Crowdsourcing: come one, come all

September 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Whatcha gunna do when they come for you?

There is a lot going on in the world –  and the term a lot is a bit of an understatement. With the world of journalism facing cut backs left and right, it has become increasingly difficult for reporters to find the IT story or stories that are happening right now.

news-press.com, which is based out of southern Florida, has the right idea on how to use crowdsourcing and make sure that they don’t miss the stories that their readers most want to read. news-press.com has a section on their website called the “Watchdog” program that allows readers to submit their ideas for stories that they think are important enough to be covered.

Ways of contacting news-press.com with story ideas.

The site offers the readers access to databases (for example, Lee County Government Employee Salaries) which they can look through freely to see if they can see any kind of anomaly or something that is just not right with some of the data. When they find something, they can submit that to the watchdog site.

An example of some of the databases that are made available through news-press.com

The story ideas are sifted through and chosen by a team of retired professionals who then do research on the topic.

The News-Press Watchdog team is supported by our civic journalism project, which calls upon an extensive resource in our community — retired professionals with a cache of expertise. A group of volunteer citizens living in Southwest Florida serve as consultants, research data, work side-by-side with the professional reporting saff and interact with readers.

-news-press.com/watchdog

The stories – or columns – are then written by one of three staff columnists (Sam Cook, Melanie Payne and Paul Flemming).

All of the stories can be commented on, have tags,ways to subscribe to their RSS feed and most of the columns include the reader that made the issue known (little shot of fame)

However, there is no way for readers to link out to their Facebooks, Twitters or any other means of social media. My only other concern with the page is that there is no way to easily navigate within the Watchdog blog, so in order to find an issue that has been investigated, the reader has to sift through the blog or search throughout the entire site to find  a story.

news-press.com/watchdog

-Spicer

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