Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Crowdsourcing Strengthens Journalism, says NYU Prof

In this course we have often discussed the pros and cons to new media outlets (blogs, social media, etc.), but in this recent piece Jay Rosen, NYU journalism professor of 25 years, seems to definitively answer the question--The more people who participate in it the stronger the press will be.

Here is an excerpt of his argument:

"According to the internet’s one percent rule, a very small portion of the users will become serious contributors, which is still a lot of people. Let’s say you’re a beat reporter who has a niche blog on the local public schools (like this one) with a loyal user base of 10,000. If the one percent rule is accurate, 100 of those loyal users are likely to become heavy contributors if given the chance. They should be given that chance. It will strengthen the site. That’s what I believe. But we still don’t know much about how to make these pro-am combinations work, because for a very long time the news system was optimized for low participation. Switching it over is extremely difficult work. Even CNN’s i-Report, which claims 750,000 contributors worldwide, is poorly integrated into the main CNN newsroom. In what Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, calls the “mutualization” of journalism, most of the big discoveries lie ahead of us. We ought to get cracking.

You can read the full article here.

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