Telling Stories Together: Collaboration in the Digital Age

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With the takeover in digital media, we experience an overload of information and updates worldwide. With respect to this movement, news outlets are embracing technology and shifting their agenda’s from competition to collaboration. Journalists are relying on their audiences more than ever now to curate relevant, compelling stories.

In chapter 3 of Mark Briggs’ Journalism Next, he explains how journalists are adapting to the digital age and stresses the importance of not categorizing one’s audience simply as consumers. Collaboration in investigative journalism isn’t only a medium to expand an audience but it also allows the opportunity for engaging content that matters and ultimately makes a difference.

Introducing new reporting methods such as crowdsourcing, open-source reporting and pro-am journalism, Briggs demonstrates the value of co-creating while showing why these styles of reporting are increasingly becoming the focus for news in the United States.

Crowdsourcing, a term that lives up to its name was coined by Jeff Howe in 2006. The process involves taking a task that would traditionally done by a professional journalist and outsourcing to a group of citizens through open call.

Community members of the public gather information and are allowed to flaunt their expertise on a number of subjects. One example of this notion of participatory journalism is CNN’s iReport. Although there will always be debates on whether crowdsourcing journalism is ‘true’ journalism, there is no doubt in its ability to shed light on why some stories matter.

On the other hand, open-source reporting, an additional form of participatory online-journalism is a news style that urges the writer to be transparent. Offering unbiased reports free from motives help create a sense of credibility between reporters and their audiences.

These days, the D-I-Y ( Do It Yourself) movement is becoming more modernized. Playing on this, pro-am journalistic reporting allows the audience to publish their own news and other forms of content. While collaboration journalism is more recently muscling its way to the forefront, I believe that it vital in helping journalism get back to its truer scope and goal — to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

Further, Briggs offers tips on managing a community once you have accumulated an audience.With new social media accounts forming daily, it is hard to fathom how one manages to interact with them all. However, Briggs assures us that this can be accomplished using a variety of tools.

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