Swedish Newspaper Has Tremendous Success 'Beta Testing' Article On The Pirate Bay

from the good-for-them dept

Last week, in talking about how the Wall Street Journal had laid off its librarians, I suggested that newspapers could start trying a more "open research" system where they ask their community to help them with the research. To be honest, I was cheating a bit in writing that -- as I already knew of a newspaper testing exactly that concept. However, I wanted to see the responses from people before pointing that example out. And, of course, I got some angry responses (especially from librarians, actually). I tried to make it clear that I know librarians are quite good at what they do, and aren't easily "replaced" by crowdsourced research -- but that if you are getting rid of librarians, why not use a more open approach to getting research done?

So... on to the experiment where that's actually happening. Swedish news organization Sydsvenskan was working on a feature piece for this past weekend all about what's happening to journalism -- from the economics to the technology to the culture. But, last week, a few days before the article was set to run, the folks writing it uploaded a "beta" draft version to The Pirate Bay and asked anyone who wanted to look at it, to check it out. And check it out they did. They provided a bunch of additional info, including some corrections -- and ideas for future pieces. In other words, it was a huge success in using the community to help do the research, even on such a controversial topic. The writers admitted that some got upset at the experiment (especially the idea that they might be "legitimizing" The Pirate Bay on the eve of the trial), but that, as an experiment, the project seemed quite worthwhile.
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Filed Under: beta test, news, newspaper, research, sweden
Companies: sydsvenskan, the pirate bay

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  1. identicon
    Dan, 16 Feb 2009 @ 1:42pm

    As a subscriber to Sydsvenskans paper I have read most of what has been written about their move (culture section of the paper) in the last week. There's people who think what they did was very innovative and cool and others who just think it was a populist move to ride media-craze-Pirate-Bay-wave. My personal opinion was that there was genuine interest from them to try this out but it would be naive to not think that they wanted to hit said wave...their running a business after all.

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