by Mike Masnick

Small California Newspaper Opens Up Website To Citizen Reporters

from the changing-the-way-news-is-written dept

There was a lot of hype last year around Korea's Ohmynews service that let anyone write articles for it. While there have been some attempts to recreate it elsewhere, one of the most interesting is described in today's Wired News. Instead of just building a similar "citizen journalist" project from scratch, an already established newspaper in a small town in California has thrown open their website to local residents to publish their own articles or photos. The news covers typical local interest stories: school news, community news, youth sports, etc. There are editors on hand who review the submissions to make sure they're on topic. It's an experiment worth watching. While it's not likely such a system will replace existing journalists, it certainly is a way to enhance coverage. There are risks, of course, such as dealing with unsubstantiated or biased reporting in those cases, but as the article notes, it seems to work well in this type of community, where the focus really is on local events -- where many of those involved have a better handle on what's happening than a local reporter would.

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  • identicon
    ladygoat, 22 Jul 2004 @ 10:45am

    Excellent idea!

    It's a great idea. Reporters often have to choose between many events to cover or report on because of limited time, so this is an excellent way to create a newspaper that is truly more community based. It will probably help bring the residents closer together too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2004 @ 11:08am

      Re: Excellent idea!

      I have to agree. I think this is a fantastic way to get better articles. If people take the time to write these, most likely they are passionate about the topic. As long as editors are actively involved I would imagine this would result in a more interesting read.

      As to the issue of opinions ... it appears that more & more journalist don't report the news and answer the who, what, why, where & how questions anymore. Most journalist have begun spinning their articles to suit their own agendas or that of the publishing groups they work for.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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