Yesterday, Forbes announced that it had bought True/Slant, a news source created by Louis Dvorkin's that allowed for credible journalists to independently publish their work while building audiences on the strength of their own name. For some of Dvorkin's lesser-known contributors, Forbes acquirement of True/Slant will have little real consequences as they will continue build their popularity as individual journalists. Yet, for other more popular contributors, this merger will integrate them into an entrepreneurial setting in which they hope to more effectively change the news industry through their innovation and creativity.
While Dvorkin's original goal in creating True/Slant was to "work together to further develop a mindset around the power of the web and traditional news values," it is unclear whether True/Slant will continue to pursue this goal under the umbrella of Forbes. It appears that the future direction of True/Slant has yet to be determined as The Wall Street Journal reports that Forbes does not have specific plans and intends to "use True/Slant in some way." Given the possible change in goals, Forbes may not be able to retain all of the valuable writers who have been part of the True/Slant team devoted to the goals laid out by Dvorkin.
While the future of True/Slant remains somewhat unclear, Tim Forbes himself has expressed enthusiasm over welcoming Dvorkin, who had worked for the magazine in the late 1990's, back to Forbes. As the Chief Product Officer at Forbes, Dvorkin will re-work Forbes' publications and hopefully further engage Forbes' audience. Despite his new role, it appears that Dvorkin does intend to continue to pursue the goals he set out to achieve through True/Slant and states that he and his team are "incredibly excited about moving our ideas and passion on to the bigger stage of Forbes.com and all of Forbes Media's other properties."
Nonetheless, it is interesting to see that a traditional media source such a Forbes has chosen to buy a non-traditional news source such as True/Slant. While Forbes choice to buy True/Slant does seem heavily motivated by their desire to re-acquire Dvorkin, this move could nonetheless be indicative of a growing interest in independent news sources and journalists. Overall, the Internet and the recent trend of blogging have given independent journalists an unprecedented amount of influence and have made journalistic work accessible to a much larger audience. Perhaps more traditional news sources, like Forbes, have not only noticed this trend, but also plan to begin to integrate independent journalism into their publications.