Crowdsourcing as a Knowledge Search Method in Digital Journalism: Ruptured Ideals and Blended Responsibility

May 08, 2015 | by
  • Description

This article examines crowdsourcing as a knowledge-search method and an open journalisticpractice in digital journalism. The study draws on data from four cases in which professionaljournalists used crowdsourcing in their investigations. Crowdsourcing resulted in an efficientknowledge discovery and a continuous flow of tips to journalists and thus benefited journalisticinvestigations. The horizontal and vertical transparency in crowdsourced journalism supportedthe knowledge-search process. However, the high volume of submissions in some casesmade the journalists compromise the journalistic norm of data verification, which resulted inpublishing unverified information. Crowdsourcing as an open journalistic practice thus rupturesjournalistic norms and creates pressure for new ones to emerge, such as blended responsibility,in which the responsibility for data accuracy is shared by the journalists and the readers. Thearticle extends the examination of open journalistic practices and contributes to the understandingof their impact on digital journalism.