By: Kayleigh MacKay
Crowdsourcing presents a wide range of possibilities to journalists for gathering news stories they otherwise would not get with more traditional tactics. The Tow Center for Digital Journalism states that crowdsourcing allows for “attracting sources with new voices and information” and gives news organizations the opportunity to “unlock stories that otherwise might not have surfaced” (Onuoha, Pinder, & Schaffer, 2016). They state it rather succinctly like this: crowdsourcing has “helped turn journalism into more of a conversation, rather than a one-way megaphone” (Onuoha, Pinder, & Schaffer, 2016). Also, by directly interacting with the public, journalists can expand their audience. My biggest reservation in supporting crowdsourcing would be determining the legitimacy of the stories received, but I feel that experienced journalists would deal with this issue properly.
Not all crowdsourcing is done online, but the internet has become an important tool for this technique. One crowdsourcing news site is Grasswire, who, as their about page says, “pitch, source, verify, write and edit newsworthy, interesting and unbiased stories” (Grasswire, 2016). The site has been around for a few years, and I can’t really tell if it does a good enough job of proper verification, but it’s one more tool that is around to gather news in a rapidly changing world.
Onuoha, M., Pinder, J., & Schaffer, J. (2015, November). Guide to Crowdsourcing. Columbia Journalism School. Retrieved from http://towcenter.org/research/guide-to-crowdsourcing/
Grasswire (2016). About us. Grasswire. Retrieved from https://www.grasswire.com/about-us/