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.


Grasswire home page

Onuoha, M., Pinder, J., & Schaffer, J. (2015, November). Guide to Crowdsourcing. Columbia Journalism School. Retrieved from

Grasswire (2016). About us. Grasswire. Retrieved from


2 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing

  1. Nice, I never knew that there was an actual website for the purpose of ‘crowdsourcing’ news sources!
    Pretty interesting to check out. The site definitely shows how much ‘citizen journalism’ is becoming an actual reality.


  2. I’ve heard a lot about crowdsourcing and I did stumble upon Grasswire once! I’m not sure if I would completely trust their stories considering that they verify stories by taking in account the opinions of thousands of people. As far as I remember they do things like post stories on Reddit, where If you see something that is incorrect you can refute it by posting a source URL to information that disproves it, or you can do the same to confirm it. Although, Im not a fan of multiple people trying to create or confirm a news story I do think Grasswire’s techniques would be and probably are very useful when it comes to covering high profile stories.

    Great Post!


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