Reading Response #3

Here’s what we’re reading for our next class:

What are the benefits and drawbacks of crowdsourcing in journalism? Is it journalism’s duty to involve the public in producing content?

Respond as a comment to this post by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, February 21.


13 thoughts on “Reading Response #3

  1. Crowdsourcing is a concept that is a little confusing and that I would have to continue to look into deeper. The definition I felt within the chapter was not to clear. It doesn’t really explain what exactly it is, but what its useful for. “Crowdsourcing harnesses the sustained power of community to improve a service or information base.” I feel that crowdsourcing would be better for research purposes and not necessarily for journalism. I know in journalism there is different meaning; “also known as distributed reporting–usually relates to reporting a specific project or answering a specific question.” Reporters have used crowdsourcing for many other different topics, but I feel crowdsourcing can be hurtful. Someone else can counter act what it is that you are writing and could lead to debates. But also could lead you to gaining more information about what it is that you are writing.


  2. I think that the concept of crowdsourcing in the field of journalism is a positive influence on the industry. It allows companies and websites to expand their sources and obtain new views and ideas on certain topics and stories. I think that in this growing industry crowdsourcing is more beneficial than detrimental. Sources can become questionable in crowdsourcing and feedback comes in large waves so it is harder to manage in control. Briggs gave a clear understanding of this relevantly new field and introduced interesting points like free lance writers. I think crowdsourcing is only going to get bigger and that it will quickly become the norm for most businesses.


  3. Crowdsourcing is a great way of media outlets to become more interactive and reach many more viewers and readers. Crowdsourcing creates a closeness to the news and allows the viewers and contributors to take the story and or event to new levels. Sometimes reporters can’t get every angle of a story and crowdsourcing definitely helps with that. In the same way that news gains positive popularity due to crowdsourcing , it can also gain negative popularity and that may not have been the way the writer wanted it to go. I think this can create bigger problems and opinions than originally intended.


  4. Many people who lack inside knowledge of journalistic elements and morals will say that crowdsourcing can take over journalism one day. Perhaps it’s because it does have many benefits. As Briggs states, it focuses on giving “a community power on a specific project and demonstrates how a group of committed individuals can outperform a small group of experienced (and paid) professionals)” (92). It’s considered crowdsourcing to become “a powerful new tool for reporting news” (93). This is for various reasons. Because this group of people can receive feedback from hundreds and even thousands people within minutes because of today’s technology, whereas, journalists before this time got their information and feedback from not as many people. Another important aspect crowdsourcing nails to have is knowing whether an audience likes or dislikes certain content based off of tweets, posts, comments and other responses they generally get their feedback and information from. Crowdsourcing is also good in the fact that they allow the public to discuss topics and create their own forums. Where crowdsourcing fails to compete with “true” journalists, in my eyes, is in journalism ethics. Journalist who have studied the art know the rules of it. I believe an experienced journalist knows how to collect credible information and deliver it in a transparent manner. In contrast to this, crowdsourcing may not have as reliable of sources since the people’s careers are not on the line if they have no references cited. Along with this, I would like to say that crowdsourcing, though they may have individuals who are familiar with the specific ideas of what they’re focusing on, there might be a volunteer bias in their writing. Volunteer bias is a problem because it voices the opinion of those who have a stronger inclination towards a side of a subject.


  5. If done correctly I think crowd sourcing can be a good thing, it brings in more stories that you might not have otherwise found since everything is so connected now, and it gives the viewer more of what they want to see. However, some of the negatives I could see with crowdsourcing is that the influence of other people might become so overwhelming that your news source no longer is your own. The stories that might be feed to you might be inaccurate as well.


  6. I think crowdsourcing is great way to communicating with people. Crowdsourcing can be used to aid, give feedback, or comment on subjects or situations. I knew crowdsourcing was a way of getting feedback, however I never the extent that it could actually go. I never thought it could be used as a way for the targeted source to also make money and benefit the source encouraging the interaction. “Innocentive began offering some cash to freelance scientists if they could solve problems that scientists thus far have not been able to complete” (p 93) I never would have thought it could be taken to that extent, a real business. I always heard of people completing surveys or filling stuff out online for companies to receive money but I personally just thought it was a scam. However reading that amazon does such things, I realize companies truly do these things in order to benefit themselves and it’s a great form of crowdsourcing and it benefits both the company and the people who are taking part in the tasks.


  7. Like almost anything there are positives and negatives to crowdsourcing in journalism. One positive that was mentioned in the Columbia case study post was that sometimes journalists aren’t or can’t be at the scene. This is where photos and videos from people experiencing the event come into importance. They have something we don’t – a video or picture- and that can be useful to our journalistic cause. However, not all citizens with a camera have the training to do what a journalist does, but journalism is one of the few practices that doesn’t require formal training. In short we need the crowd or the citizen’s help but without journalists to structure and tell the story in full many people will be without the right information. In our constantly connected world crowdsourcing does give journalism a more social media like element. Content creation is something that today is loosely defined – writing 120 characters is considered content/copy etc. When it comes to a long formal article in print the public should stick with being quoted, when we talk about digital stories it’s a whole different ball game.

    In terms of crowdfunding, as the Pew Research post mentioned, crowdfunding journalism projects can really be a weapon if used properly. The fact that all of these projects are funded (yes by money/dollars) shows that people have interests! They have an interest and motivation to spend money on journalism projects (as well as other projects).


  8. Personally, crowdsourcing is a great way to communicate to the public. It helps the readers and the writer build a relationship throught the web and that is an important thing for our generation. Since we rely so much on the internet, having a crowdsource really propels your story and makes it stand out when gaining more information. According to Briggs, crowdsourcing is how most news organizations look for ways to “leverage the power of the crowd to help them improve their reporting and publishing” (Briggs 95). This proves the importance of crowdsourcing to journalism because it is a source of information. However, this can be seen as “eavesdropping” and possibly end up gaining incorrect information from people. It can be difficult to make sure your information is accurate, so this can be a drawback when it comes down to crowdsourcing. But I believe that it is important to have the public involved in producing content because it shows that journalist care about their voice too.


  9. The benefits of crowd sourcing can be many. For example, crowdsourcing has the potential to improve reporting and publishing. Also it can contribute new angles of the story the journalist might not have thought of on their own and can attract new readers because of this. Although crowdsourcing can be a good thing it also has its drawbacks. These drawbacks consist of “an unmanageable volume of feedback” and deciding how much the reader can be trusted to become a source (Gilsinan). Journalists have a responsibility to be accurate, yet, they can’t predict how much accuracy is in the topic that is being crowdsourced. Therefore there are positive and negate aspects to crowdsourcing that have to be considered. Journalists also have a duty to involve the public in producing content. Their duty evolves out of developing a jump-start in their stories that hits home to their readers. Including the public in this development helps them in the “process of finding sources, experts and new angles” (Briggs 91). This helps the journalist understand the “natives” better and allows the people a better grasp of whats happening in their community. Allowing the people to get involved gives the journalist a leverage on the access to insider information they wouldn’t have normal access to on their own. These are reasons why the public is very useful and important to journalists.


  10. Crowdsourcing is beneficial because it brings the community together to help discuss issues that are relevant. Crowdsourcing helps bring the journalist closer to the reader and in turn the reader closer to the journalist. Crowdsourcing is not only in way a public forum but it is also very productive. Instead of hiring a small group of experienced professionals you save money by working with the community on a specific project. However, because you aren’t working with professionals it might take longer to complete the project being worked on. I think it is definitely a journalist to involve the public in producing content because the whole point of journalism is it provide and write for the public, aka the people.


  11. I was pretty confused about what crowdsourcing really meant. I am still kind of confused but I think I get the jist of it after reading the links from above. Crowdsourcing is a way to potentially benefit journalism as a whole and gives the community a chance to have a voice when it comes to certain topics. I think it’s important to allow citizens who are affected by something specific to be able to speak up for themselves and shed some light about whats really going on. However, since the journalists are asking for information from a large amount of people, how are they to tell whether the information received is credible? If you have a mass amount of different information from different people, who do you believe? Crowdsourcing is a beneficial yet dangerous attempt to get the public involved in news.


  12. When we first started talking about the definition of crowdsourcing, I was a little confused on what is exactly meant. However, after reading Chapter 3 by Briggs, I was able to get a full grasp on what it exactly means especially for journalism. Crowdsourcing is a way to enhance the performance of journalism. It gives more power to the community reporters that live the life of what is being told. I feel that people who are involved or fully committed to something involving their community or themselves, they are more eager to provide accurate information. I feel crowdsourcing could be extremely beneficial to journalists in the industry if they use the information in a correct way. I mean that they are giving attributes and allowing the story to be told in that crowdsource perspective. Crowdsourcing should only be used to improve reporting, not take it over. Crowdsourcing gives the audience a voice while still remaining accurate and transparent within their work. There are so controversial issues going that need to be discussed. The media can be very one-sided with what they air on TV so it is important to have different perspectives or opinions. Also, I think crowdsourcing is a great way for journalist to gain story ideas, like Briggs stated, “stories or story angles are chosen from what we’re hearing and seeing from those posting on our digital and social platforms.” The story ideas can be used to rise interests within the audience as well. Overall, crowdsourcing has great perks to the world of journalism


  13. Crowdsourcing in my opinion is a great way of communicating to people via online especially when reaching the younger generation. Since most communication and journalism is in a constant state of change and evolving to being able to correlate within technology its only right.

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