Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales believes his model ought to be the newspaper's model in a certain way: Fans should take over some areas.
Wales told an advertising conference this week that newspapers haven't been strong in corralling user-generated content and that bloggers in particular have expertise that could be exploited freely.
He has a specific recommendation: Let the fans take over the sports section. Save the newsroom money for sending reporters to major assignments overseas.
My personal take on this: Close, but not quite. While it's true (very true, in fact) there's more to be done in integrating user-generated content, a news organization's audience has a different expectation of timeliness than users of, say, Wikipedia. If you're simply leaving your time-sensitive demands to the fans, you may get a lot less than you want. That said, more expertise from the community across topics is highly welcome.