Simply put: civic journalism worked. Readers and viewers got it. We learned that if you deliberately build in simple ways for people to participate — in community problems or elections — many will engage. Particularly if they feel they have something to contribute to the problem. (via If audience engagement is the goal, it’s time to look back at the successes of civic journalism for answers » Nieman Journalism Lab)Jan Schaffer recalls “civic journalism” before the WWW and reminds us that it worked and is actually a precursor of “citizen journalism.” The ideas were in place, just waiting for technology to catch up.
The finding that sharing is more common than newsgathering is not an entirely unexpected or new development. A 2011 national survey on local news behaviors found that 25% of adults share links to existing local news stories or videos, while just 5% contribute original articles, opinion pieces, photos or videos about their local community online. It’s always been far easier to share than to produce original reporting. The question is whether advancements in mobile technology and live video streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat could make newsgathering and distribution easier for public participants. And, of course, bystanders have to be in a position to have information to contribute to the news.(via News audiences spread the word, but few get involved in local journalism | Pew Research Center)
Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy Tony Curzon Price, commenting on the Demotix site, echoed the sentiment “we’re rebuilding the media, piece by piece – Demotix’s citizen journalist collective and openDemocracy’s open-source analysis and commentary will bring new media and new models into a mixture of text and picture that is not just a replacement, but better than what came before”. The two sites share a fundamental ethos: open participation and comment with a global reach. openDemocracy functions on contributions from experts and on the ground witnesses, funded by its charitable status, a number of Trust Foundations and individuals. Demotix, founded in September 2008, works by taking user-generated content and photographs from amateurs and freelancers and marketing them to mainstream media agencies. 70 per cent of any fee charged is given back to the original providers of the material.
On a disaggregated Web, it seems, people and advertisers simply will not pay anything like the whole freight for investigative reporting. But Hamilton thinks advances in computing can alter the economic equation, supplementing and, in some cases, even substituting for the slow, expensive and eccentric humans required to produce in-depth journalism as we’ve known it. via Media Articles | Deep Throat Meets Data Mining | Miller-McCune Online Magazine. Economist James Hamilton is thinking abouthow we pay (or won’t pay) for investigative news. By using artificial intelligence to take drudgery out of the reporting, he will cut costs.
ProPublica | Eye on the Bailout. From pro to am, journalist to citizen journalist, here is a resource from the nonprofit ProPublica that puts transparency into the bailout process. From a widget that lets you see if your bank is getting money, to a timeline showing how got where we are now, to a searchable database of recipients of the aid. There is more. Head over, bookmark the site, and get busy checking to see if yours