Curating Twitter feeds and other sources, and micro-donations for local reporting are some highlights from the new media scene
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The world of web journalism is evolving so fast that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all the latest developments. It seems like almost every day, there are new channels for information and new models being tried to make those models sustainable and accessible to readers.
One of my favorite new concepts is a daily “newspaper” compiled from Twitter, the short-message social media channel that has grown into a vital information stream for journalists.
Designed to read like the home page of a news website, paper.li simply organizes links shared on Twitter into an easy to read newspaper-style format. It’s interactive, allowing users to create “newspapers” for any Twitter user, list or #tag.
Check out the latest environmental edition of paper.li here, with news from the Gulf oil spill, as well stories on the EPA’s mercury standards and more.
In partnership with organizations like the Annenberg School of Communications in Los Angeles, Spot.Us is pioneering open-source community powered reporting. Through Spot.Us, the public can commission and participate with journalists to do reporting on important and perhaps overlooked topics. Contributions are tax deductible and Spot partners with news organizations to distribute content under appropriate licenses. On some occasions they even pay back the original contributors.
Here’s how it works. Citizens or journalists can pitch stories and put them up for funding. If enough people are interested enough in the topic, and motivated to make a donation, the story can build up sponsorship support to a level that supports more in-depth follow-up stories.
Supporters for the story, as well as the to-date funding, are shown as the story develops.
And in a broader project aimed at covering and curating topics of global interest, a group of Irish journalists recently launched their Alpha version of Storyful.com, seeking to “separate streams of useful news from a river of useless noise.”
Here’s a blurb from the About page on the Storyful website:
- “Storyful is run by a core team of professional journalists in partnership with storytellers across the planet. We use unique web curation tools to find the smartest voices in the global conversation. We are guided by the eternal values of journalism when we tell their stories.”
In a recent story on civilian casualty rates in Afghanistan, Storyful combined video footage from an Afghan news service with information from a United Nations report and other sources to try and paint a complete picture of the issue.