"About Stratfor: Intelligence vs. Journalism is republished with permission of Stratfor."
Intelligence means three things to us. First, it is our method for gathering and processing information, which includes open-source publications in countries and languages all over the world and a large network of contacts.
Second, intelligence is how we critically examine and evaluate the context and predictive value of information, and it is how we connect our higher-level, strategic geopolitical framework to current events and breaking developments. We do not simply report what other articles or contacts say; rather, we evaluate their information for bias, agenda and context and only pass on what we find important and credible.
Third, we maintain a disciplined methodology and net assessments oriented toward forecasting -- explaining not only why something has happened but also what will happen next.
We seek to understand a country and its leaders in their own right, without bias or agenda. We maintain a fresh perspective and continually challenge preconceived notions. Because of this approach, we frequently depart from the conventional wisdom of the Western media. To reinforce this discipline, we have set up deliberate intellectual tensions to maintain a healthy level of interaction and rigorous debate among our entire team, so that no assumption or piece of information goes unchallenged.
Read more: Methodology | Stratfor
By their definition, STRATFOR GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE doesn't just collect the who, what, when, where, and how, of a story's past, but also analyze WHY, and infer "What's next?", to effectively predict the future.
I'm impressed with their model, and it may lead to a new form of business, to replace or perhaps supplement the traditional business model. Imagine, if a journalist can tell you the facts, but you will not pay for them, except by your attention and subject yourself to embedded advertising, but then that same reporter offers you an additional service, one that you must pay for, but is independent, expert, timely, and unique. Will you pay for their intelligence, analysis, and predictions? I believe that I would, and will.
With today's information technology, and the ability to collect revenue online, to bid and auction things of value, it may become possible to gain financially based upon your reputation for honest, accurate analysis and the educated forecast of upcoming events. Just as weathermen and stock-brokers were once trusted and valued moderators of information, in a world of increasing and accelerating uncertainty, having access to better intelligence focused minds, may increase the probability of success (survival), just as it always has.
The key will be to build a reputation worthy of trust.