Wired News reports, ‘A small California newspaper has undertaken a first-of-its-kind experiment in participatory journalism in which nearly all the content published in a regularly updated online edition and a weekly print edition is submitted by community members. It’s all free.’
“The Northwest Voice”:http://www.northwestvoice.com/default.asp’s experiment seems like a good idea on the face of it (and the creators give a good account of their reasons at “Open Source Journalism”:http://www.opensourcejournalism.org/) but I fear newspaper groups could be tempted to fire all or almost all their journalists and rely on citizen contributors for a lot of small papers. The trouble with this approach is that ‘ordinary citizens’ may not have an interest in doing any investigation into complex issues or underlying causes of problems (or if they do they may only do so because they have a particular axe to grind). Let’s hope instead that this kind of citizen journalism frees up staff journalists to do a better job on that kind of reporting (and let’s face it there isn’t enough of that going on at the moment).