JOURN 475 - Crowdsourcing & Journalism


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This lecture focuses on the new "crowdsourcing" movement in journalism.

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JOURN 475 - Crowdsourcing & Journalism

  1. 1. Crowdsourcing & Journalism JOURN 475
  2. 2. What is “Crowdsourcing?” <ul><li>A collaborative form of reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Each contributor researches and contributes a component to the overall piece </li></ul><ul><li>The actual story may or may not be written by a collaborator </li></ul><ul><li>Content is usually overseen by a centralized editor </li></ul>
  3. 3. “Pro-Am” Journalism <ul><li>Crowdsourcing is often referred to as “pro-am journalism” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A combination of both professional and amateur contributions </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Examples of “Crowdsourcing” <ul><li>In Journalism: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> and NYU: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minnesota Public Radio: Public Insight Journalism </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Gannett Restructuring <ul><li>Major media company Gannett restructured most of its print and Web operations to include “crowdsourcing” in Nov. 2006 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Information Centers” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gannett is the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S. (by circulation) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Seven “Information Centers” <ul><li>Digital — selecting the best platform for news delivery; </li></ul><ul><li>Public Service — extending First Amendment coverage, in part by involving readers and asking for community input on investigative areas; </li></ul><ul><li>Community Conversation — expanding the concept of the editorial page; managing staff commentary, from editorials and blogs to columns; and encouraging community participation online; </li></ul><ul><li>Local — expanding local coverage and re-establishing sports, business and feature reporting into hyper-local areas; </li></ul><ul><li>Custom Content — connecting with identified target audiences and looking for efficiencies in repurposing content across all platforms; </li></ul><ul><li>Data — elevating the practice of managing and acquiring deep local information; </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia — leading all visual presentation across every platform; photographers will be trained for any type of multimedia. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Pros <ul><li>Community involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency of reporting process </li></ul><ul><li>Micro-reporting of events and developments normally missed by mainstream media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Hyper-local” reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Builds valuable “database” of content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tomorrow’s “reporters” may also be “database managers” </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Cons <ul><li>“Amateur” reporting has its risks </li></ul><ul><li>Majority rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories only developed because users ask for it (or participate in it) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subject to manipulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Political or personal agendas might inspire disproportionate coverage of particular issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff reporters might lose some value </li></ul>
  9. 9. “Assignment Zero” <ul><li>Launched March 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Users “log in” to find potential news story assignments that they can contribute to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggest questions for the reporter to ask </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct research/interviews for the story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In some cases, you can actually write the full story </li></ul></ul>
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