Wiki journalism is a form of participatory journalism or crowdsourcing, which uses wiki technology to facilitate collaboration between users. It is a kind of collaborative journalism. The largest example of wiki journalism is Wikinews. According to Paul Bradshaw, there are five broad types of wiki journalism: second draft wiki journalism, a 'second stage' piece of journalism, during which readers can edit an article produced in-house; crowdsourcing wiki journalism, a means of covering material which could not have been produced in-house (probably for logistical reasons), but which becomes possible through wiki technology; supplementary wiki journalism, creating a supplement to a piece of original journalism, e.g. a tab to a story that says "Create a wiki for related stories"; open wiki journalism, in which a wiki is created as an open space, whose subject matter is decided by the user, and where material may be produced that would not otherwise have been commissioned; and logistical wiki journalism, involving a wiki limited to in-house contributors which enables multiple authorship, and may also facilitate transparency, and/or an ongoing nature.
Wikinews was launched in 2004 as an attempt to build an entire news operation on wiki technology. Where Wikinews – and indeed Wikipedia – has been most successful, however, is in covering large news events involving large numbers of people, such as Hurricane Katrina and the Virginia Tech Shootings, where first hand experience, or the availability of first hand accounts, forms a larger part of the entry, and where the wealth of reportage makes a central 'clearing house' valuable. Thelwall & Stuart identify Wikinews and Wikipedia as becoming particularly important during crises such as Hurricane Katrina, which "precipitate discussions or mentions of new technology in blogspace."
Mike Yamamoto notes that "In times of emergency, wikis are quickly being recognized as important gathering spots not only for news accounts but also for the exchange of resources, safety bulletins, missing-person reports and other vital information, as well as a meeting place for virtual support groups." He sees the need for community as the driving force behind this.
In June 2005 the Los Angeles Times decided to experiment with a 'wikitorial' on the Iraq War, publishing their own editorial online but inviting readers to "rewrite" it using wiki technology. The experiment received broad coverage both before and after launch in both the mainstream media and the blogosphere. In editorial terms the experiment was generally recognised as a failure.
In September 2005 Esquire used Wikipedia itself to 'wiki' an article about Wikipedia by AJ Jacobs. The draft called on users to help Jacobs improve the article, with the intention of printing a 'before' and 'after' version of the piece in the printed magazine. He included some intentional mistakes to make the experiment "a little more interesting". The article received 224 edits in the first 24 hours, rising to 373 by 48 hours, and over 500 before the article was 'frozen' in order to be printed.
In 2006 Wired also experimented with an article about wikis. When writer Ryan Singel submitted the 1,000 word draft to his editor, "instead of paring the story down to a readable 800 words, we posted it as-is to a SocialText-hosted wiki on August 29, and announced it was open to editing by anyone willing to register." When the experiment closed, Singel noted that "there were 348 edits of the main story, 21 suggested headlines and 39 edits of the discussion pages. Thirty hyperlinks were added to the 20 in the original story." He continued that "one user didn't like the quotes I used from Ward Cunningham, the father of wiki software, so I instead posted a large portion of my notes from my interview on the site, so the community could choose a better one." Singel felt that the final story was "more accurate and more representative of how wikis are used" but not a better story than would have otherwise been produced:
"The edits over the week lack some of the narrative flow that a Wired News piece usually contains. The transitions seem a bit choppy, there are too many mentions of companies, and too much dry explication of how wikis work.
"It feels more like a primer than a story to me."
However, continued Singel, that didn't make the experiment a failure, and he felt the story "clearly tapped into a community that wants to make news stories better ... Hopefully, we'll continue to experiment to find ways to involve that community more."
In April 2010, the Wahoo Newspaper partnered with WikiCity Guides to extend its audience and local reach. "With this partnership, the Wahoo Newspaper provides a useful tool to connect with our readers, and for our readers to connect with one another to promote and spotlight everything Wahoo has to offer," said Wahoo Newspaper Publisher Shon Barenklau. Despite relatively little traffic as compared to its large scale, WikiCity Guides is recognized as the largest wiki in the world with over 13 million active pages.
Andrew Lih places wikis within the larger category of participatory journalism, which also includes blogs, citizen journalism models such as OhMyNews and peer-to-peer publishing models such as Slashdot, and which, he argues "uniquely addresses an historic 'knowledge gap' – the general lack of content sources for the period between when the news is published and the history books are written."
Participatory journalism, he argues, "has recast online journalism not as simply reporting or publishing, but as a lifecycle, where software is crafted, users are empowered, journalistic content is created and the process repeats improves upon itself."
Francisco identifies wikis as a 'next step' in participatory journalism: "Blogs helped individuals publish and express themselves. Social networks allowed those disparate bloggers to be found and connected. Wikis are the platforms to help those who found one another be able to collaborate and build together."
A Wiki can serve as the collective truth of the event, portraying the hundreds of viewpoints and without taxing any one journalist with uncovering whatever represents the objective truth in the circumstance.
Wikis allow news operations to effectively cover issues on which there is a range of opinion so broad that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to summarise effectively in one article alone. Examples might include local transport problems, experiences of a large event such as a music festival or protest march, guides to local restaurants or shops, or advice. The Wikivoyage site is one such example, "A worldwide travel guide written entirely by contributors who either live in the place they're covering or have spent enough time there to post relevant information."
Organisations willing to open up wikis to their audience completely may also find a way of identifying their communities' concerns: Wikipedia, for instance, notes Eva Dominguez "reflects which knowledge is most shared, given that both the content and the proposals for entries are made by the users themselves."
Internally, wikis also allow news operations to coordinate and manage a complex story which involves a number of reporters: journalists are able to collaborate by editing a single webpage that all have access to. News organisations interested in transparency might also publish the wiki 'live' as it develops, while the discussion space which accompanies each entry also has the potential to create a productive dialogue with users.
There are also clear economic and competitive advantages to allowing users to create articles. With the growth of low-cost micropublishing facilitated by the internet and blogging software in particular, and the convergence-fuelled entry into the online news market by both broadcasters and publishers, news organisations face increased competition from all sides. At the same time, print and broadcast advertising revenue is falling while competition for online advertising revenue is fierce and concentrated on a few major players: in the USA, for instance, according to Jeffrey Rayport 99 percent of gross advertising money 2006 went to the top 10 websites.
Wikis offer a way for news websites to increase their reach, while also increasing the time that users spend on their website, a key factor in attracting advertisers. And, according to Dan Gillmor, "When [a wiki] works right, it engenders a community – and a community that has the right tools can take care of itself". A useful side-effect of community for a news organisation is reader loyalty.
Andrew Lih notes the importance of the "spirit of the open source movement" (2004b p6) in its development, and the way that wikis function primarily as "social software – acting to foster communication and collaboration with other users." Specifically, Lih attributes the success of the wiki model to four basic features: user friendly formatting; structure by convention, not enforced by software; "soft" security and ubiquitous access; and wikis transparency and edit history feature.
Shane Richmond identifies two obstacles that could slow down the adoption of news wikis – inaccuracy and vandalism:
Writing in 2004 Lih also identified authority as an issue for Wikipedia: "While Wikipedia has recorded impressive accomplishments in three years, its articles have a mixed degree of quality because they are, by design, always in flux, and always editable. That reason alone makes people wary of its content."
Security is a common problem in wiki technology. Wikipedia's own entry on wikis notes: "Wikis, because of their open nature, are susceptible to intentional disruption, known as 'trolling'. Wikis tend to take a soft-security approach to the problem of vandalism, making damage easy to undo rather than attempting to prevent damage."
Dan Gillmor puts it another way: "When vandals learn than someone will repair their damage within minutes, and therefore prevent the damage from being visible to the world, the bad guys tend to give up and move along to more vulnerable places." (2004, p.149)
Attempts to address the security issue vary. Wikipedia's own entry on wikis again explains:
"For instance, some wikis allow unregistered users known as "IP addresses" to edit content, whilst others limit this function to just registered users. What most wikis do is allow IP editing, but privilege registered users with some extra functions to lend them a hand in editing; on most wikis, becoming a registered user is very simple and can be done in seconds, but detains the user from using the new editing functions until either some time passes, as in the English Wikipedia, where registered users must wait for three days after creating an account in order to gain access to the new tool, or until several constructive edits have been made in order to prove the user's trustworthiness and usefulness on the system, as in the Portuguese Wikipedia, where users require at least 15 constructive edits before authorization to use the added tools. Basically, "closed up" wikis are more secure and reliable but grow slowly, whilst more open wikis grow at a steady rate but result in being an easy target for vandalism."
Walsh (2007) quotes online media consultant Nico Macdonald on the importance of asking people to identify themselves:
"The key is the user's identity within the space – a picture of a person next to their post, their full name, a short bio and a link to their space online."
"A real community has, as New Labour would say, rights and responsibilities. You have to be accountable for yourself. Online, you only have the 'right' to express yourself. Online communities are not communities in a real sense – they're slightly delinquent. They allow or encourage delinquency."
Walsh (2007) argues that "Even if you don't plan on moderating a community, it's a good idea to have an editorial presence, to pop in and respond to users' questions and complaints. Apart from giving users the sense that they matter – and they really should – it also means that if you do have to take drastic measures and curtail (or even remove) a discussion or thread, it won't seem quite so much like the egregious action of some deus ex machina."
Ryan Singel of Wired also feels there is a need for an editorial presence, but for narrative reasons: "in storytelling, there's still a place for a mediator who knows when to subsume a detail for the sake of the story, and is accustomed to balancing the competing claims and interests of companies and people represented in a story."
'Edit wars' are another problem in wikis, where contributors continually overwrite each other's contributions due to a difference of opinion. The worst cases, notes Lih, "may require intervention by other community members to help mediate and arbitrate".
Eva Dominguez recognises the potential of wikis, but also the legal responsibilities that publishers must answer to: "The greater potential of the Internet to carry out better journalism stems from this collaboration, in which the users share and correct data, sources and facts that the journalist may not have easy access to or knowledge of. But the media, which have the ultimate responsibility for what is published, must always be able to verify everything. For example, in the case of third-party quotes included by collaborating users, the journalist must also check that they are true."
One of the biggest disadvantages may be readers' lack of awareness of what a wiki even is: only 2% of Internet users even know what a wiki is, according to a Harris Interactive poll (Francisco, 2006).
American columnist Bambi Francisco argues that it is only a matter of time before more professional publishers and producers begin to experiment with using "wiki-styled ways of creating content" in the same way as they have picked up on blogs.
The Telegraph's Web News Editor, Shane Richmond, wrote: "Unusually, it may be business people who bring wikis into the mainstream. That will prepare the ground for media experiments with wikis [and] I think it's a safe bet that a British media company will try a wiki before the end of the year."
Richmond added that The Telegraph was planning an internal wiki as a precursor to public experiments with the technology. "Once we have a feel for the technology, we will look into a public wiki, perhaps towards the end of the year."
The concept of citizen journalism (also known as "public", "participatory", "democratic", "guerrilla" or "street" journalism) is based upon public citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information." Similarly, Courtney C. Radsch defines citizen journalism "as an alternative and activist form of news gathering and reporting that functions outside mainstream media institutions, often as a response to shortcomings in the professional journalistic field, that uses similar journalistic practices but is driven by different objectives and ideals and relies on alternative sources of legitimacy than traditional or mainstream journalism". Jay Rosen proposes a simpler definition: "When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another." Citizen journalism should not be confused with Community journalism or Civic journalism, both of which are practiced by professional journalists; Collaborative journalism which is the practice of professional and non-professional journalists working together; and Social journalism that denotes a digital publication with a hybrid of professional and non-professional journalism.
Citizen journalism is a specific form of both citizen media and user-generated content. By juxtaposing the term "citizen", with its attendant qualities of civic-mindedness and social responsibility, with that of "journalism", which refers to a particular profession, Courtney C. Radsch argues that this term best describes this particular form of online and digital journalism conducted by amateurs, because it underscores the link between the practice of journalism and its relation to the political and public sphere.New media technology, such as social networking and media-sharing websites, in addition to the increasing prevalence of cellular telephones, have made citizen journalism more accessible to people worldwide. Recent advances in new media have started to have a profound political impact. Due to the availability of technology, citizens often can report breaking news more quickly than traditional media reporters. Notable examples of citizen journalism reporting from major world events are, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 2013 protests in Turkey, the Euromaidan events in Ukraine, and Syrian Civil War and the 2014 Ferguson unrest.
Critics of the phenomenon, including professional journalists and news organizations, claim that citizen journalism is unregulated, too subjective, amateur, and haphazard in quality and coverage.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.Distance education
Distance education or long-distance learning is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Traditionally, this usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via post. Today it involves online education. Courses that are conducted (51 percent or more) are either hybrid, blended or 100% distance learning. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), offering large-scale interactive participation and open access through the World Wide Web or other network technologies, are recent developments in distance education. A number of other terms (distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, virtual classroom etc.) are used roughly synonymously with distance education.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.GroundReport
GroundReport was a citizen journalism website that enabled contributors to publish news reports and videos. The site was owned by a nonprofit organization called Open News Platform until mid-2017. Since the site did not attract enough donations and advertisement revenue to sustain it, Open News Platform sold the GroundReport.com domain and platform to Search-Ladder, LLC in 2017. Search-Ladder is a digital marketing agency. The sale was completed in May 2017.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 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.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.Participatory culture
Participatory culture is an opposing concept to consumer culture — in other words a culture in which private individuals (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (prosumers). The term is most often applied to the production or creation of some type of published media. Recent advances in technologies (mostly personal computers and the Internet) have enabled private persons to create and publish such media, usually through the Internet. Since the technology now enables new forms of expression and engagement in public discourse, participatory culture not only supports individual creation but also informal relationships that pair novices with experts. This new culture as it relates to the Internet has been described as Web 2.0. In participatory culture "young people creatively respond to a plethora of electronic signals and cultural commodities in ways that surprise their makers, finding meanings and identities never meant to be there and defying simple nostrums that bewail the manipulation or passivity of "consumers."The increasing access to the Internet has come to play an integral part in the expansion of participatory culture because it increasingly enables people to work collaboratively; generate and disseminate news, ideas, and creative works; and connect with people who share similar goals and interests (see affinity groups). The potential of participatory culture for civic engagement and creative expression has been investigated by media scholar Henry Jenkins. In 2005, Jenkins and co-authors Ravi Purushotma, Katie Clinton, Margaret Weigel and Alice Robison authored a white paper entitled Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. This paper describes a participatory culture as one:
With relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement
With strong support for creating and sharing one's creations with others
With some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices
Where members believe that their contributions matter
Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).Paul Bradshaw (journalist)
Professor Paul Bradshaw is an online journalist and blogger, who leads the MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism at Birmingham City University. He manages his own blog, the Online Journalism Blog (OJB), and was the co-founder of Help Me Investigate, an investigative journalism website funded by Channel 4 and Screen WM. He has written for journalism.co.uk, Press Gazette, The Guardian's Data Blog, Nieman Reports and the Poynter Institute in the US. From 2010-2015 he was also a Visiting Professor at City University's School of Journalism in London. Since 2015 he has worked with the BBC England data unit.
Bradshaw is the author of the Online Journalism Handbook, co-written with former Financial Times web editor Liisa Rohumaa, and also co-wrote the 3rd edition of Magazine Editing with John Morrish. He has also self-published a number of ebooks on data journalism and Snapchat and contributed to books including Investigative Journalism (2nd Ed), Web Journalism: A New Form of Citizenship; Face The Future; Citizen Journalism: Global Perspectives; Specialist Reporting; Data Journalism: Mapping the Future; and Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices.Adrian Monck ranked Bradshaw second in his list of "Britain's Top Ten Journo-Bloggers" (2007),. He was placed thirty-sixth in the Birmingham Post's "Power 50" list of 2009 and listed again in the Media section of the 'Power 250' list in 2016. He has been listed in Journalism.co.uk's list of the leading innovators in journalism and media and Poynter's most influential people in social media.In 2010 he was shortlisted for Multimedia Publisher of the Year and in 2011 ranked 9th in PeerIndex's list of the most influential UK journalists on Twitter. In 2016 he was part of a team that won the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards.Bradshaw is also a graduate of Birmingham City University (then the University of Central England), where he studied media from 1995 to 1998.PediaPress
PediaPress GmbH is a software development and print-on-demand company located in Mainz, Germany. The company is a 100-percent subsidiary of Brainbot Technologies AG.It provides an online service to create and order customized books from wiki content using an automated PDF file builder and print-on-demand (PoD) technology, currently offering paperback and hardcover formats with black-and-white or full color options. Users can add their own cover details and limited content, such as a foreword.
PediaPress and the Wikimedia Foundation became partners in December 2007 and a proportion of the sales income of each book is donated to the Foundation.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.WikiTribune
WikiTribune (stylized as WikiTRIBUNE) is a news website where volunteers write and curate articles about widely publicised news by proofreading, fact-checking, suggesting possible changes, and adding sources from other, usually long established outlets. Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, announced the site in April 2017 as a for-profit site, not affiliated with Wikipedia or its support organisation, the Wikimedia Foundation. Until October 2018, WikiTribune employed journalists with established backgrounds in the profession who researched, syndicated, and reported news.Initial crowdfunding for the site was completed in May 2017. In August 2017, Peter Bale was named as the first editor of the site on their temporary publishing platform at Medium.com. This was followed by a teaser article posted to Medium in September.The site opened to the public in October 2017, with a focus on "political, business and economic news, bolstered by weekly in-depth articles". A year later, WikiTribune laid off its team of reporters and editors. "Despite the best efforts of staff, the overall structure and design didn't let the community genuinely flourish," said founder Jimmy Wales. "We didn't get very much work done." Volunteers can now publish articles without having them checked by professionals, and the site remains free to access.