Journalism merges with social networking

Journalism is always evolving and with advances in technology and limitless access to information, the evolution is happening faster than ever before.

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Today’s world is community driven and moving away from individual blogs to open source and micro blogging platforms like Tumblr and Livejournal. Now, the web is overrun with social networks as creators around the world compete to have their voices heard.

If you’re a journalist with a great story, you no longer need a publication just some organization and a little bit of self-motivation. There are some credible, community oriented sites coming up for journalists and revolutionizing the field.

The first is Medium which comes from the same minds that brought us Twitter.

It’s a clean, text based site. It has no room for sidebars, widjits, or anything that will take away from the experience of the writing.

“It’s designed for little stories that make your day better and manifestos that change the world. It’s used by everyone from professional journalists to amateur cooks.” (Ev Williams – Welcome To Medium).

It’s filled with articles from publications around the world as well as the unpublished. Originally it was only open to professional writers who were paid by its staff to assure the quality of the content, but today it has opened up and anyone can create an account and post.

Stories range from editorials, to Q&A’s to opinions, and even short fiction. It’s a place to go and read but void of distractions with a more focused community that targets an audience similar to magazines.

The site makes it easy to pull together a list of recommendations and it will alert you to what other people are reading.

Another website for journalists to check out is Contributoria. Launched by the Guardian Media group in 2012, it’s an open-source, crowdfunded publication similar to Kickstarter for stories.

Writers make pitches, editors decided which pitches deserve backing, and they turn to their audience to fund the writers.

“The platform enables journalists and writers to collaborate on all aspects of the writing process, including commissioning, editing and publication.” (Contributoria – About)

Several groundbreaking features were able to be written through Conrtibutoria. The publication is monthly and it does undergo a rigorous editing process. It runs with the idea that it’s helping to tell stories that other publications might not be able to spend their resources on.

On that premise, in their last issue they covered child labor in Bolivia, cocaine in Columbia, and even problems on online privacy and modern feminism. This issue was made by a network of over 700 contributors and, collectively, the writers were paid 22,000 pounds for their work.

Online communities are working tirelessly to reestablish credible journalism but at what cost to real publications? Are this communities of freelancers a glimpse into the future of news?

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9 responses to “Journalism merges with social networking

  1. I’m a little confused; are we moving away from LiveJournal, tumblr or WordPress blogs?

    I’m surprised that we’re going towards more minimalistic styles of websites. I thought people generally wanted sites that catch attention.

  2. This is a really cool post, Allison. I’m thrilled to read that there are websites dedicated to substantial, in-depth stories. I love a good listicle as much as the girl, but I thought the Internet was lacking in popular longform pieces. You’ve proved me wrong.

  3. Self-publishing and the idea of self-promotion is mildly terrifying for me. As a child of the social media era, it’s good to know that there’s a light at the end of the electronic tunnel to learn these skills early. Even the promotion of #j70 of these articles is working us toward that amibition.

  4. I think in the digital age we live in that sites like these will continue to pop up all over the place. While I think they are a great resource for writers and journalists I don’t that I see them as the future of news. Personally, I’m more likely to look at opinion pieces on sites like these than hard news.

  5. I think these are all really awesome sites with such a unique way of creating interest in story topics. I agree with the above comments though, in that I don’t think people will use them for hard news. The more traditional sources, like the NYT and Washington Post, will always be seen as more of the hard-hitting news sources, while these sites you’ve mentioned seem tailored more toward public and individual interest stories.

  6. This is really cool and something I hadn’t heard about before. I especially like Contributoria’s idea that by giving people the opportunity to suggest stories, it sounds like, the works in this publication of a different variety than more traditional sources, and that’s a good thing. Since it undergoes a rigorous editing process, it’s probably more reliable than simply taking the stories submitted by writers who may or may not be professional. I also like Medium’s idea to give people a social outlet for their work and to share the works of others to provide information or inspiration. It’s comforting to see that online journalism is not necessarily being lowered in quality just because it’s online, but is instead bringing more perspectives to the forefront.

  7. I think that this is a great idea, and something well needed online. After Buzzfeed popularized the list format articles, it’s hard to find anything substantial nowadays. I’m excited that there is a new outlet for long form journalism, and I look forward to reading it.

  8. I think these websites are great ideas and can help writers starting out. They offer writers a great way to publish their material while still being a credible source. I don’t think they will replace major publications, more of the general public reads major publications. These websites are for journalists and employers to use.

  9. I think it’s a great thing to have. I personally do not have many clips to my name, but I’m constantly writing. I love having my own personal blog, sharing my favorite things on tumblr, and constantly updating my social media. Being able to put out some of my work and share it is a great thing to be able to do–especially to a more credible source. And with a site like Contributoria rigorously editing my work? I’m always open to ways to improve my writing, and it looks like I could get help through that too. I think these are a great idea all around.

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