Networked Journalism

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An alternative term to the use of Citizen Journalism, proposed by Jay Rosen.


Description

From a commentary on Jay Rosen's proposition by McKenzie Wark at http://www.futureofthebook.org/blog/archives/2006/07/networked_journalism.html


"The problem as he sees it is that citizen journalism implies an opposition between professional and non-professional producers of news, when the goal should be closer collaboration between the two. All are citizens: the pro reporter, the lone blogger, the activist, the bystander with the camera phone; and the best professional journalism often comes out of the strong civic sense of its practitioners.

Jarvis has now posed "networked journalism" as a possible alternative to citizen journalism, and as a better tool for understanding the dramatic realignment of authority and increased access to the means and channels of news production that we are witnessing today.


“Networked journalism‿ takes into account the collaborative nature of journalism now: professionals and amateurs working together to get the real story, linking to each other across brands and old boundaries to share facts, questions, answers, ideas, perspectives. It recognizes the complex relationships that will make news. And it focuses on the process more than the product.


...After the story is published — online, in print, wherever — the public can continue to contribute corrections, questions, facts, and perspective … not to mention promotion via links. I hope this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as journalists realize that they are less the manufacturers of news than the moderators of conversations that get to the news." (http://www.futureofthebook.org/blog/archives/2006/07/networked_journalism.html)


Discussion

Charlie Beckett, author of SuperMedia, on the political role of networked journalism:

""Networked Journalism" means opening up the production process from start to finish - and beyond. It already has the tools: email, mobile-phones, digital cameras, online editing, web-cams, texting, and remote controls. This is channelled through new communication processes like crowd-sourcing, Twitter, YouTube, and wikis as well as blogs and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).

Networked journalism is a process not a product. The journalist still reports, edits, packages the news. But the process is continually shared. The networked journalist changes from being a gatekeeper who delivers to a facilitator who connects.

What does that mean in practice? At one level this a very practical thing that takes traditional journalism and liberates it through public participation. Take the example of the Fort Myers News Press newspaper in Florida. In the wake of hurricane Katrina the enterprising editor got her lawyers to force the Federal Emergency Management Agency to release all its data on relief payments to townspeople. The data provided was far too extensive for the paper's journalists to process. So instead they put it all online and asked their readers to do the searching. Within twenty-four hours, 60,000 searches were made throwing up all kinds of leads for the journalists to follow up and publish. Neither journalists nor public could have done this on their own. The combination of skills and resources opened up a story in a way that allowed both to challenge the authorities.

Just think about how many other ways you could exploit similar techniques to mine public knowledge. Imagine how that act of networked journalism added real value to that community. And in an era when regional newspapers in many countries (the United States included) are disappearing, I believe it offers a paradigm for established journalism to survive and thrive but with a new social role.

There will always be attempts to limit people speaking for themselves. Traditional journalists will patronise it as "anarchy" or "unprofessional" and "unreliable". Repressive authorities will recognise the challenge to their control over the established media. This is why it is so important that anyone seeking to sustain freedom of expression should seek to build networked journalism." (http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/supermedia-the-networked-journalism-future)