Open-source journalism

Open-source journalism, a close cousin to citizen journalism or participatory journalism, is a term coined in the title of a 1999 article by Andrew Leonard of[1] Although the term was not actually used in the body text of Leonard's article, the headline encapsulated a collaboration between users of the internet technology blog Slashdot and a writer for Jane's Intelligence Review. The writer, Johan J. Ingles-le Nobel, had solicited feedback on a story about cyberterrorism from Slashdot readers, and then re-wrote his story based on that feedback and compensated the Slashdot writers whose information and words he used.[2][3]

This early usage of the phrase clearly implied the paid use, by a mainstream journalist, of copyright-protected posts made in a public online forum. It thus referred to the standard journalistic techniques of news gathering and fact checking, and reflected a similar term that was in use from 1992 in military intelligence circles, open source intelligence.

The meaning of the term has since changed and broadened, and it is now commonly used to describe forms of innovative publishing of online journalism, rather than the sourcing of news stories by a professional journalist.

The term open-source journalism is often used to describe a spectrum on online publications: from various forms of semi-participatory online community journalism (as exemplified by projects such as the copyright newspaper NorthWest Voice),[4] through to genuine open-source news publications (such as the Spanish 20 minutos, and Wikinews).

A relatively new development is the use of convergent polls, allowing editorials and opinions to be submitted and voted on. Over time, the poll converges on the most broadly accepted editorials and opinions. Examples of this are[5] and Digg. Scholars are also experimenting with the process of journalism itself, such as open-soucing the story skeletons that journalists build [6].


At first sight, it would appear to many that blogs fit within the current meaning of open-source journalism. Yet the term's use of open source clearly currently implies the meaning as given to it by the open-source software movement; where the source code of programs is published openly to allow anyone to locate and fix mistakes or add new functions. Anyone may also freely take and re-use that source code to create new works, within set license parameters.

Given certain legal traditions of copyright, blogs may not be open source in the sense that one is prohibited from taking the blogger's words or visitor comments and re-using them in another form without breaching the author's copyright or making payment. However, many blogs draw on such material through quotations (often with links to the original material), and follow guidelines more comparable to research than media production.

Creative Commons is a licensing arrangement that is useful as a legal workaround for such an inherent structural dilemma intrinsic to blogging, and its fruition is manifest in the common practices of referencing another published article, image or piece of information via a hyperlink. Insofar as blog works can explicitly inform readers and other participants of the "openness" of their text via Creative Commons, they not only publish openly, but allow anyone to locate, critique, summarize etc. their works.

See also


  1. ^ Andrew Leonard (8 October 2004). "Open-source journalism".
  2. ^ Johan J Ingles-le Nobel; Robin Miller (4 October 2004). "Jane's Intelligence Review Needs Your Help With Cyberterrorism". Slashdot.
  3. ^ Johan J Ingles-le Nobel; Robin Miller (7 October 2004). "Jane's Intelligence Review Lauds Slashdot Readers as Cyberterrorism Experts". Slashdot.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Novin, A.,, Secko, D., (November 25, 2012). "Debate Cited: A First Exploration of a Web Application to Enhance the Production of Science Journalism Students". Journalism Interest Group, CCA/Groupe d’intérêt en journalisme. 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2016.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard (born 1962) is an American journalist who writes feature articles for San Francisco and contributes to Medium. From 1995 to 2014 he wrote for He has also written for Wired.

Collaborative journalism

Collaborative journalism is a growing practice in the field of journalism. One definition is "a cooperative arrangement (formal or informal) between two or more news and information organizations, which aims to supplement each organization’s resources and maximize the impact of the content produced." It is practiced by both professional and amateur reporters. It is not to be confused with citizen journalism.

De Correspondent

de Correspondent is a Dutch news website based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was launched on 30 September 2013 after raising more than €1 million in a crowdfunding campaign in eight days. The website distinguishes itself by rejecting the daily news cycle and focusing on in-depth and chronological coverage on a topical basis, led by individual correspondents who each focus on specific topics. Sometimes it publishes English versions of its articles.

The concept and initial success of De Correspondent has inspired other projects elsewhere. A German website Krautreporter was founded in 2014 and adopted the same concept.An English-language news site, to be based in the United States, entitled The Correspondent, is in preparation during December 2018. The first news stories they will publish are planned for mid‑2019. Crowdfunding and a subscription system were launched in December 2018.

Digital Journal

Digital Journal is a Canadian Internet news service that blends professional contributions with user-submitted content.Digital Journal began as a technology and gadget magazine in 1998 and evolved into a global citizen journalist news hub in 2006. The company is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and shares advertising revenue with citizen journalists who report for the site and it has control mechanisms to ensure content is accurate and well written. Contributors submit a sample of writing and are asked to demonstrate expertise to Digital Journal's editorial board. The company has an assignment desk where contributing journalists are informed of news items ripe for press coverage. The Board of Advisors includes: journalist; Jack Kapica, business executive; Andrew Waitman, law professor; Michael Geist, business executive; Kerry Munro and business executive; Jennifer Evans.

Do-it-yourself biology

Do-it-yourself biology (DIY biology, DIY bio) is a growing biotechnological social movement in which individuals, communities, and small organizations study biology and life science using the same methods as traditional research institutions. DIY biology is primarily undertaken by individuals with extensive research training from academia or corporations, who then mentor and oversee other DIY biologists with little or no formal training. This may be done as a hobby, as a not-for-profit endeavour for community learning and open-science innovation, or for profit, to start a business.

Local news

In journalism, local news refers to coverage of events, by the news, in a local context that would not be an interest of another locality, or otherwise be of national or international scope. Local news, in contrast to national or international news, caters to the news of their regional and local communities; they focus on more localized issues and events. Some key features of local newsrooms includes regional politics, business, and human interest stories. Local news readership has been declining in recent years, according to a recent study.

Open-door academic policy

An open-door academic policy, or open-door policy, is a policy if a university accepting to enroll students without asking for evidence of previous education, experience, or references. Usually, payment of the academic fees (or financial support) is all that is required to enroll.

Universities may not employ the open-door policy for all their courses, and those that have a universal open-door policy where all courses have no entry requirements are called open universities. The policy is seen to be a part of the educational revolution. From the dictionary meaning of the open-door policy, which is the idea of granting access to those who want access to the country freely, a similar idea can be drawn in terms of education.According to Deepa Rao, the open-door academic policy is one of the main ways in which adult learners become a part of university/college life. The recognized demand for post-secondary education made many institutions commit strongly to the policy, but many concealed limitations in the policy can prevent some from securing a degree.

Open admissions

Open admissions, or open enrollment, is a type of unselective and noncompetitive college admissions process in the United States in which the only criterion for entrance is a high school diploma or a certificate of attendance or General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

Open collaboration

Open collaboration is "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." It is prominently observed in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists and online communities. Open collaboration is also thought to be the operating principle underlining a gamut of diverse ventures, including bitcoin, TEDx, and Wikipedia.Open collaboration is the principle underlying peer production, mass collaboration, and wikinomics. It was observed initially in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists, Internet communities, and many instances of open content, such as creative commons. It also explains some instances of crowdsourcing, collaborative consumption, and open innovation.Riehle et al. define open collaboration as collaboration based on three principles of egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-organization. Levine and Prietula define open collaboration as "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." This definition captures multiple instances, all joined by similar principles. For example, all of the elements — goods of economic value, open access to contribute and consume, interaction and exchange, purposeful yet loosely coordinated work — are present in an open source software project, in Wikipedia, or in a user forum or community. They can also be present in a commercial website that is based on user-generated content. In all of these instances of open collaboration, anyone can contribute and anyone can freely partake in the fruits of sharing, which are produced by interacting participants who are loosely coordinated.

An annual conference dedicated to the research and practice of open collaboration is the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (OpenSym, formerly WikiSym). As per its website, the group defines open collaboration as "collaboration that is egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist), meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes)."

Open publishing

Open publishing is a process of creating news or other content that is transparent to the readers. They can contribute a story and see it instantly appear in the pool of stories publicly available. Those stories are filtered as little as possible to help the readers find the stories they want. Readers can see editorial decisions being made by others. They can see how to get involved and help make editorial decisions. If they can think of a better way for the software to help shape editorial decisions, they can copy the software because it is free and open source to change it and start their own site. If they want to redistribute the news, they can, preferably on an open publishing site.

Internet sites run on open publishing software allow anyone with Internet access to visit the site and upload content directly without having to penetrate the filters of traditional media. Several fundamental principles tend to inform the organizations and sites dedicated to open publishing, though they do so to varying degrees. These principles include non-hierarchy, public participation, minimal editorial control, and transparency.

Open publishing idea embedded the same concept, although didn't mention Eric S. Raymond's major insight. In open publishing problematic content is shallow. Given a large enough audience, peers, readers and commentators, almost all problematic content will quickly be noticed, highlighted and fixed. Arnison's Law: "Given enough eyeballs, problematic content is shallow".

It should be distinguished from open access publishing – the publishing of material organized in such a way that there is no financial or other barrier to the user. (All or almost all open publishing is in fact also open access.)

Open source

Open source is a term denoting that a product includes permission to use its source code, design documents, or content. It most commonly refers to the open-source model, in which open-source software or other products are released under an open-source license as part of the open-source-software movement. Use of the term originated with software, but has expanded beyond the software sector to cover other open content and forms of open collaboration.

Open source (disambiguation)

Open source is the concept of the information allowing the replication or modification of something being open to the public.

Open source may also refer to:

Open-source license

Open-source model

Open-source software

Open university

An open university is a university with an open-door academic policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. Open universities may employ specific teaching methods, such as open supported learning or distance education. However, not all open universities focus on distance education, nor do distance-education universities necessarily have open admission policies.


Openness is an overarching concept or philosophy that is characterized by an emphasis on transparency and free, unrestricted access to knowledge and information, as well as collaborative or cooperative management and decision-making rather than a central authority. Openness can be said to be the opposite of secrecy.


Orato is an international news Web site that showcases first person accounts from the protagonists and witnesses of events.

It was recognized as one of the top 12 news websites in the world by the 2008 Webby Awards, called the Oscars of the Internet by The New York Times, receiving approximately 10,000 visits per day, up to 55,000, from a mostly American demographic.

Anybody can post a story at Orato as long as it is a demonstrably true story that follows Orato’s guidelines.

The name of the site comes from the Latin and it means "I speak". The idea of eyewitness accounts inspired Orato’s founder, Sam Yehia in the late 1990s to launch a citizen journalism site whose motto is: "True Stories From Real People”. Yehia said it is designed to be the “CNN of the individual”.

In 2000, following focus group and survey study analysis, an early version of went online and was awarded "Yahoo Site of the Week".

The site showcases stories from around the world and currently has registrants from 66 countries.

About 30% of the site's content is written by the Orato staff, while the majority of articles is written by other freelance contributors and ordinary citizens. Similar open source perspective on news reporting has been explored by Wikinews, with the added distinction that any user can edit articles at any time, while in Orato, only editors or the original author can edit a story.

Story ideas come directly from correspondents or are based on assignments from Orato editors (See, for example, the current Top Ten Story Ideas. Users can choose from 11 story categories, including Current Events, Entertainment, Health and Science, Sports, Lifestyles, Travel and Adventure, EBuzz, Love and Sex, Mysteries and Podium.

Readers can rate stories on the site from one to five stars.

Orato’s contributors and correspondents registration site was launched on June 2005. The site with all its functionalities and sections was officially a year later, in June 2006.

As recently as July 2, 2013, the site was not working.

Oscar Soria

Oscar Soria (born 1974) is an Argentinian political activist, social journalist, and environmental and human rights campaigner, currently serving as senior campaigner in the international activist group Avaaz. Previously he was the global brand director of Greenpeace and afterwards the media director of WWF.

Soria was also part of the directorate of the British section of Oxfam and confidant and close adviser of progressive politicians, social advocates and NGO leaders in Latin America and Asia.

P2P Foundation

P2P Foundation: The Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives is an organization with the aim of studying the impact of peer to peer technology and thought on society. It was founded by Michel Bauwens, James Burke and Brice Le Blévennec.The P2P Foundation is a registered institute founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its local registered name is: Stichting Peer to Peer Alternatives, dossier nr: 34264847.

Rob Walker (journalist)

Rob Walker is an American author and freelance journalist. He writes "The Workologist" column for the New York Times Sunday Business section and blogs for Design Observer. He is also the former "Consumed" columnist for the New York Times Magazine, where he was a contributing writer from 2004-2012, and coined the word "murketing."

Social peer-to-peer processes

Social peer-to-peer processes are interactions with a peer-to-peer dynamic. These peers can be humans or computers. Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a term that originated from the popular concept of the P2P distributed computer application architecture which partitions tasks or workloads between peers. This application structure was popularized by file sharing systems like Napster, the first of its kind in the late 1990s.

The concept has inspired new structures and philosophies in many areas of human interaction. P2P human dynamic affords a critical look at current authoritarian and centralized social structures. Peer-to-peer is also a political and social program for those who believe that in many cases, peer-to-peer modes are a preferable option.

Social impact
News media
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