WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Fri - 29.08.2014


user-generated content

WhoRunsGov.com, a Washington Post-run site that tracks D.C. politicians, emerged from beta this week with two new platforms for user-generated content. The site is billed as a "moderated wiki," with 700 profiles of US lawmakers, members of Obama's administration and other government officials.

The site first launched in January. Since the public launch, users can create new profiles or modify existing content, although WhoRunsGov.com staff will monitor their contributions. Profiles are a bit of a mash-up between a Wikipedia entry and a Facebook page, with photos and YouTube videos as well as links to the profiles of "key associates" and related news stories. Much like Wikipedia, the content is backed up by links to outside sources, most of which are not WaPo news stories.

There are two new projects that specifically draw on user contributions. The first, Reform Tracker, seeks to define every Senator and Congressperson's position on healthcare. Who Runs Gov 2.0 gathers information on the people who are mapping out the government's technology policy.

Author

Liz Webber

Date

2009-09-10 15:39

Last May, Washingtonpost.com introduced a new commenting system for its video features that seeks to make order of the sometimes chaotic comment field. Called "WebCom," the interface lays out comments in a web to show which are the most popular with other readers and which have received the most replies.

Unlike on many other newspaper sites, when a comment was made has no bearing on its placement in the web. Rather, those that have sparked the most follow-up discussion appear closer to the center and those ranked most popular by other readers appear the largest. Different colors are used to distinguish which comments are the most recent.

While few readers have expressed disapproval over the switch to WebCom, interestingly certain WaPo editors said they preferred the traditional list format so developers have since added that option. One drawback to the advanced interface is that it doesn't work on mobile devices or with certain older browsers, thus only about 85 percent of visitors can see it.

Author

Liz Webber

Date

2009-09-03 15:42

The virtue of the Internet is its inclusive, interactive nature. News sites' reader comment sections provide users with the chance to air their own views and debate stories of particular interest. Yet, as these conversations at times degenerate into uncivilised virtual sparring contests, or are hijacked by prejudiced and abusive persons, website managers are increasingly having to review their comments section policy.

The Fargo Forum experiment is a fitting example of this state of affairs. Six months ago, the North Dakota news site took the opportunity with the upgrading of its server software to liberalise its user comments policy. Reader comments, regardless of content could be published freely and the Forum would only interfere if a posting received a complaint. Unfortunately, the freedom was exploited by "a few bad apples" according to the Forum's editor Matthew Von Pinnon, and the quality of the debates degenerated into "low and petty discourse". Six months later, the experiment was abandoned.

Author

Christie Silk

Date

2009-07-23 17:04

The fast-moving world of news media demands innovation, and there is little guarantee of success. Yet, as the foundering of the Printed Blog experiment in the US has shown, efforts at something new, whatever their success, emerge to inspire and inform. Thus, a new project, the Blogpaper is being developed in the UK based on a similar concept to the Printed Blog whereby content generated online is collated into a printed newsheet.

The project is in its beta stages. In theory, the blogpaper will be the collected effort of an online "news community", which will create written and multimedia content, to be ranked by fellow members of the community. If a piece of content receives sufficient support, it will be printed and moved onto the front pages of the site. The project aims to widen participation in publishing decisions, so that rather than a select group exerting control over what content is published and consequently read, the "blogpaper is aiming at putting the majority in charge".

In an interview with journalism.co.uk Anton Waldburg, explains how his team will learn from the trial and error of the late American experiment in terms of funding, content generation and sustainability.

Author

Christie Silk

Date

2009-07-20 12:18

The Printcasting model is on its way to "democratise" print publishing in more cities in the US, it was announced last week. The initiative, financed by the winnings of the 2008 Knight News Challenge, has made its first newspaper partnership with Denver-based MediaNews Group. The publishing group controls 54 daily newspapers in 11 states, including The Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News.

The project originated out of the newspaper, the Bakersfield Californian and first went public in March to cater for the town of Bakersfield, California.

Author

Christie Silk

Date

2009-07-02 16:23

True/Slant is a recent arrival on the online-only news scene, aiming to offer a voice not only to its 100 or so contributors, but to the reader and the advertiser also. It is not a typical news site offering breaking news, but rather features commentary, opinion and some original reporting. Based in New York, the start-up has just six full-time staff, led by founder and CEO Lewis Dvorkin who has a total of 35 years of media experience, the last 12 of which has been in online news. The other employees have a similar mix of traditional and new media backgrounds, he said. T/S is a privately held company funded by Forbes Media and Velocity Interactive Group. The Editors Weblog spoke to Dvorkin to find out more.

The five differences

Dvorkin stressed the five ways in which T/S is "very different from any other news site." Firstly, because of the tools that it gives its journalists to create their own original content in real time. Second, because of its approach to copyright: contributors are encouraged to offer their perspective "around a piece of content that might have been produced elsewhere." Third, the relationship between the contributor and the audience is different because the contributors are contractually obliged to interact with their community. The last two differences are that the journalists have a variety of salary options and that the site has adopted an unusual approach to advertising.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2009-06-17 12:05

In a joint effort, two News Corp owned groups MySpace and Fox News, are launching uReport, a citizen journalism page where MySpace users can upload photos and videos into several news categories. If the content they submit seems pertinent to Fox News, they may have a chance to be aired on their television channel or FoxNews.com.

Fox News' Digital Vice President Jeff Misenti said "the MySpace uReport community presents an extraordinary opportunity to expand our network of citizen journalists and provides another platform on which FOX News can engage and connect with its fans."

uReport will not be the same as CNN's iReport (launched over a year ago) in that users will not be able to upload stories, just images and video; also, it does not have its own web page. According to Tameka Kee, writer for paidContent.org, the page is currently "pretty bare, sans thumbnails of Fox News personalities and links to their MySpace profile pages." She also adds that "The name 'uReport' is a nice play on the Fox News catchphrase 'We Report.You Decide,' and, of course, it's the opposite of CNN's 'iReport.'"

Author

Marion Geiger

Date

2009-04-22 13:13

At South by Southwest 2009, the talk entitled 'User Generated Content: State of the Union', was chaired by Chris Tolles of Topix.com, who said that the concept of UGC is "integral" to the Internet. He compared the top 10 sites now with those from 10 years ago, and noted the shift towards user content frameworks such as YouTube and Facebook. With regard to online news publications, the option for users to comment at the end of articles is common practice - although not without its problems.

Author

Helena Deards

Date

2009-03-18 17:19

It's a constant theme at the moment, but an important one nonetheless; Twitter as a journalistic tool. The question has been raised once again by Poynter journalist Dave Poulson, who last week followed the Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm's annual state of the state speech.

Whilst watching the speech, Poulson asked his followers if there had been a 'hashtag' created for the event - there had, #MiSOTS (Michigan State of the State). 'Hashtags' are keywords preceeded by a # on a particular topic, and when Tweeters are posting on the said topic they include the 'hashtag' in their post. This allows other users to search and follow all the Tweets containing it, and effectively join the conversation. As the speech was ongoing, people watching it were Tweeting their responses and thoughts to the governor's points as she made them. One journalist said that the responses were helping his journalistic perception of the event by "giving him a feel for how people were reacting to a very critical speech to a very economically depressed state."

Author

Helena Deards

Date

2009-02-09 12:01

Thomson Reuters plans to "roll out a major social media coverage package "to enhance its coverage of the World Economic Forum which begins tomorrow in Davos, Switzerland. Reporters will use Twitter and YouTube to share video and updates from the Forum.

According to Mark Jones, global community editor at Thomson Reuters, "We want to turn the coverage around, by asking delegates what they think the biggest issues facing the global economy are, then use social media to let the public offer their opinion."

CNN used social media, such as Facebook, to cover Barack Obama's inauguration. In addition, Twitter has proved effective in breaking news faster than most agencies, the most recent example being the plane crash in the Hudson River in New York City.

Author

Lauren Drablier

Date

2009-01-27 16:40

Syndicate content

Editors Weblog

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.


© 2013 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation