Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, and Online Journalism

21 Sep


In this week’s Online Journalism lecture, Susan Hetherington (@snoozen) introduced us to crowd sourcing, which is  the distributed gathering of information online. Twitter, for example, facilitates the outsourcing of information to a vast amount of people around the world. A person can post a question  or issue for discussion, and within minutes there can be hundreds of responses. Hashtags are another way to gather information (in 140 characters or less) on the one topic, and in the one place. Whereas before, journalists would have to go out themselves to source public opinion, now they can access much of the information or perhaps story inspiration they need, through crowdsourcing.

The rise of online journalism has created new opportunities for reporters to source public opinion, and crowd sourcing is becoming increasingly useful as more people embrace online sharing. The same process is also used in Crowd funding, which is about the outsourcing of funds rather than information. On platforms like Crowdrise anyone can contribute money online to a number of projects focused on world issues. Instead of acting as a charity, people can pick an issue, either in their local community or overseas and “invest” in it. The platform shows how much money the project has raised, and how much it needs to be successful.  Crowdfunding can be a useful tool for journalists in presenting issues of concern, and highlighting the issues that public are most passionate about.

For more information, take a look at this Prezi I put together.


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