Journalism ‘Pro Am’

Cool experiment taking place at Assignment Zero, in which professional journalists are teaming up with the “crowd” (aka everyone else) to report and write articles on popular topics. The founders call it an open-source approach to journalism. One of the assignments is “crowdsourced journalism” – a look at the trend on which Assignment Zero itself is based. From Executive Editor Jay Rosen:

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The investigation takes place in the open, not behind newsroom walls. Participation is voluntary; contributors are welcomed from across the Web. The people getting, telling and vetting the story are a mix of professional journalists and members of the public — also known as citizen journalists. This is a model I describe as “pro-am.”

The “ams” are simply people getting together on their own time to contribute to a project in journalism that for their own reasons they support. The “pros” are journalists guiding and editing the story, setting standards, overseeing fact-checking, and publishing a final version.

In this project, we’re trying to crowdsource a single story, and debut a site that makes other such reports possible down the road. But we don’t know yet how well our site and our methods work. Our ideas are crude because they are untested. By participating, you can help us figure this puzzle out.

Seems like a worthy exploration of next-generation journalism. I think I’ll sign up.

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