WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Wed - 26.11.2014


crowdsourcing

For the citizens of Torrington, Connecticut, the local newsroom of The Register Citizen is as readily accessible as any other coffee shop, offering free Wi-Fi, computers, and open discussion between journalists and readers Monday through Saturday. As we previously reported, Journal Register Co.’s The Register Citizen opened its Newsroom Café in December 2010 as a way to include members of the community in the local journalism process, embracing digital-first policies in accordance with CEO John Paton’s vision for the company.

Readers are invited to sit in on editorial meetings, which are held at 4 pm each day and live-streamed online, as well as contribute story ideas and inform editors of article corrections needed. The newsroom also has a Community Media Lab, which provides workspace for local bloggers, citizen journalists and researchers, as well as offering full access to The Register Citizen archives.

Author

Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-20 17:23

Somalia is usually in the limelight for crises: civil war, famine, drought, Somalian pirates attacking international shipping... And when the spotlight turns off it's hard to maintain the international community's attention focused on the country.

This is the aim of Somalia Speaks, a project launched recently by a joint team of partners "to catalyze global media attention on Somalia by letting Somali voices take center stage", as Patrick Meier of Ushahidi, one of the founder organizations, explained - and all this via SMS services.

Somalia Speaks is the result of multiple efforts. It is hosted - and publicised - by Al Jazeera; the SMS messaging service is provided by Souktel, a Palestinian-based organization, while Ushahidi - whose role is well-known in crisis mapping - and Crowdflower - a crowdsourcing platform - translate, categorize and map the incoming responses.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-10 12:30

'Hatchet Job': a term first used in 1944, denoting 'a forceful or malicious verbal attack'. So who would want to celebrate 'hatchet jobs' in literary criticism? The Omnivore would, that's who.

Too often, the Omnivore believes, the review sections of newspapers, especially the books section, go ignored by readers because the writing is "inward-looking and self-serving." The publication, which aggregates and showcases criticism relating to literature, film and theatre to provide readers a "cross section of critical opinion", is running the 'Hatchet Job of the Year' award that aims to reward book reviews that are "not simply informative, but entertaining". Anna Baddeley from The Omnivore team explained to the Editors Weblog why celebrating the hatchet job is the ideal way to encourage great quality literary criticism.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-12-20 20:04

The community-funded news platform Spot.Us announced this week that it has been acquired by the Public Insight Network (PIN).

Spot.Us is site that allows readers to make microdonations towards journalism stories. The site displays journalist's pitches for public interest stories as well as readers' tips and suggested assignments. Users can donate to individual projects, and when the funding target is reached, the journalist who has proposed the story is paid to write it. To preserve editorial independence, there's a limit on how much individual users can donate. The finished story is licensed under Creative Commons, and Spot.Us distributes it to as many publishing outlets as possible.

Spot.Us was launched in November 2008 by David Cohn, with the aid of $340,000 of funding from the Knight News Foundation. Its business model has developed since its launch; in May 2010 it unrolled a "community centered advertising project" which allowed users to respond to market research surveys in exchange for credit to fund stories on the site.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2011-12-01 13:50

The Danish Daily Dagbladet Information has launched a think tank that aims to address the problems facing Denmark and the country's new government. The results will be handed over to the new Prime Minister Helle Thorning -Schmidt after she has completed 100 days in office.

The interesting thing about this research project? Everyone is invited.

Readers of Information are invited to contribute to the think tank, appropriately named 100 Dage (100 Days) , alongside NGOs, experts, politicians, organisations, corporations and even established think tanks.

Through this blend of expert insight and popular opinion, the paper hopes to gain a more profound insight into the mood of the Danish people and how best to deal with the current political and economic environment.

Nikolai Thyssen, from Information, said in an email interview "we're breaking the silos in which political discussions usually take place (politicians talking to civil servants, economists talking to think tanks, activists talking to NGOs etc. etc.)". The crowd sourcing method is a means of shaking up the traditional method of political research encouraging "new lines of thought".

Read a full interview with Nikolai Thyssen here.

WAN-IFRA: First and foremost, can you give a brief summary of the concept and

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-09-26 16:30

What to do when you have been given a plethora of official communiqués and you need to read each one of them to uncover a potential story?

The answer: crowdsource.

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks released a bumper crop of approximately 35,000 diplomatic cables between the U.S. and 20 other embassies and consulates.

The task of wading through them was daunting, yet by outsourcing this task to followers of WikiLeaks on Twitter, who collate their finds under the hash-tag #wlfind, new finds are gradually being broken via the micro-blogging site.

The list of contacts on WikiLeaks' online data base shows messages between the UK, Austria, Brussels, Spain, a host of African nations, Vietnam, Iraq and Lebanon, to name a few.

So what are the advantages to crowd-sourcing tasks like this?

Obviously, systematically sorting through such a database has its challenges: for instance, where to start?

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-08-25 16:24

Education, along with health and taxes, is a principal public concern; politicians win elections because of it, and therefore it's vital that newspapers provide good coverage of it.

Both The Guardian and The New York Times have launched crowd-sourcing projects on their websites, which intend to provide readers with information relating to the quality of schools.

As it is GCSE results day in the UK, The Guardian has appealed to teachers on its website to fill in a simple online form, which will then allow them to map the exam results of schools across the country.

Parents in the U.K. are fairly well informed about the exam results produced in their area, as official league tables, which rank local schools based on exam performance, have been widely available and The Department for Education makes performance tables form as far back as 1994 available to the public on its website.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-08-25 13:14

Anette Novak, Editor-In-Chief of local Swedish paper Norran believes that newspapers should be harnessing the power of social media. In 2009 she introduced a live chat function to her paper's website so that readers can talk to journalists in the newsroom, as long as it is manned. She says the change has not only proved popular, it's also "good for democracy."


Novak is scheduled to speak at the 18th World Editors Forum in Vienna (12-15 October) about how to build a community around your newspaper.

WAN-IFRA: Today lots of people read the news in a different context: online, on their phones, on tablets. What does this mean for newspaper editors who want to build a community around their papers?

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2011-08-18 19:32

Reporting a tragedy of any magnitude is a test of any journalist or news organisation. Unfortunately, recent days have produced a string of grievous events which pose great challenges to journalists who are traditionally tasked with informing the public.

However, as everyone knows, the dynamic in the newsroom has changed. The audience can now inform journalists, who then distribute information more widely, informing a wider audience in their turn. This process of audience participation in generating news widely occurs through social media. The death of singer Amy Winehouse and the recent bombings and shooting in Norway have both been the subject of vast discussion via social media.

How should journalists respond to this mass of information and turn it into a story? As previously reported, the website Storify is one method via which journalists can collate and create a narrative, gathering information from several sources. In essence, this website provides a means of editing, or rather curating, information gathered from sites like Facebook, Flickr and particularly, from Twitter. This kind of collection of participatory social media is often referred to as 'crowd sourcing'.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-07-25 16:43

On Friday 10 June the state of Alaska released 24,199 pages of emails that Sarah Palin sent and received during her first 22 months' tenure as governor of Alaska.
Mother Jones, msnbc.com and ProPublica are partnering in publishing an online searchable archive of the emails.

As Mother Jones reported, this saga began with a request that David Corn, Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief, made almost three years ago.
As Corn reported, when John McCain chose Palin in 2008 as his vice in the presidential election running, reporters started a rush in digging into her past looking for interesting information.

Even before that time, in June 2008, Andrée McLeod, a citizen activist in Alaska, used the state's open-records law to request emails sent to and from two Palin's top aides to investigate the pair's political behaviour during official business hours.

You can have a look to the different states' Freedom of Information statues on the Freedom of Information (FOI) Center.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-06-13 18:30

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The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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