Photo by Leaf Monkey
Multi-talented environmentalist, Leaf Monkey, covers the Journalism 2.0 lecture by CNN’s news anchor Kristie Lu Stout, held recently at the National University of Singapore. Leaf Monkey didn’t just blog about it, she twittered it live for the benefit of those like me living continents away. Here are just two of the many takeaways from the lecture:
Difference between Mainstream and Grassroots Approach to Journalism
Kristie mentioned the subtle difference between some of these Journalism 2.0 sites. On mainstream media engaging the citizen journalists, we have well professional ones such as Straits Time’s Stomp as well as CNN’s I-Report. On the grassroots end, Monkey noted how “journalism 2.0 websites which [she] admire like Wonkette, Ecorazzi and some Metroblogging cities usually have big team of contributors and resources. Sadly, they also set themselves up to appear as “gossip” sites which may do nothing for their credibility. Others like OhMyNews work in an office no different from a traditional newsroom which says a lot on the amount of resources needed for a credible citizen journalism outfit.” Do note that Korea’s OhMyNews was said to have influenced the election of the current President of South Korea.
On the Future of Journalism 2.0
Leaf Monkey notes that Kristie also predicts the future of Journalism 2.0 moving towards “greater social consumption of the news where people prefer to discuss with others about the news than to just react to it alone”. An recent example was CNN Youtube political debate which I watched with great interest. Being a first of it’s kind, the next day reaction of the press sat in two camps: Some considered it groundbreaking, others considered it a messy sensationalistic piece. I felt that this might have only worked in the States, where some of the Youtube video submissions screened on live television were a little too raw, dicey or racy IMHO. It’s definitely a good attempt at having greater public presence in the journalistic process, though a better system might need to be in place to reinforce quality in the discussion. As with most participatory services such as Digg or Ping.sg, the trick is to figure out a system which could sieve out quality from quantity, to create a better signal to noise ratio. Till today, I haven’t found any automated or crowdsourced way which beats authority driven systems, one where the few elite decide on the resultant content, as seen in BoingBoing.net and Tomorrow.sg
Aside 1: As Leaf Monkey mentioned, you might also be interested in two talks I gave in Singapore, namely “Youtube and Beyond” (video) held at the National Library, as well as “Crowdsourcing the Media” (video) held at Nexus 2007.
Aside 2: Siva (Otterman) takes my “Youtube and Beyond” further by sharing test results of his online videos in various formats. Note that he has live video embeds, so save your work before venturing forth into his Part 1 and Part 2 blog posts.