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Friday, August 05, 2005

Wikimedians on grassroots journalism and newspapers

"Everybody tells jokes but we still have professional comedians." That's how Jimbo Wales, founder of Wikipedia, summed up the perceived threat of citizen journalism to conventional news organizations at the First International Wikimedia Conference. Instead of the free grassroots journalism phenom some fear could take over established media business models, Wales feels that large news organizations will gradually integrate everyday citizen contributions to enrich their content. Some already have, most notably during last year's tsunami disaster and more recently, the BBC's adoption of citizen photos and comments to its website during the London bombings, images and words that came straight from the source as the tragedy struck. It is unlikely that citizen media in the form of instant online photos and blogs will ever take over mainstream news. But the fact remains that citizen contributions can not only enrich a professional journalist's piece, but that more readers are becoming aware of and expecting to see first hand accounts in blog form and immediate images from now ubiquitous cameras as news breaks. As everyday people catch on to the powers handed to them by technologies, newspaper organizations will have to learn to adapt their business models to accommodate them and will more than likely have to train journalists as to how to integrate their readers into their stories.

Posted by john burke on August 5, 2005 at 03:45 PM | Permalink

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"Everybody tells jokes but we still have professional comedians." That's how Jimbo Wales, founder of Wikipedia, summed up the perceived threat of citizen journalism to conventional news organizations at the First International Wikimedia Conference. Ins... [Read More]

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