Gannett's Story

Posted on 10. Oct, 2007 by in Citizen Network

Gannett’s Story with Jennifer Carroll of Gannett and MacKenzie Warren and Kate Marymount of the Ft Myers Press
CROWD SOURCING — Ft. Myers enlisting their community in their journalism. Explored how FEMA distributed aid. FEMA was forced legally to turn records over. FMP has the infrastructure to enter the records into their database and turn it immediately over to the public. In the first 48 hours it was up there were 60,000 searches of the database with user feedback indicating what the key elements were.

Sewer project that had something fishy going on. Turned it over to readers to explore, investigate and report. Turned over all their documents to the public for them to try and solve as much as they can.

“Pocketbook issues” hit readers exactly there, in their pocketbooks. So when talking about network journalism, people have a real incentive to go in and dig through documents. But is it possible with non pocketbook issues?

KM – invite users to submit material everyday. Community has a role in all that they do and have heavy participation all across the website. It’s not confined to individual instances.

JC – lots of social issues (little league) that people are equally passionate about. Get a sense of community that has gone under the radar for way too long. Have to make it easy for people to feel like engaged experts.

Robert Cox – Media Bloggers Association — had you looked at using amazon mechanical terc to give readers an algorithm or prep them or give them a way to organize their work to be as efficient as possible?

Users were given instruction and gently steered, but no sophisticated assistance.

Audience comment: Best crowd sourcing on a national level is in the political arena. Bloggers wanting to make members of the other party look bad etc. Partisan issues. Stories that might make someone from another party look bad.

Open sense of what the dialogue needs to be.

Worth noting that dialogue is great, but it can become hateful. Gannett watches that closely, removes that kind of content etc. Happens everywhere, not just race related stories, can be as innocuous as high school sports.

MW: Medium is the message, but how do you deal with trolls.

The public builds how a story developed in way the paper couldn’t have imagined or controlled. Have to recognize that and turn it over to the public. Don’t have the tools yet to give it the structure it might need.

About.com audience member – Have you thought about allowing other users to monitor user comments? Letting people rate other users as to who is a trusted person or other users have flagged as abusive?

Answer: Yes. We’re exploring developing those tools. Anyone else?

Have filters and people who moderate the blogs and the forums, but could be much more aggressively reported upon.

Alot of science is just data gathering. A lot of journalism is just data gathering as well. Have the masses to do a lot of that work and in turn open the field up to writing all sorts of new stories.

Who are we reaching out to as part of the blogosphere?

Have these new tools and processes just extended coverage or shifted it?

Answer: Have sources never explored before. Journalism is better through community help. Still looks like traditional journalism. Always looking for ideas.

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