Wednesday, November 08, 2006

'Crowd-sourcing' and citizen journalism go mainstream in 'old media'

Those of you who check my profile will know I work for emap. It's also a matter of public record that the company is currently undergoing a strategic review of its business known as Magazines 2010 - with the assistance of the Boston Consultancy Group.

With that in mind, you'll understand why this particular post on Communities Dominate Brands is one I'm very keen to share - particularly with anyone working on Magazines 2010.

What it reveals is that the idea of citizen journalist and crowd-sourcing have come together, been tested and proven and are being rolled out across mainstream mass media in the United States TODAY.

The post, by Alan Moore, quotes Wired: "According to internal documents provided to Wired News and interviews with key executives, Gannett, the publisher of USA Today as well as 90 other American daily newspapers, will begin crowdsourcing many of its newsgathering functions. Starting Friday, Gannett newsrooms were rechristened "information centers," and instead of being organized into separate metro, state or sports departments, staff will now work within one of seven desks with names like "data," "digital" and "community conversation."

The article continues: "The initiative emphasizes four goals: Prioritize local news over national news; publish more user-generated content; become 24-7 news operations, in which the newspapers do less and the websites do much more; and finally, use crowdsourcing methods to put readers to work as watchdogs, whistle-blowers and researchers in large, investigative features.

Alan says: "What we have seen and witnessed over the last 15 months is a body politic that wants to engage, given the right context, in a process that they can share in, be part of."

Apart from today's post. I'd also recommend this post on Group Forming Network Theory which helps to explain WHY people are responding so well when provided with these routes to contribute and publish and why joining in them is so important.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?