Simon Willison’s Weblog


Participatory journalism

16th August 2004

Participatory (or citizen) journalism is getting a lot of coverage at the moment, thanks in part to Dan Gillmor’s new book We the Media. For a great example of participatory journalism in action, check out Wikipedia’s outstanding coverage of the 2004 Summer Olympics. It’s already a serious competitor to the official site in terms of content, and its wiki nature means it will only get better as the games continue. Hat tip: Gadgetopia.

I’ve been a fan of Wikipedia’s current affairs coverage for quite a while. The site is especially useful in catching up with ongoing stories, in particular for detailed profiles of people and groups currently making the news (random example: Muqtada al-Sadr). Despite the site’s open nature (or maybe because of it), they generally do an excellent job of keeping to a neutral point of view.

Citizen journalism is unlikely to ever replace traditional journalism completely, but it can certainly enhance it. Then again, with OhMyNews now one of the most influential media outlets in Korea (see this interview for details) this is one trend that’s not going to go away.

This is Participatory journalism by Simon Willison, posted on 16th August 2004.

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