Crowdsourcing the News: Citizen Journalism in the SXSW PanelPicker

Written by Kelly Krause | Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013

Check out the citizen journalism proposals in the SXSW PanelPicker

We are into our final week of the public voting stage of SXSW PanelPicker and we want to hear from you. Browse through proposals or search for keywords that interest you and cast your vote by end of day Friday, September 6 when the polls close. 

Personally, I'm fascinated with the role of the citizen journalist and how traditional media can embrace user-generated content. When news breaks, I turn to social media first to follow the topic as citizens around the world can often break news faster than journalists.

A quick "citizen journalist" search in PanelPicker yields a few results like, How Not to Treat Citizen Journalists Like Dirt with Jennifer Preston (New York TImes) and Eric Carvin (Associated Press), focusing on the responsibilities news organizations have to citizen journalists and how to work with amateurs who may find themselves reporting in dangerous situations. Other proposals focusing on this concept include Prosourcing: The Future of Video Journalism?, Hacking Attention: Media, Technology and Crisis, Can Stories Turn Texas Blue? Digital Media And HB2, and How Live Video Fueled the Fire for #OccupyGezi.

Consensus seems to hold that media outlets support utilizing user-generated content, within reason. Just last month, NBC announced the purchase of Stringwire, a live-video streaming site to incorporate citizen journalism and boost news coverage.

So what is your take on citizen journalism? Should we embrace or rely more heavily on freelancers and stringers to deliver the news? Can readers really distinguish what is written by a professional journalist and what is written by a non-professional from the online community? Let us know your thoughts via SXSW PanelPicker voting

Also, for any SXSW Interactive press-related questions, please contact Kelly Krause.