Articles about "Citizen journalism"


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Pro photographers remind lucky amateurs: Viral pictures have value

As soon as he took the picture, Janis Krums knew he had something. What he didn’t know is how much of a something he really had.

If Krums’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he took one of the most famous viral pictures of all time — the first image of the U.S. Airways jet that landed in the icy Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009, with all passengers surviving.

Krums, who was on a ferry at the time, uploaded the photo to TweetDeck and tweeted out the link. Within 34 minutes he was being interviewed live on MSNBC.

 

Throughout the day he was inundated with requests to use his instafamous photo, Krums told me by phone: “Basically everyone” was trying to get the rights to the photo, including the Associated Press.

“The money they were offering was kind of a joke,” Krums said of his media suitors. He ultimately decided to copyright the photo himself, and credits that decision to advice from a handful of photographers who contacted him via Twitter.

“Photographers tweeted me and said, ‘Hey, just so you know, this is the ballpark’” for what the photo is worth, Krums said.

The age of the citizen photographer is upon us. And while anybody with a phone or camera can take a picture that goes viral, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be fairly compensated for it.

AP pulled a photo of a bear falling from a tree on the University of Colorado campus after student Andy Duann asserted he, not the university, owned the copyright on it. (Photograph by Andy Duann)

To help level the playing field, some media-savvy professional photographers are taking matters into their own hands, reaching out to amateurs who were in the right place at the right time and letting them know that their viral pictures have value. They’re also urging them not to grant media requests to use their photos free of charge, no matter how flattered they may feel to be asked.

Some of the advice is motivated by simple fairness. But another factor is the pros’ anger at the continuing erosion of professional photo staffs by news organizations that are looking to save money and see free labor from amateurs as a way to do so.

On Jan. 4, photographer Gary He provided guidance to an Instagram user who had taken a photo of a small plane that crashed on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx.

“Even at a professional level, photographers don’t really understand licensing and copyright all that well,” said He, director of operations at a New York-based photo agency, in an email message. “So you can imagine that a random dude on Instagram must really have a hard time.”

In the comments section of the Instagram photo, several major agencies requested permission from Paul Collado, user name fattypaul89, to use the photo.

Gary He’s advice for Collado: “Do not let news channels or newspapers use your photos without a licensing fee. Standard for a non-exclusive is $200 and up.”

After corresponding with He, Collado asked several media requesters “how much.”

A broader question, which is still being hammered out, is what rights are granted when a photographer gives online consent to a media outlet that asks to use a photo. The author of the photo retains its copyright, but may license it to a news agency like the Associated Press for a fee. An alternative is to register the copyright independently.

“The plane-crash photographer seemed like a nice dude who didn’t have too many selfies in his Instagram feed, so I thought he could stand to make a couple hundred dollars,” He told me.

More recently, the unofficial Viral Photo Of The Week (1/12-1/19) was taken by Amanda Traver, who captured the dense fog enveloping New York City from an airplane above.

Traver, who posted the photo on Instagram, was quickly inundated with media requests to use the image.

San Francisco-based photojournalist Steve Rhodes offered Traver some advice: “You should ask all the news media using or asking for your photo to pay you.”

“All the people offering you credit are paid and you should be too,” Rhodes told Traver, adding that “they wouldn’t work just for ‘credit.’ ”

After Rhodes weighed in, Daniel Avila — a New York-based staff photographer who posts under the name DGAPix – had some wisdom of his own for Traver: “Great shot. You don’t have to let any news org use your photo without asking for a license fee! :)”

“I think it’s important for people to know what their rights are regarding licensing and royalties, and how to not mistakenly give them up completely,” Avila said by email.

One reason for insisting on being paid comes from Gary He, who said the “exposure” offered by media outlets isn’t worth that much – in his view, users on social media probably bring an amateur photographer’s work “more eyeballs than any news channel or newspaper could’ve gotten.”

Avila said he was inspired by seeing other professional photographers offer guidance to amateurs, but added that he saw the question of compensation as part of a larger issue: “It’s also about the upsetting fact that more and more news organizations are turning to social media and amateur smartphone photography as a replacement of their photo staff.”

Krums agreed. News organizations are “taking money away from professional photographers,” he said, adding that as long as amateurs give their shots away for free, “there’s no incentive for the big players to change what they’re doing.”

Related: How citizen journalism has changed since George Holliday’s Rodney King video | Texas doctor who captured iconic image of Columbia disaster is now a working photographer | Meet Gary He, creator of the Obama-as-Truman meme | Poynter’s vast archives about Andy Duann’s “falling bear” photo Read more

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New Guardian, Scoopshot efforts bring elements of automation to photo verification

User-generated content is rife with risk and opportunity.

The opportunity for it to deliver remarkable images is made clear on an almost-daily basis, be it in the midst of a crisis like the Boston Marathon bombings, Hurricane Sandy, or simply someone snapping a notable shot at a local event.

The risk is that images are easily faked, scraped and manipulated.

News organizations and others seeking to source images and information from the crowd therefore have no choice but to push forward with new methods of verification — and to make existing methods quicker and more accurate. So it’s no surprise that we’re seeing initial moves towards automating aspects of the verification process.

The Guardian and Scoopshot both recently unveiled new initiatives to bring an element of automation to verification. In both cases a human element is still essential. But as I noted previously, it’s important to see how much machines can help us deal with the challenge of verifying large amounts of content more quickly.

Authenticity scoring

Scoopshot is a crowdsourced photography service that enables news organizations to source (and assign) photographs from their community and from users around the world. Niko Ruokosuo, the CEO of Scoopshot, detailed his company’s new initiative in a recent announcement.

Ruokosuo said “we’ve developed a new tool within the Scoopshot ecosystem that instantly and graphically shows media companies the authenticity level of any user-submitted image. Our system basically substitutes an inherently flawed manual process that may take an hour per image for a highly-automated, intelligent programme that takes seconds.”

Scoopshot now delivers an authenticity score for each photo calculated based on data about an image — such as whether it was taken using their mobile app, and if the image’s metadata is available.

Similarly, the new GuardianWitness initiative, which enables its community to easily contribute images via the web or mobile apps, offers built-in functionality to gather a submission’s metadata, helping automate one aspect of verification.

Both efforts rely at least partly on EXIF data, which can tell you basic information about a digital image, such as the type of camera used, the exposure information, and other details.

“We wanted at least a basic level of verification to be applied before something was published on GuardianWitness,” Joanna Geary, the Guardian’s digital development editor, told me by email. “We are, however, sensitive to different types of content potentially requiring different levels of verification. So, for example, we might do some very basic copyright checks on a picture of a dog, but would go into much, much more detail for a picture from Syria.”

Along with automating the examination of EXIF data, the Guardian and Scoopshot both use native apps to help make it easier to authenticate aspects of an image. Having photographers work in a controlled setting, such as an app for taking pictures, can help answer questions about how a photo was created, according to Samaruddin Stewart, a current Knight Fellow at Stanford University who is researching “the use of image forensic tools to identify manipulation in potential news photographs.”

“In this route you can oversee the chain of custody and also layer in additional information that today’s smartphones are great at capturing,” he told me.

But Stewart also noted some of this approach’s limitations.

The biggest limitation, Stewart said, is the need to change user behavior, such as launching a specialized app to capture a photo or video instead of simply using a standard camera app, as users do “99% of the time.” Users can import visuals into an app from a camera roll, he noted, but this “heightens the risk of manipulations since the chain is broken.”

Economic incentives for automation

That’s why Scoopshot offers a score instead of a guarantee that an image is real. In the end, it’s up to the journalists accessing the system to decide whether a high score is enough, or if they need to dig deeper into how an image was created.  Speaking about the bars that signal authentication on Scoopshot, Ruokosuo told my colleague Andrew Beaujon that a news organization can “feel pretty good” about a three-bar photo.

A recent Journalism.co.uk article about Scoopshot’s scoring system reported that it enabled a Dutch newspaper to publish “verified images from Scoopshot users within six minutes of asking for submissions.”

The article also noted that the company’s CEO “insisted that some agencies may still manually check images should they wish to, arguing that the software indicates risk rather than complete legitimacy.”

In Scoopshot’s case, automation is aimed at reducing the risk while increasing speed. The faster its clients can use images, the more it might be able to sell.

“Figuring out how to best source and vet these visuals at scale will likely determine who can ultimately grow engagement, differentiation, and likely revenue,” said Stewart.

Now that there are clear economic incentives for helping speed up and perfect this process, we’re likely to see further innovation. That means more tools to help with manipulation detection, analysis and other aspects of photo verification.

One company that’s already working on that is Fourandsix. It offers FourMatch, an extension for Photoshop that “instantly analyzes any open JPEG image to determine whether it is an untouched original from a digital camera.”

I spoke with co-founder Kevin Connor last year about the prospect of achieving 100 percent accuracy for image detection and verification.

“There’s a temptation to want to have some magic bullet or magic algorithm that will tell you whether an image is real or not, and we quickly realized that’s just not going to work,” he told me. “What you have to do is approach it as a detective and examine all the various clues in the image itself and the file that contains the image.”

For the Guardian, the lack of a magic bullet has required a large-scale training effort in the newsroom. As Geary told me, GuardianWitness verification mixes human and machine elements, but it’s “predominantly human.”

“When we built the back-end tools we made it a requirement to pull in some basic information (e.g. EXIF data) and make it visible to our team,” she said. “Then there are other checks they will do — some of which move into investigative work … Online verification can actually be quite a substantial act of journalism.”

In conjunction with the launch of GuardianWitness, the organization gave roughly 100 of its journalists training in verification by working with Storyful, a social-media news service that sources and verifies user-generated video for use by news organizations. (Disclosure: Spundge, the company where I’m a partner, continues to have discussions with Storyful about finding ways to work together.)

“I’m quite proud that we have taken so many through verification training, but I also recognize that it’s never enough and you can’t stop there,” Geary said. “This is a rapidly changing field and — in some cases — an outright fight to avoid spreading misinformation. As with all changing skills, different people pick it up at a different pace dependent on need and on understanding. We’d like to look into being able to keep up with training but to do this in a way that recognizes the demands of a newsroom and help people to learn on the job when they need to.”

Stewart and others say there will never be a Holy Grail of automated photo verification — the human element will always be necessary.

“I do not however think that we’ll have full automation any time soon or that we even should,” he said. “I think editorial scrutiny will always play a role.” But, he added, if he were running or planning a desk for user-generated visuals, “pursuing technical tests” for verification would certainly be a priority.

Stewart provided a good motto for the efforts to automate aspects of verification: “Launch and iterate is a far better strategy than ignore.” Read more

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Boston explosions a reminder of how breaking news reporting is changing

Terrible events such as yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon have always meant “all hands on deck” for news organizations, with staffers pulled off their regular beats to contribute.

But the endpoint of the newsgathering and reporting is no longer a front-page package of stories explaining — the best one can — what happened, why it happened and what might be next. Now, there is no endpoint — events are reported in real time, with stories in constant motion, and the front page is a snapshot of an organization’s reporting at the moment when the presses needed to roll.

Boston was a reminder of that, and a look at what’s changing in real-time journalism. Through Twitter and various live blogs, I found myself looking over my shoulder at the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Reuters and other news organizations, and was able to make some observations and draw some conclusions.

My first observation doesn’t speak to what’s changed in journalism, but to what’s remained the same. The Boston Globe’s impressive reporting was driven by having boots on the ground — quite literally, since the newspaper had reporters and photographers at the finish line very near the site of the two bombs.

That’s how John Tlumacki captured the image that seems likely to become the iconic photograph of this tragic day in Boston, and how reporters such as Billy Baker and Chad Finn contributed a wealth of detail — by turns horrifying and surreal — from the scene.

The tools have changed, with Twitter an instant printing press for bite-sized bits of news, but the skills — a keen eye, empathetic ear, and a good list of contacts — have not.

But these days there’s another layer to reporting such events. Besides boots on the ground, news organizations also need an eye in the sky — someone charged with gathering information, deciding what’s credible and what’s not, and presenting it to readers.

Such traffic cops have been part of covering breaking news for generations, but once their role was an internal one aimed at producing those front-page packages. Now, the role is external — and the assets they use can no longer be limited to their own news organizations. The roster of reporters (and those acting like them) for a breaking-news event is ever shifting and changing, bound not by whose ID tag someone wears but by where they are, what they see and what they know.

Other journalists are seeing and hearing things and tweeting them, and must be incorporated into what an organization knows and communicates to its readers. That’s also true of all the people once bundled together under the heading of “sources” — government officials, hospital spokespeople and others now release information directly to the public, without funneling it through the media. And so do people who are participants in an event or observers.

Take the tweets from Bruce Mendelsohn, a marketer who was attending a party just above the site of the first explosion. Mendelsohn is the kind of witness reporters hope to find but rarely do — a former Army medic with an eye for detail and the ability to assess spectators’ injuries and what might have caused them. A photo he took was picked up by the Associated Press, and news organizations quoted him — but only after they discovered his tweets, which were available to all.

 

 

(By the way, next time journalists are quick to dismiss citizen journalism, point them to Mendelsohn’s tweets and photograph. He was reporting on his own, and quite capably.)

The role of a news organization’s eye in the sky demands far more than just aggregating the work of others. It requires the ability to juggle all the parts of a developing story, continually account for new information, and quickly vet tips, photos and descriptions. In a situation such as the Boston Marathon, few bits of information will be able to be vetted the way news organizations would like. The eye in the sky will have to make those calls, relying on another old tool: the reporter’s gut instinct. (Though lessons like these will help.)

Which brings us to the most wrenching change for news organizations confronted by an event like Boston: News gathering and reporting — an intrinsically messy hodgepodge of verifying facts and debunking chatter — is now done in front of readers. Instead of waiting for a carefully crafted report on the news or a front page, readers are now in the “fog of war” with the participants and reporters and officials and everybody else.

Whether we like it or not, this isn’t going to change — given readers’ hunger for news on such days, news organizations can’t remain silent about reports until they’ve been verified with officials and subjected to the organization’s own system of scrutiny. The chaos of breaking news is no longer something out of which coverage arises — it’s the coverage itself.

One of the many difficulties with this is none of us — reporters, officials and readers alike — is used to it. Reporters want to be first but fear the consequences of being wrong. Frustrated officials seeking to figure out what’s going on may pass along a reporting mistake, seemingly verifying it and thereby amplifying it. Readers want information from the beginning of the reporting process but still hold news organizations to the same standards that governed the final product. All of this adds up to a profound change — one we’ve only begun to grapple with.

In a situation like this, the best way forward for news organizations is acceptance and transparency. We have to tell readers what we’re sure we know and how we know it, acknowledge and assess things that we’re hearing, and provide constant updates and cautions that what we think we know is changing rapidly. Establishing facts has value, of course — as does wise analysis. But so too does providing information, publicly asking questions (and providing a forum for answers) and debunking rumors. Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer’s rules of a crisis are good advice here:

 

In time, all of us will become more accustomed to reporting in the fog of war, with the entire newsgathering process taking place in public. We will develop language, standards and procedures for such reporting, shaped in part by readers — who will in turn learn how to use them to assess and respond to our work. Those standards and procedures are already emerging. But there is much thinking and work still to be done — and the lessons of days like yesterday are part of that process.

Previously: Covering what comes next in the aftermath of the blasts | How journalists are covering, reacting to Boston Marathon explosions | BostonGlobe.com, other sites drop paywalls following Boston Marathon explosions

Correction: This post originally misspelled Tlumacki’s last name. Read more

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Knight News Challenge funds photography app with built-in verification data

A mobile app that will help amateur journalists send photos to news organizations securely and with embedded verification data is among eight projects funded by the latest Knight News Challenge grants.

“Clearly the spread of citizen-generated, amateur-driven content is here to stay. But we still have not developed the mechanisms and tools for understanding that content, verifying that content, feeling comfortable about using that content,” Knight Foundation Director of Journalism and Media Innovation John Bracken told me.

The Knight-funded solution is an Android app called InformaCam — to be built by mobile security specialists at The Guardian Project and human rights advocates at Witness. Read more

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Survey: Public prefers news from professional journalists

Reynolds Journalism Institute
The public’s trust in the institution of the press may be fading, and digital platforms have opened the publishing world to anyone with a desire to speak, but it seems professional journalists themselves are not seen as obsolete.

More than 60 percent of U.S. adults say they “prefer news stories produced by professional journalists,” and more than 70 percent agree that “professional journalists play an important role in our society,” according to new survey data from the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Respondents also disagreed with a social-media-centric model (that most news should come through trusted friends) and disagreed that it doesn’t matter who produces the news.

The first two bars in each chart below refer to mobile device users and non-users. More on them later.

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Is Reddit the future of news or the present?

Salon | Salon | TechPresident | Marshall Kirkpatrick
Apparently, the future of news is not conferences about the future of news. The future of news is debates about Reddit.

The flashpoint for this round was Michael Barthel’s take on Mathew Ingram’s piece about how people on Reddit covered the Colorado theater shootings. Citizen journalism such as what Redditors practiced, Barthel writes, is remarkably similar to the traditional type:

A large number of people are all working on a breaking story at the same time, seeing what information others have as it comes out (monitoring the Twitter feeds of other news orgs is like reading through a Reddit thread), and using their own resources to find out new information, eventually coming collectively to some sort of coherent picture.

The problem is those people are unpaid, so they’ll likely pounce only on stories of obvious interest.

For all of their problems, one of the great values of journalistic organizations is that they have people on salary whose job it is to be aware of what’s going on in a particular area of society, every day, all the time. All the little, seemingly unimportant stuff gets covered that way, and when a big story breaks there’s someone with the expertise to put it in context. With citizen journalism, the only things that get covered are the ones with a critical mass of posters large enough to properly crowdsource the story on an amateur basis.

New York University prof Jay Rosen responds, saying Barthel’s piece is a trend story in search of a trend:

The Matt Ingram article Salon uses here to suggest that there is a wave of hype actually makes a very modest claim. It says that citizens journalists “may not replace the traditional journalism we’re used to, but they are certainly going to help.” That’s hype? That’s excess enthusiasm?

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Knight News Challenge funds 6 projects focused on networks

The Knight News Challenge is giving more than $1.375 million to six projects that use networks in different ways to solve journalism problems.

Two of the winners announced Monday address issues on opposite ends of the journalism process:

  • The Tor Project will work on tools to help people in dangerous and politically repressive parts of the world publish and communicate safely with sources.
  • Signalnoi.se will enable news sites to track which stories and topics are gaining traction on their websites and their competitors’.

Monday’s announcement marks the completion of the first News Challenge contest since it shifted from an annual contest to three times a year.

Under the old system, nine to 10 months passed between the time that a project was submitted and Knight cut a check. In this cycle, that has been cut to 90 days, said John Bracken, director of the Knight Foundation’s journalism and media innovation grants.

Most of the awardees will have their checks by the end of the week, he said. “That feels right,” he said.

Bracken said the foundation is becoming more comfortable with funding projects that will change direction or refine their focus as they pursue their work. “I will be more worried if projects don’t come back to me in six months” to pivot, he said.

Two of the projects are being funded through the Knight Enterprise Fund, which funds for-profit ventures. “In line with standard venture-capital practices, the funding amounts are not being disclosed,” Knight said in a news release. The $1.375 million figure only accounts for the four projects for which funding levels were disclosed.

Bracken said the Tor Project’s proposal made so much sense to him, he almost felt bad that he hadn’t thought of it already. The Tor Project is behind the Tor Browser, which allows users to use the Web anonymously by separating their identity from their browsing.

That’s valuable in countries that block websites, track users and manipulate Web content. “We’ve been used heavily in China and the Arab Spring to get information out safely,” said Andrew Lewman, executive director of the Tor Project.

With Knight’s money, Tor will improve a tool, called Tails, that enables people to safely and anonymously use public computers. Many people around the world rely on Internet cafes to upload videos because they don’t have high-speed Web access at home, but their use of those computers can be tracked.

By sticking a USB drive into the computer, someone can temporarily load an operating system with word processing, audio and video editing software. When they’re done, they pull out the USB drive and walk away without a trace of what they’ve done.

Tor will use a portion of the Knight grant to provide live support to people in sensitive reporting situations. Someone in Baghdad, for instance, would be able to chat, email or call (at various levels of security) to get help on how to sidestep a county’s Internet controls to publish a story.

Signalnoi.se, another grantee, aims to solve a problem at the other end of the publishing process: figuring out what stories interest people so that news sites can decide what to cover and promote. It’s part of a growing niche of analytics tools that try to help editors make decisions.

Signalnoi.se will track content on a news site and its competitors, displaying data about which stories have the greatest activity on Twitter and Facebook activity. It pays special attention to stories that are surging in popularity, tracking them more closely if it detects an uptick.

The Signalnoi.se dashboard shows a list of stories, their popularity on Twitter and Facebook and whether a story is on the home page. Users can track popularity over a variety of time periods.

“We want to bring social clarity to newsrooms,” said Mohamed Nanabhay, who along with Haroon Meer co-founded the project. “We think there’s a lot of information out there that audiences are providing, that newsrooms don’t see.”

Nanabhay described two ways that journalists could use the tool. The first is to stay on top of what your competitors are doing in real-time. If you see a story that’s taking off and “you think it has editorial merit … you can do it and try to ride the wave of traffic and provide a service to your audience.”

Or perhaps a news site already has published a story that’s relevant to a popular story on a competing site. Signalnoi.se would help editors see that, and they could then decide to push their story on social media and promote it on the home page.

The service also enables editors to drill down into their own content and other websites to see which stories broke out.

Nanabhay emphasized that Signalnoi.se should be used to inform editorial decisions rather than dictate them. When he was at Al Jazeera English (he recently left his job as head of its online operations), he worried about the temptation to chase page views by publishing stories on whatever was popular at the moment.

“That’s something we don’t want,” he said. “It’s one tool that informs editorial judgment. It’s not there to replace an editor or choose stories for him.”

The service is in private beta now; Nanabhay said Signalnoi.se hasn’t disclosed how much the service will cost.

The other four projects:

  • Peepol.tv ($360,000) Enables map-based searches of live mobile video streams of breaking news around the world, using services such as Ustream and TweetCaster.
  • Recovers.org ($340,000) Helps disaster-striken communities quickly launch websites to organize volunteers, solicit donations and organize recovery.
  • Watchup (amount undisclosed) An iPad app that aggregates video news reports into a simple interface.
  • Behavio ($355,000) Uses data collected by phones to track people’s behavior, surroundings and the ways they use their phones. Knight is funding software development and the creation of a toolkit so journalists use these sensors to see trends in community data.

Knight is still accepting applications for the second round, focused on data. The focus of the third one has yet to be announced.

Disclosure: Julie Moos, director of Poynter Online, was a reader for the News Challenge; she is not taking part in any Poynter editorial decisions regarding the contest. Read more

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Missourian editor says integration of citizen journalism is working

Columbia Missourian
Joy Mayer, director of community outreach for the Missourian, says a student’s first-person account of storm-chasing is a testament to the Missourian’s decision to integrate user-generated content into the main news site. Until February, such material was published on a separate site, MyMissourian; it’s now in a section called “From Readers.” Mayer put Dustin Mazzio’s story on the home page:

As an editor, I was thrilled to have it. Dustin offered a window into something most people don’t get to (or aren’t crazy enough to!) experience. Sounds like journalism to me. …

Bringing the stories under the big umbrella of Missourian content, rather than segregating them on their own site, gives the newsroom the option to display them more prominently. The stories can appear alongside those from the newsroom’s staff.

Earlier: Early citizen journalism site MyMissourian shuts down Read more

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Why the Tulsa World published graphic front-page image of shooting suspect

Tulsa World/View

The Tulsa World published a front-page photograph Thursday of a shooting suspect lying face-down and bleeding following a shooting at the Tulsa County Court House. The image was captured by John Fancher, an employee of Tulsa City-County Library, who happened to have his camera with him at work and shot gripping photos of suspect Andrew Joseph Dennehy through the library’s window.

“The decision to publish a photo that some may view as offensive or graphic was not taken lightly,” Tulsa World Photo Editor Christopher Smith writes on the paper’s photography blog. “While the situation is unfortunate, no matter how you look at it, the gravity of the situation would be difficult to communicate without the images.”

The World paid the library to publish the images, Web Editor Jason Collington confirmed via email. In this video about Fancher, he describes his usual job as being “Buddy Bookworm’s best friend” and says he prefers to photograph nature scenes.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the World was paying Fancher (not the library) for the photos. Read more

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Early citizen journalism site MyMissourian shuts down

Columbia Missourian
One of the earliest citizen journalism sites announced today that it will be shutting down. University of Missouri journalism professor Clyde Bentley, who founded MyMissourian, wrote:

“I will shed only tears of joy when our internationally-known citizen journalism site “graduates” this week.

MyMissourian.com is a unique part of the journalism world to which the Missouri School of Journalism gave birth, but that the people of Columbia reared. But after seven years, it is time to close the site. Instead, the stories, recipes, photos and memories that you have shared with your neighbors will take their place with the rest of the news in the Columbia Missourian under the heading “From Readers.” …

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