Media Giant Follows NowPublic Lead
mtippett | November 7, 2006 at 09:01 amby
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Gannett Co., the nation's largest newspaper chain, is radically changing the way its papers gather and present news by incorporating elements of reader-created "citizen journalism," mining online community discussions for stories and creating Internet databases of calendar listings and other non-news utilities.
Gannett's ideas are shared by a growing number of people in the industry who believe that news organizations have driven away readers by becoming too imperial, too distant and not fast enough to respond to reader needs and desires.
"I am very impressed with the Fort Myers" experiment, said Jay Rosen, a New York University journalism professor. "If that becomes the direction at a lot of Gannett papers, we could learn a lot from that."
Elements of Gannett's plan are seen elsewhere.
Rosen recently founded the Web site NewAssignment.net, which bills itself as "an experiment in open-source reporting" and is being partly funded by the Reuters news agency. Another Web site, NowPublic.com, claims of 31,000 citizen reporters in 130 countries who post news, photos and video to the site. NowPublic reporters were active in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
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