Earlier this week, Stephen Colbert poked fun at the connection between the layoffs and iReport, saying: “Why buy the cow when you can have it shakily videotape its own milk for free?”
This was a joke, of course, but it speaks to some important questions: How are news sites striking a balance, if at all, between user-generated content and staffers’ content? Should they even try to strike a balance? Does it make sense for some news sites to rely more on user-generated content when faced with limited resources?
Reuters’ Jack Shafer and Eugenia Chien, who helps run the user-generated site Muni Diaries, addressed these questions in a live chat, which you can replay here: