NowPublic's Crowd-powered News Values
NowPublic's Crowd-powered News Values
Mark Schneider here — the Actual News Guy at NowPublic. I’ve been in the news business for almost 30 years and it’s my job here to encourage a flow of newsworthy stories that are truthful, interesting, and creative. You can check out my background, my blog about NowPublic’s news values, and my growing list of journalism tips.
What is 'news' at NowPublic?
At NowPublic, we have a very simple definition of news that allows
our members to be assured that what they read is actually newsworthy:
"News is new information on current events."
We believe that most people have this in mind when they search out news, regardless of the format in which it is received.
So given this, the news you post should be "news" in this commonly accepted sense. It will be one of these three types:
- Original, relevant information about a current event that you have actually witnessed, documented, or researched
- New information you have collected, arranged, and contextualized about a current event
- Commentary, advice or analysis directly related to a current event
How stories are 'flagged' at NowPublic
Actually, we do very little of that, preferring our entire community promote stories they like by making contributors Favorites, adding comments, rating photos, etc. However, there are some things that will get extra special attention from the NowPublic Team and News Wranglers:
It happens every day - sometimes every few minutes - that a story comes down the pike which deserves special promotion. It’s what we live for at NowPublic and we hope all our contributors get tagged this way. We’ve had people question why we aren’t more effusive about our “good stuff”, why we don’t call it “Outrageously Fantastic Content” or some such thing. We don’t have to shout at NowPublic. We just want to quietly recognize exceptional work by our contributors.
If a volcano has just erupted in Central Park and you have a photo, it’ll go right to the top. All over the globe really new, interesting news that no one else knows anything about. We’re especially on the lookout for these and when your item gets flagged this way, it means you’ve done a great job. As well, news organizations all over the world are always on the look-out for material from non-professionals. Items that are flagged “Breaking” may ultimately find their way to sites like the New York Times. It happens.
We also like stuff that hangs together. Traditionally, journalists strive for "balance", "fairness", or "objectivity." At NowPublic, we think about these concepts differently:
- Is there a sense of "transparency" - so that readers get a sense they are being told everything?
- Were other sides of the story included, was there good research, were sources verified, etc?
- If the contributor has a bias, were these clearly stated up front? (this is a very good thing to do).
We strive for the real stuff at NowPublic. When our editors flag a report or image "Fishy," it means that there are questions about the plausibility of the material. If your story was flagged this way, it’s not a condemnation, but an invitation to improve your contribution.
Here are some of the questions that may arise:
- Did the contributor "add something" that was: not part of the situation, untrue or exaggerated?
- Is it possible the image or the text were not produced by the contributor?
- Does it look like the contributor had first-hand experience, knowledge, or was eyewitness?
- Was there "full disclosure" about sources used?
- Is the contributor "independent" - or is there a conflict of interest that has not been disclosed?
It gets killed automatically. To prevent your story from being flagged as spam, please make sure that stories about commercial products or services are dealt with independently.
Looking for some help on how to make your story zip along and get noticed? Wonder how to ask a tough question or write a stunning headline? Check out ANG’s J-Tips and post your own questions and comments.