Monday, March 19, 2007

Is this the new journalism?

I don't know if I should call it crowd-journalism or wiki-journalism, but NY Times describes a new news site that wants to explore collective open-source journalism.

All the World’s a Story

Journalism has always been a product of networks. A reporter receives an assignment, begins calling “sources” — people he or she knows or can find. More calls follow and, with luck and a deadline looming, the reporter will gain enough mastery of the topic to sit down at a keyboard and tell the world a story.

A new experiment wants to broaden the network to include readers and their sources. Assignment Zero (, a collaboration between Wired magazine and NewAssignment.Net, the experimental journalism site established by Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at New York University, intends to use not only the wisdom of the crowd, but their combined reporting efforts — an approach that has come to be called “crowdsourcing.”

The idea is to apply to journalism the same open-source model of Web-enabled collaboration that produced the operating system Linux, the Web browser Mozilla and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

I will freely admit that I have conflicted feelings about this.
While I find the idea interesting, and can see how it can work (as seen in rare occations with blogs), the examples of the problems with Wikipedia and many blog-based stories shows the potential problems with this idea. There is also a huge potential for ideology coming in the way of the story.

Personally I feel that a similar project using freelance journalists would have a greater potential to succeed.

Other links:
Assignment Zero webpage
Wired article about the subject

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Anonymous Rasmus said...

Hej Kristjan

Jeg ved ikke om du har set det, men evolution/ID-filmen Flock of Dodos bliver vist på Natfilm festivalen i Kbh:

Instruktøren Randy Olson stiller endda op til en debat med en kreationist den 27, og kommer i Deadline.

March 19, 2007 5:53 PM  
Blogger Kristjan Wager said...

Det havde forbigået min opmærksomhed.

Mange tak fordi du fortalte det - jeg må helt klart ind og se den.

[For the non-Danish speakers, Rasmus was kind enough to bring to my attention that A Flock of Dodos is being shown in Copenhagen in a couple of weeks, and that Randy Olson will be showing up.
I will certainly go and watch it.]

March 19, 2007 6:24 PM  

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