The Guardian is launching a team focused on multimedia aspects of breaking news stories. The project will deal specifically with sources of technology and crowdsourcing that will ameliorate the newspaper's ability to tell stories online.
Reporter Paul Lewis was promoted within the Guardian to lead the new multimedia team. He was distinguished for using sources of multimedia to cover in-depth details pertaining to the death of Ian Tomlinson at the 2009 G20 protest in London. As a result of his investigative work, Lewis won reporter of the year at the 2010 British Press Awards along with the Bevins Prize Rat Up a Drain Pipe Award for outstanding investigative journalism.
According to Press Gazette, a Guardian News & Media representative stated "Plans for our new special projects team are still being developed. Dan Roberts, who takes over as the Guardian's national news editor next month, will be working with Paul to appoint a small number of staff with a range of relevant skills from within the newsroom and we will be advertising internally for these posts shortly."
Crowdsourcing is becoming an increasing important method in investigative journalism, and the Guardian has already used this trend to break several news stories. Earlier this year, the Guardian invited its readers to investigate their MP's spending habits. With the help of citizen journalists, the Guardian was able to research thousands of pages regarded how government officials were using tax dollars. This labor intensive project would not have been physically possible without the aid of crowdsourcing.
In an era where the economics of the newspaper industry are unfavorable to old-fashioned investigative measures, factors of multimedia are crucial to journalism. International reporting became unsustainable for some as newspapers' revenue fell; yet platforms such as Ushahidi allow news organizations to continue investigative reports in hard-to-reach locations. Measures that include citizen journalism have proven to not only generate more news, they also increase readership and increase engagement.