[Foundation-l] Murdoch newspaper websites to go paywall -opportunity for citizen journalism!

Sage Ross ragesoss+wikipedia at gmail.com
Mon May 11 14:03:21 UTC 2009

On Mon, May 11, 2009 at 9:36 AM, Nathan <nawrich at gmail.com> wrote:
> The biggest problem for Wikinews in my mind is that delivering news is a
> competitive and innovative business. In the on-line and comprehensive
> encyclopedia vacuum, Wikipedia was able to be "get there first, with the
> most" and draw eyeballs and participants by being the leader. Wikinews, by
> contrast, is at a substantial disadvantage when it comes to online news
> reporting. There are hundreds of major news sites that offer content at no
> charge (although not "free" in the sense we usually mean), with the huge
> benefit of full time, paid reporting staff.

You're right about Wikinews as an all-purpose news source: the
commercial sites were there first and do it better.

But as a hub of citizen journalism, Wikinews does still have a chance
to be the first important site.  At this point, the world of citizen
journalism is extremely diffuse.  One route for getting Wikinews to
really work might involve two strategies: forming partnerships with
other non-profit news organizations to syndicate content, so that
Wikinews is a usable first-stop general news website; and focusing
volunteer (and possibly Foundation) resources on identifying reporting
opportunities and recruiting established amateur journalists to
contribute their work to Wikinews *in addition to* their normal

Maybe the Foundation could work with one of the journalism grant
sources (like the Knight Foundation) to design grants for professional
freelance journalists who want to work on big stories where a cadre of
web-savvy volunteers could usefully collaborate.


More information about the foundation-l mailing list