Ohmynews And Its Citizen Reporters

from the wave-of-the-future? dept

In the last month or so, I keep hearing people talk about south Korea’s Ohmynews web site (which is only available in Korean). The idea is simple. Instead of staffing a full news room with reporters, the site gets most of its content from “citizen reporters”, who submit the various stories it publishes each day. Regular newspapers scoff at the concept, saying that it raises questions about credibility and hidden agendas – though, recent events at the NY Times suggest that even established “reporters” have those problems. The folks who run Ohmynews say that they do quite a bit of fact checking on the stories submitted – so in some cases, there may be even more credibility than weakly fact-checked “professional” newspapers. Some of the contributors are paid for their submissions – depending on how important the stories are deemed. It sounds interesting, but after reading the whole article, it’s not entirely clear how this concept is all that different than the way most news organizations deal with “freelance” writers. The major difference is that Ohmynews goes out of its way to encourage more freelancers to try to write for the site. Still, with things like the NY Times scandal, and the rise of “blogging commentators”, it wouldn’t surprise me to find this model gain much more acceptance around the world – making it easier for anyone to produce content for some major news sources. A site like Salon, for instance, could embrace this type of reporting, and expand its coverage, while increasing its variety and depth at very little cost.

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Comments on “Ohmynews And Its Citizen Reporters”

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dorpus says:

Mob Rule

It was exactly this mechanism that led South Koreans to have such a hysterical anti-American reaction a few months ago when a couple of girls got run over by an army truck. Department stores put up signs telling American customers to stay out.

If this pattern of anti-American mob democracy persists, I wonder if we won’t become more vindictive as well. If, say, a Korean immigrant runs over Americans with his car, then we would burn Korean flags all over America and Wal-Mart posts signs telling Korean customers to stay out.

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