Ed Driscoll

Then: Pajamas. Now: OSM

The secret’s finally out the bag today: Pajamas Media is now OSM:

NEW YORK — A media Web site scheduled to debut Wednesday will seek to blend traditional journalism with the freeform commentary developed through the emerging Web format known as blogs.

Some 70 Web journalists, including Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds and David Corn, Washington editor of the Nation magazine, have agreed to participate in OSM – short for Open Source Media.

OSM will link to individual blog postings and highlight the best contributions, chosen by OSM editors, in a special section. Bloggers will be paid undisclosed sums based on traffic they generate.

The ad-supported OSM site will also carry news feeds from Newstex, which in turn receives stories from The Associated Press, Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service and other traditional media organizations.

“We’re deliberately trying to do something new by affiliating blog and mainstream people,” said Roger L. Simon, a blogger and the venture’s co-founder.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 9 percent of adult Internet users in the United States have created their own blogs, and about 25 percent read them. The audience tends to be more influential: blog postings can affect what news organizations cover or politicians discuss.

Many details of OSM remain unsettled. For example, OSM wants to create a mechanism for citizen journalists, including bloggers, to submit original news during natural disasters, civil unrest and other newsworthy events. Simon said organizers still have to come up with ways to check submissions for accuracy.

Initially, OSM will create blog-like discussion panels surrounding major news events, with three or four bloggers and non-blogging experts chosen to contribute.

Although Simon and co-founder Charles Johnson are often described as conservative, Simon said the site will transcend labels and include bloggers of all political leanings.

OSM was founded last year as Pajamas Media, a play on bloggers’ ability to opine from home at all hours, day or night. It has raised $3.5 million from venture capitalists.

Click on over, early and often: www.osm.org.

And now, I have to take my pajamas off–literally and figuratively–and get ready for the launch festivities!

(I organized an impromptu pre-launch party last night. OSM-member Jeff Goldstein couldn’t make it, and blogged about it from Denver. But as with his wall-to-wall coverage last year’s backstage at the NYC GOP convention (which he also covered live and in person from Colorado), he manages to craft a superb piece of Gonzo Gibson-fueled journalism that captures its essence via surrealism surpassing the actual event. And that’s saying something!

UPDATE: Fortunately, a photo was taken of the festivities.