Tag Archives: citizen journalism site

New Guardian community platform n0tice invites more users


n0tice, the Guardian’s latest community project, has today opened to more users.

The platform is an online version of a village noticeboard, allowing people to post and find community news and classified ads. It is location-based, enabling searches and delivering news related to any location worldwide.

Guardian News & Media plans to make money out of the site, which was inspired by a hack day, by charging for featured ads and selling the white-labelled technology to companies wanting to use n0tice for commercial purposes.

The platform has a read API, a self-serve white label version and feed importing meaning that it can be adapted for hyperlocals and “could potentially work just as well for hyperlocal community bloggers in northern England as it could for cricket fans in India or birdwatching groups in Oregon”, Sarah Hartley, community strategist at GMG and one of a team of three working on the project told Journalism.co.uk.

Matt McAlister, director of digital strategy at the Guardian, has announced the latest developments in a blog post:

The release today is a big one for us. We’ve added the ability to create your own n0ticeboard.

He goes on to say:

If we can make citizen journalism possible in more contexts for more communities then I think we will have done a good thing. If we can also make citizen journalism a financially sustainable activity then we will have done a great thing.

As we go along we are increasingly unsure of what happens next. Participants are starting to determine what we do more and more. So, if you want this platform to do something, please get in early and share your thoughts with us.

The platform is in still private beta so invite-only, but Journalism.co.uk has 10 invites. You can try to claim a n0tice invite by clicking here.

paidContent.org: Cit-J site NowPublic sold to Examiner.com

NowPublic, the international citizen journalism site launched by Canadian entrepreneur Leonard Brody in 2005, is to be sold to Examiner.com – the US network of local, city-based news sites.

Examiner.com is controlled by Clarity Media Group, according to paidContent.org, which also owns the San Fransisco Examiner and Washington DC Examiner.

The deal is reportedly worth $25 million.

Full post at this link…

CNN’s iReport attracts nearly 4,000 submissions on Iranian elections

The role of amateurs, citizen journalists and non-professional media in the coverage of the Iranian elections and subsequent protests has been significant, both in its provision of material and insight to traditional news organisations, who have had their reporting restricted; and in its use of social media tools.

CNN’s citizen journalism site, iReport, has received 3,866 submissions on Iran since coverage of the elections began, with 1,600 from last Saturday and Sunday alone, according to a press release.

Of these, 131 have been used on air or online by CNN, after producers have carried out verification checks.

It is apparent that the reason for this astonishing increase in iReports is because of the strong views felt towards this specific case. Likewise during the election of Barack Obama CNN also saw an increase in iReports.

Demotix: Images of the Guatemalan tweeter arrested for causing ‘financial panic’

Guatemalan twitter user ‘Jeanfer’ was arrested and accused being causing ‘financial panic’, because of opinions posted on Twitter, reports Demotix user Surizar. Demotix, the citizen journalism site, hosts images showing ‘@jeanfer’ aka Jean Anleu Fernández. Full post at this link…

Read the background to the story over at Mashable.

BeatBlogging.org: ‘Mini experts in a major network’ at AllVoices.com

AllVoices.com is a citizen journalism site, and Amra Tareen’s ‘answer to closed, controlled traditional media.’ It was launched in July 2008 ‘with the goal of including as many people as possible,’ BeatBlogging reports.

“If Tareen had her way, the AllVoices community would be all six billion people on earth. But within a site that aims to be global and all-inclusive in its scope and membership, a curious thing is happening.

“Even with free rein in topic choice, Tareen tells us that many of AllVoices’ contributors are choosing very specific beats and becoming mini experts within the larger framework of the massive site,” the article continues.

Full post at this link…

DNA09 – Economically distressed but making the most of it

It started off bleakly, but the talk got more positive as the participants warmed up. These are four digital leaders, driving forward ambitious online projects in their respective countries:

  • Eric Echikson, Google’s senior manager for communications in Brussels
  • Katharina Borchert, chief editor of the online newspaper DerWesten.de and also the managing director of WAZ NewMedia
  • Pierre Haski, president of the society and editor-in-chief of the online French newspaper, Rue89

In a discussion led by Richard Gizbert, the panel discussed their hopes for opportunism in a dire economic climate.

Starting with a gloomy video reminder of the demise of the Rocky Mountain News, the panel were then probed on their own thoughts and experiences.

Katharina Borchert, from WAZ media, said the last 3-5 years have been a real opportunity, despite the fact they’re currently laying off a third of their staff.

To be using user-generated content in the way they are would have been unthinkable three years ago, she said.

Web is no longer an add-on, she said. There’s ‘more freedom to create content for the web’.

Video is the most popular content on their site, she added.

Pierre Haski, who left his job at Liberation newspaper to set up the independent French newspaper, realised the opportunity for different types of conversations with readers.

“Through blogging you reconnect with your readers. We tried to develop a model of participative news website, where readers could contribute to news process,” he explained.

After failing to sell the idea to Liberation, he and other colleagues left to launch Rue89.

“Not only will we survive the crisis but we will make money next year,” he said.

Then, Munthe, who set up his agency Demotix in a bid to source citizen journalism from around the world to counter what he perceived as a lack of original foreign news content.

“The flip side of the doom and gloom there are all sorts of opportunities out there,” he said.

He’s not worried about the content control, as editing happens within the process. “Who figured out three columns of smoke was wrong? Bloggers. That’s exactly what Demotix is trying to replicate.”

Demotix tries to bring together collaborative voices to self-correct stories and content, Munthe explained.

Citizen journalism website Helium.com secures $17m investment

Citizen journalism site Helium.com has secured $17millon in funding. According to a press release from businesswire.com, the financial backing is from an international group of investors led by Signature Capital LLC.

“Heliums unique platforms put the power of citizen engagement behind media publications, enabling them to engage readers in a way that will help grow audiences and increase reader loyalty, said Bill Turner, principal of Signature Capital, in the release.

“With Helium.com, we are bringing our financial resources to further accelerate this growth in citizen journalism, and to support Heliums objectives towards providing solutions to newspapers at a time when budgets are shrinking and ad revenues are down.

The site currently has a community of over 150,000 writers covering subjects from politics to pets and sport to science. The website’s terms have recently been changed to promote higher quality content. The changes include allowing ‘starred writers’ to receive payment upfront for new articles.

Citizen journalism site NowPublic adds new features

Canadian website NowPublic.com has introduced a host of new features to the site to ‘raise the bar for trust and credibility’ for citizen journalism, a press release from the site has said.

A new ranking system for members of the ‘crowd powered news site’ has been introduced to rate members based on their contributions – including factors like page views generated, comments received and number of front page stories.

A ‘presence stream’ added to the site also shows feeds of content created by users’ on external sites like Flickr, Twitter and YouTube.

Finally a news dashboard has been created to give users control over what content and which NowPublic feeds they subscribe to.

Digital Journal launches revenue sharing for its citizen journalists

Digital Journal has relaunched its citizen journalism site, which now includes a revenue sharing initiative for citizen journalists.

Regular contributors to the site can now qualify for a share of the ‘moneypot’ made up from advertising revenue and the site has reportedly already paid out $38,000 to citizen journalists.

The initiative applies to news stories, rather than blogs, journals, groups, photos or video, and is calculated on the number of news stories each citizen journalist uploads rather than purely on the popularity of individual posts.

Citizen journalists who would like to be paid for their contributions must first have their work approved by the Digital Journal board to ensure they ‘have a solid understanding of spelling and grammar, and can show an ability to find and research relevant news.’

The move distinguishes the social news site from competitors such as Newsvine and Norg as the first online community to share a portion of revenue, albeit to a small percentage of its total users.

Innovations in Journalism – Orato.com

Each week we give technology developers the opportunity to tell us journalists why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are are working on. This week it’s citizen journalism site Orato.

Image of Orato website

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?

I’m Paul Sullivan, editor-in-chief of Orato.

Orato is a citizen journalism site that features stories from 3525 (last count) citizen correspondents from around the world.

Anyone can post text, audio, video story or photo slide show and comment on the site after registering.

We encourage first-person accounts, partly for practical reasons – people are comfortable speaking in their own voice about what they encounter, what’s going on in their lives, and what they think and feel – but also because it communicates on a more intimate level.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?

Orato is useful to journalists as a source of fascinating stories that don’t stem from the usual sources or locales.

On the home page, as I write, there’s a piece by a guy who kills baby seals for a living on the ice of Newfoundland, who is unapologetically carrying on a family tradition; there’s a story from the jackman (he jacks up the wheels) for the Nascar Red Bull team…he watches the cars go by at 198 miles an hours, then has to be ready in a split second to change the tires on his driver’s car; there’s a story about a family in Turkey who walks on all fours – their standard means of locomotion, a piece from a guy who spent more than a decade high up in Scientology’s secret army, and a piece from an astronaut on what it’s like to walk in space.

Some of these pieces we’ve solicited; others have come unbidden.

Orato is a treasure chest for journos looking for stories. It is also a place where journalists can and do post pieces that are viewed as too controversial or unpublishable at their own workplace.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?

We’re already formulating Orato 3.0 (2.0 introduced video and interactive features such as the activity tracker).

In 3.0 we’re going to focus even more on the social media dimensions of the site…allow correspondents to instant message each other, allow them to customize their own MyOrato home page to display the subjects they’re interested in, etc.

We’re constantly thinking about new ways to expand citizen journalism – live video, versions in other languages, syndication of our best pieces using widgets, etc.

4) Why are you doing this?

For these reasons:

  • Because it’s important. This site has become a platform for people who otherwise may have no public voice – the sex trade workers who covered the serial killer trial in Vancouver, the Scientology refugees who have come to the site to bear witness against an oppressive cult, people who have been abused by authority and people who just love to tell stories and are looking for a safe, reputable and credible place to do it. It’s a democratic phenomenon, one we’re proud to be a part of.
  • Because people want it: now that the bandwidth and interactive technology exist, people are eager to participate and we give them at least one outlet.
  • Because it’s exciting. It’s the marketplace for a magnificent variety of voices and experiences; it’s the court of public opinion.
  • The wonder of it all: Strange and exotic stories appear out of nowhere. One day, the former chief executioner for Kenya decides to tell his story.
  • It’s great fun.

5) What does it cost to use it?

Nothing. It’s all free.

6) How will you make it pay?

We’re in the process of negotiating with online ad agencies to feature ads on the site. As traffic increases so will our CPM rate and our revenue. We have a number of other ideas in the development phase, but they’re not quite ready for prime time.