Prediction markets = the future of journalism -said, from day one, Emile Servan-Schreiber of NewsFutures. Emile, if you have balls, lets do it -all together.

My yesterday&#8217-s post about the Obama&#8211-Clinton prediction markets was the most popular Midas Oracle story of that Monday. Hummmm&#8230- No idea why&#8230- I was not helped by Google Search or by an external blogger. Sounds like our Midas Oracle web readers and feed subscribers liked it &#8230- for some reasons I have yet to discover fully.


  1. I&#8217-m minding a grand &#8220-Midas Oracle Project&#8220-, and you can join it.
  2. Emile believes that prediction markets represent &#8220-the future of journalism&#8220-. I am trying to mind, specifically, what form could take the &#8220-prediction market journalism&#8220-.
  3. The idea is this: We need to put the charts of prediction markets inside news stories, and those stories should incorporate the meaning of the probability fluctuations (a la Justin Wolfers).
  4. If we stay in our armchairs, nothing will happen, because most of the old-school journalists and bloggers don&#8217-t think much of the prediction markets. The prediction market infiltration in the Mediasphere and the Blogosphere is like a weak stream, right now. I don&#8217-t have the patience to wait until &#8220-2020&#8243-.
  5. I don&#8217-t think that much will come out of the prediction exchanges. The BetFair blog and the InTrade newsletter are 2 pieces of crap &#8212-they compete in content quality with the Mongolian edition of the News Of The World.
  6. If you look at the evolution of the media, you see that the old-school, dead-tree publications are slowly dying, and are replaced by professional blog networks &#8212-look especially in the IT industry, with TechCrunch, etc. What you have is writers who publish only for the Web, and who fill a vertical niche. (And, the Washington Post is now publishing content from&#8230- guess who.)
  7. Needless to say, prediction market journalism is costly. Now, go directly to point #8, because that&#8217-s where the beef is.
  8. Yes, I have &#8220-heard of Christmas&#8221- :-D , and I understand Robin Hanson&#8217-s reasoning. [*] That&#8217-s where my funding idea lays. The idea is to think hard about who &#8220-might actually be willing to pay&#8221-. I am thinking of a class or organizations that &#8220-might actually be willing to pay&#8221-, provided 2 things. Number one, that I operate a certain twist on my form of prediction market journalism. Number two, that this project becomes the project of many prediction market people, or, better, of the whole prediction market industry &#8212-not just Chris Masse&#8217-s one. Those 2 things are essential.
  9. So, Emile, wanna join the &#8220-Midas Oracle Project&#8220-?


The &#8220-high IQ&#8221- Robin Hanson:

Chris, you’ve heard of Christmas I presume. Many people circulate lists of items they might like for Christmas. If you did, would you circulate a list of million franc/dollar gift ideas for people to give you? Would you consider that list more honest/logical than a list of gifts of roughly the price you think others might actually be willing to pay?

8 thoughts on “Prediction markets = the future of journalism -said, from day one, Emile Servan-Schreiber of NewsFutures. Emile, if you have balls, lets do it -all together.

  1. Medemi said:


    common sense would suggest you’re way ahead of me, but still, I have this thought which I haven’t read about yet.

    What information is valuable to companies, people – the public ?

    Price changing events. A speech made by Bush, a televised Clinton-Obama debate. Actually we don’t care. Any event will do, and we can use prediction markets to determine/evaluate what is a price changing event and what isn’t, and report/discuss it.

    What we need is :

    Dynamic charts, a continuous flow of trading activity, real money markets. For starters….

    If you can do this, you have the “future of journalism”. Polls can do it, but they are slow, it’s just one snapshot, and they’re less reliable.

    Think about it, or maybe you have.


  2. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Medemi: The guy who is “ahead” is a guy named Justin Wolfers.

    – news is valuable to people

    – market-generated probabilities are valuable

    – betting advice is valuable

    I want to group all that in each story.

  3. Medemi said:


    Maybe you missed my point, maybe not.

    Poland was on for the Eurovision Song Contest, just now.

    She had a good performance, vocally, IMO. Commenters have their say, but all of this is non-informative. We can check whether she had a good performance, by looking at the price (=market generated probability).

    Timing is important.

    Price changing events (or not, when you expect it) = news value.

    Cause and effect…

  4. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Medemi: I fully agree with what you are saying.

  5. Medemi said:

    And those dumbass reporters can’t see it… :-D

  6. Medemi said:

    (It appeared I wasn’t logged on, that’s what the test was for)

    FYI, the price on Poland to win has dropped from 500 to 50.

    That’s because she can’t sing. But she did very well this time.

    In stead, I have to listen to some idiot commentator on TV, talking nonsense all the time. Ah well… nothing new there.


  7. Janet said:

    Political prediction markets should be a tool used by trusted political experts reporting on the horse races and other issues. It must be awesome predictions.

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