Chapter 3 Crowd-Powered Collaboration

Chapter three of  Journalism Next 3rd Edition  discusses ‘crowd-powered collaboration’.  What does that mean you may ask? To start you off don’t think of crowd-powered collaboration as a type of technology you would use. Instead view it as “how to harness a wide array of digital tools to knock down barriers, to bring journalists closer to readers and readers closer to journalism.”(p.92)


There are three terms you must understand in order to effectively collaborated with the crowd.

  1. Crowdsourcing is a term that is derived from ‘outsourcing’ & they are very similar. To crowd source is to “harness the sustained power of community to improve a service or information base.”(p.93) While this form of sourcing is still largely an experiment in the journalistic world many news organizations work to leverage the audience in their favor.
  2. Open-source reporting this refers to design, development and distribution. This style of sourcing is dependent on transparency. With the advent of social media sites such as twitter journalist have been able to become closer to their readers. Unlike crowdsourcing where a reporter would ask the audience a specific type of question for assistance. “Open-source means pulling the curtain back on the reporting process and welcoming the audience’s feedback”(p.99)
  3. Pro-Am Journalism is the equivalent of Do-It-Yourself tutorials for journalist. “The essence of pro-am journalism is simple once you understand that no news organization can be everywhere all the time. Readers provided the ‘what’; journalists can then provide the  ‘why’.”(p.103)
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Each form of sourcing has their advantages. The news organizations & reporters that use crowd-powered collaboration the best are those who incorporate all three elements of sourcing. Build and manage a community online and make your news collaborative. “The power of the Web comes from its interactivity. The link, which connects one piece of information to another, is the primary building block of the digital age.”(p.114) The next important tool is the concept of commenting, or contributing by the audience. Be sure the site you are using makes it easy for the audience to comment and or contribute.