How Can We Distinguish Credible Citizen Journalism?
This week our peers at the International Center for Journalists ask the most crucial question facing citizen media: how to separate the wheat from the chaff?
Jessica Weiss writes:
For the most part, citizen journalism remains unedited and unfiltered. But some Web sites are trying to change that. Citizen media site GroundReport, for instance, was founded in 2006 by a reporter hoping to find, highlight and monetize the most powerful and credible citizen media reports online.
The business model: Try to incentivize high quality work by paying contributors whose reports receive the most traffic, and vet content through a team of community and internal editors. Individuals, in a sense, become self-sustaining news producers.
What do you think: is a "self-policing" model such as GroundReport a way for credible reporters to distinguish themselves amidst the deluge of citizen reporting? Is this the future of citizen journalism? Are there other ways to distinguish credible citizen reporting?
But payment and self-policing are just a small piece of how we vet content on GroundReport. I added a few more methods to keep in mind:
- Anyone can flag any article or video, and report abuse of GroundReport's guidelines
- Every reporter has a rating, out of five stars, that shows her average report rating over all time
- Every reporter has a profile that details all of his past work, as well as credentials
- Most crucially, GroundReport is eternally thankful for our hard-working core of selective Editors. Editors are professionally trained and can edit and flag any piece of reporting on GroundReport.com
What do you think should be done? How can we bring higher standards to citizen media, and make it into a viable part of the media landscape? Join the discussion here.
Tags: Citizen Journalism , Credibility , Vetting , Groundreport , Fact-checking , Citizen
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