If you Can’t Beat em, Crowdsource Em!

crowdsourcing

By Garrett Stanczak

Previously the focus of this blog has been on how businesses can best use social media, with last week shining a light on non-profit organizations. This week will be examining how it can aid the journalism industry.

I’ve read many posts by my classmates discussing how social media is replacing the traditional news system. In many ways I agree. During the latest presidential election (the results of which I will NOT be discussing as I’m still in denial) I learned more about the election by following Patton Oswalt’s Twitter feed than I did from any major news network.

But just like how businesses and NPOs can adapt to make use of this new technology, I believe journalism is in a similar position. It isn’t dying, it simply needs to understand the new rules introduced to a game it has been playing for centuries. One way it can do this is by utilizing a technique called crowdsourcing.

In an article for dailycrowdsource.com, Jessica Rose Lane summarizes crowdsourcing as “anyone with the urge can share information, images, and video with news outlets or through online forums & add their own perspective”. Instead of having to compete with people using social media to report news faster than any network can, Journalists can crowdsource to have the people on their side.

There are three crowdsourcing techniques that Lane describes: “Investigative work calls on the crowd to help reporters uncover breaking stories,”; “general observation involves asking the crowd for information on a particular subject that comes up in their daily lives,”; and the covering of breaking news from people who are already at the scene.

An example of the general observation technique can be found on the popular crowdsourcing site, CNN iReport, which has put out a call for photos of the supermoon at the time of this posting.

By utilizing crowdsourcing techniques, journalists no longer need to fear social media as competition. They can use the masses as a cheap and fast way of collecting and posting news faster than they ever could before the emergence of social media.

References:

3 Ways Crowdsourcing is Owning Journalism by Jessica Rose Lane, no date given

Image 1 link

Patton Oswalt’s Twitter Feed (Some posts NSFW)

CNN iReport

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