portal’s story makes me wonder whether it endured the same journalistic scrutiny to which other such merger news is subjected. (Maybe this is the true model for an SMNR?)
Even so, the acquisition is not an insignificant development in online (i.e., the future of) journalism. Even MSNBC.com founding editor Merrill Brown who runs a competitive journalistic enterprise jumped on the booster bandwagon:
It’s “…a visionary thing to do…Itâ€™s a really good thing for citizen content and the news category in general, because it demonstrates [that] the citizen content opportunity and the growth of community in a big way around news content is not a niche,â€ he said.
Agreed. The acquisition portends a new crowd-driven model of news delivery that blurs the boundaries between mainstream news sites and blogs. (Maybe we can soon merge the two distinct online news categories into one Excel tab for our media lists?) I now await the inevitable changes to my home page.