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Open source journalism

Page history last edited by pbworks 9 years, 8 months ago

Open Source Journalism at Wired.com

 

Dylan Tweney, Senior editor, Wired.com

 

Dan Gillmor says "my readers know more than I do." We've embraced that UK Essay Writing philosophy in many (but not all) aspects of news production at Wired.com, through the use of blogs, wikis, interactive polls, crowdsourced journalism projects, and more.Logo Design Contest

 

In this session, I plan to talk for about 5-7 minutes about the kinds of "open-source journalism" experiments that we've been using at Wired.com over the past year. After that, let's have a conversation about techniques for news gathering/writing/publishing techniques that engage the knowledge and intelligence of "the people formerly known as the audience."

 

My goal is to get a conversation going in this session that will generate ideas all journalists can use, on blogs, wikis, web sites, newspapers, and YouTube channels. Of course I'll take these ideas back to the office too.

 

I'm a senior editor at Wired.com. This is a picture of me.

 

 

UPDATE 3/1/2008: Thanks to everyone who showed up for this talk at Bil. I enjoyed talking with you and appreciate your suggestions and ideas.Write My Essay For Me

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Here are my notes for the talk I gave.

 

My readers know more than I do.

This is newspaperman Dan Gillmor's motto

http://www.dangillmor.com/

It's also something I realize nearly every day at Wired.

Journalism = Telling true stories.

This is my working definition.

Important addition: telling stories about things people care about -- and usually about new information (aka "the news")

There's craft involved: Not just listing the facts, but putting them together in a readable package that people will want to read.

Not opposed to blogging: In fact many of the best journalists working now are bloggers.

And not every so-called journalist deserves the title.

Journalism is a conversation.

It's not a one-way broadcast any more, if it ever was. The key is to engage readers and provoke discussion -- then incorporate what you learn into the next story, or use that feedback to revise the current story. Do this rapidly and iteratively for the best results.

These techniques go way back.

Newspapers have been doing "iterative" reporting for years: e.g. Woodward & Bernstein breaking the Watergate story day after day

Papers have also long relied on readers for information, via tips lines, reader photos, letters to the editor, even the classifieds were a form of crowdsourced information and communication.

What's new: Digital tools and interactivity.

The attitude is new, too -- no longer "we know best" but rather much more in a dialog with readers

There are tools that can facilitate that.

What follows is a bag of tricks we've used on Wired.com, which you can adapt to use on your blog, website, newspaper, etc.

Blog Comments

View comments as a tip line

Respond to readers in the comments to facilitate conversational feel

Incorporate comments into followup blog posts or fuller stories

Recognize reader contributions (give shout-outs for useful comments)

What Do You Want Us to Ask?

Call for questions prior to an interview

Example: Help Threat Level interview Michael Chertoff

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/02/help-threat-lev.html

Contests

Essay Writing UK | Buy an Essay

Ask people to submit photos, stories, renderings, ideas, ...

For photo contests, you can collect submissions via Flickr photo pools

 

Holga Photos -- call for entries: http://www.wired.com/culture/art/news/2008/02/holga_submissions

http://www.wired.com/culture/art/multimedia/2008/02/gallery_holga_top_10

http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/multimedia/2008/02/gallery_holga_faves?slide=4&slideView=2

 

Transformers photos

http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2007/06/transformers-fa.html

http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/multimedia/2007/07/gallery_transformers_fans

Wikis

Wired's How-to Wiki

http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Main_Page

Seems better-suited to "evergreen" content than breaking news

Explicitly Crowdsourced Reporting & Editing

Jay Rosen's NewAssignment.net / Wired News collaboration

In summer of 2007, Assignment Zero -- a Newassignment project -- produced about 80 stories, all using crowdsourced reporting & editing techniques; Wired.com published about a dozen of them

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2007/07/view_from_crowds

http://zero.newassignment.net/

Won honorable mention in the the Knight-Batten awards for innovative journalism: "An intriguing open-source experiment by NewAssignment.net and Wired News to harness the collective wisdom and expertise of members of the public under the guidance of professional journalists in reporting and writing stories."  http://www.j-lab.org/ba07winners.shtml

 

Similar project continues on HuffPo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/off-the-bus/

Interactive Widgets and Apps

Wired.com often uses a Reddit-powered widget to collect reader submissions on a topic. It lets people vote submissions up and down with a single click.

Example: Google Street View finds: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/05/request_for_urb.html

Saddest Cubicle Contest: http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/10/enter-our-sadde.html

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We also used a Flash-based "bracket" style game to help readers select "the top gadgets of all time":

http://www.wired.com/special_multimedia/2007/gadget_tournament/

provider: Voxpop

Anonymous tips line

Secure email "drop box" on Threat Level blog provided by Hushmail

We stopped using this because we learned that Hushmail will disclose people's data under court order, so it's not reliably anonymous. (And yes, we reported on this!)

You could also publish PGP keys but this is too complicated for most readers.

Suggestions welcome!

Facebook

Groups and fan pages: e.g. Wired Science on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wired-Science-Blog/6607338526

Could be useful for promoting events

Also quite useful just for communicating with sources: Status updates can lead to stories!

Microblogging

Twitter / del.icio.us / Google Reader shared items

Lets you post short notes / links about a story you're working on, then collect feedback/comments before you file the story

Publish the Source Code

Full transcripts of interviews you only quoted in part, eg. QA with Kevin Lynch of Adobe http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2008/02/adobes-kevin-ly.html

Or interviews that you weren't able to use, eg Fred Vogelstein's QA with Eric Schmidt of Google http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/04/my_other_interv_1.html

 

Actual code, eg the scripts Kevin Poulsen used to catch MySpace predators http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/10/71976

 

... ?

Your ideas here!

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