July 6, 2012
Vijaya Prasad

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We’ve seen a ton of digital ink spilled over the implications of media startup Journatic faking bylines for some of its content, including my post about the underlying economics that have forced newspapers like the Chicago Tribune to outsource their hyper-local content. While some critics choose to see outsourced journalism of the kind Journatic produces as unethical “pink slime,” the controversy over the startup’s practices actually says a lot about how difficult it is to find new ways of producing that kind of content — in part because the traditional media industry and its supporters want to force everything into old models and familiar formats.

Just to recap, Journatic is a Chicago-based startup founded by former journalist Brian Timpone as a way of helping news providers cover local and community news more efficiently. The company has worked with a number of mainstream outlets such as the Tribune and the Chicago…

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