The community has become the news reporter


I came across an article by blogger Matthew Ingram on GigaOM, in which he writes about Reddit’s recent success since the Advance Publications acquisition. The reason why it has been successful is because freedom has been given to the users to interact and essentially become part of the news reporting process.

Ingram mentions a couple newspapers, such as The New York Times, that have made a few steps towards engaging the readers but have yet to explore the benefits that come with using a news arena similar to Reddit.

Ingram questions, “Why has no major newspaper tried to invest in or build this kind of community?” This shows that despite how much smaller the world has become with social media, there is still so much people are unaware of. About a year ago, The Miami Herald helped launch an online news networking site led by the web editor of The Herald, Jared Goyette. When I worked for the site, the name was Open Media Miami, but it now goes by Beached Miami.

The Herald incorporates stories that readers post on the networking site into certain sections on the site, usually the Neighbors section. It gives the community a chance to get involved and decide what it thinks is newsworthy instead of just watching from the sidelines.

The group would hold events at Lester’s Café in Wynwood and my job was to go around talking to random people asking them what they think the news should focus more on. I would then tell them about Open Media Miami and our goal to create a stronger bond between the community and the news. The most people were enthusiastic about it and would sign up to be members on the spot.  Another priority for the group was to utilize Facebook and Twitter and they have now grown to over 2,000 likes and followers.

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