“Open Journalism”, prepared by the World Editors Forum as part of the Shaping the Future of the News Publishing (SFN) research initiative, examines the fundamental shift in thinking that sees journalism as an ongoing, open process, rather than as a finished product.
“There is a clear, practical business case for supplementing reporting with information from elsewhere when you have fewer journalists who are trying to produce more content,” said Cherilyn Ireton, executive director of the World Editors Forum. “If you can save time by linking to other sources, or improve an article by tapping into the expertise of your audience, then why not?”
The Open Journalism report, which is offered at no cost to members of World Editors Forum and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), and to attendees at the upcoming World Editors Forum conference
in Kiev from 2 to 5 September can be found at www.wan-ifra.org/open_journalism_report
The report cites leading editors about how open journalism is changing journalistic practices and offers numerous examples, including:
- How Norran
in Sweden and Le Monde
in France introduced live chats that allow readers to enter the newsrooms virtually, suggest ideas and discuss ongoing stories with journalists. “In the old days we used to sit here guessing what our readers wanted,” said Anette Novak, former editor of Norran
. “We don't have to guess anymore, we can talk to them and ask them.”
- How The Guardian
in the United Kingdom has taken crowdsourcing to new levels, using social networks to find video and other evidence of wrongdoing by authorities, and using Twitter
to support on-the-ground reporting of the London riots and other stories.
- How the Danish daily Dagbladet Information
created a think tank to address the problems facing Denmark, and invited its readers to join experts, politicians, organisations, corporations and established think tanks. Through this blend of expert insight and popular opinion, the paper hoped to gain a more profound insight into the mood of the Danish people and how best to deal with the current political and economic environment.
- How the Colombian digital publication La Silla Vacía
worked with its audience to create Quién es Quién, a database of the country’s powerful and influential figures that offers profiles and links to stories about them. Users are invited to send in information to add to the database and do so in significant numbers. But this is more than a simple Wikipedia of the great and the good of Colombia: Quién es Quién can be filtered so that you can see important connections between these figures.
- How citizen media content has emerged as a significant source of reporting for Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Arab Spring and aftermath, and how the broadcaster’s ability to effectively source and verify user-generated content has become one of its major strengths. During the Egyptian revolution, 16 000 videos came to Al Jazeera in the space of 11 days.