Category Four: Noise – the best way of finding out who’s talking

Tahrir_Square_-_February_9,_2011

We are now in a world of participatory media – where those not professionally employed as journalists can easily contribute to the wider news ecosystem, and “commit acts of journalism”.

The effect of this on the journalistic process has been huge. In his book What Is Participatory Journalism?, J.D. Lasica categorises six distinct types of citizen journalism:

  • Audience participation (Commenting, personal blogs, photos or videos taken from mobile phones, or local news written by a community of residents)
  • Independent news and information websites
  • Participatory news sites
  • Collaborative and contributory media sites
  • Other kinds of “thin media” (mailing lists, email newsletters)
  • Personal broadcasting sites

With this volume of content coming from the public sphere – journalists need to know how to sift through it and include these contributions in their stories. What’s the best way of doing that?

If you’re thinking of taking on this category at Build The News, you need to think about:

  • Verification – is there an opportunity to create a platform to aid in online verification?
  • Filtering – UGC is taken from dozens of social media services. How can a journalist filter through the noise?
  • Location – how can you monitor a region for content from the crowd?
  • Licencing – once you’ve got hold of content, is there a way to effectively licence it?

Resources

One Twitter User Reports Live From Osama Bin Laden Raid

Storyful: Verifying images

Poynter: The 11 stages of citizen journalism

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