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In an increasingly digital world where many are predicting the demise of the traditional newspaper, the media are turning to the masses to report and help report through the power of Internet journalism. Taking their cues from other areas such as photography and science, news organizations are employing the increasingly popular concept of “crowdsourcing” where tasks traditionally performed by employees are outsourced to a large network of people, recruited through an open call. This paper examines five different cases of crowdsourced journalism, classified on the basis of type of coverage and audience demographic. The study explores the strategies employed in each case, analyzes the benefits and pitfalls, and offers suggestions and ideas for future ventures. Observations and insights from journalists in different organizations are used to evaluate how crowdsourcing is blurring the lines between journalists as reporters and citizens as consumers.
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Keywords: audience participation; crowdsourcing; online media; open-source journalism; social networking; wisdom of crowds

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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