Posts Tagged ‘citizen journalism’

Digital Journal November ‘Power User’ list features top contributors in monthly crowdsourcing project

December 7th, 2011

Today my company issued a press release that provides more info on how our gamification project has been working out. Details below…

Digital Journal, a global digital media network, today published a comprehensive list of the 20 most active contributors for November. The Top 20 list is published each month to report how Digital Journalists, bloggers and citizen journalists interact in an online media network.

“Digital Journal’s gamification project is hands-down one of our most successful technologies we’ve developed to date,” said Chris Hogg, CEO, Digital Journal. “We know right down to a granular level how people consume and interact with our media network and it has provided us with a true wealth of information and data.”

In September, Digital Journal launched a massive gamification project that tracks and reports the activity of contributors across the media network. Recording actions such as quantity of articles published, frequency of visit and how engaged members are, Digital Journal rewards points and badges to individual contributors based on the amount of their activity. The members who stay the most active in the month are then rewarded with a “Power Users” badge.

“Our contributors and members are highly engaged with our media network,” said Hogg. “We’ve proven that by giving people recognition for hard work, and by highlighting details of how people engage in an open news ecosystem, everyone wins. Contributors are rewarded for being really active, and the entire media network benefits with a huge increase in activity.”

In addition to creating incentive for contributors to participate in the social news network, Digital Journal’s gamification project aims to showcase talent and create a level of transparency that gives a completely open look at how people interact with a news organization and how user-generated content is valuable in the wider news ecosystem.

In no particular order, Digital Journal’s November 2011 Power Users include:

Digital Journal compiles data on a monthly basis and resets the points at the beginning of each month when a new competition begins. More info on Digital Journal’s gamification project can be found on the company’s website here.

About Digital Journal:

Digital Journal is a global digital media network with 34,000+ professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and freelancers in 200 countries around the world. Regarded as a pioneer and leader in crowd-sourcing and user-generated content, Digital Journal leverages its custom-built content platform and global reach to produce news and media content at scale in an environment that is built from the ground-up to be digital-first and social by nature. Digital Journal also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from digital media properties. For more information, visit digitaljournal.com.

Digital Journal offers editorial blueprint for newsroom success

August 16th, 2011

My company, Digital Journal, issued the following press release this morning:

After receiving widespread praise for its Global Editorial Meetings, Digital Journal today released feedback to give newsrooms and editors a chance to hear about the types of content people are looking for.

Throughout the month of July, Digital Journal hosted online story meetings that were open to the public. The live-chat discussions invited reporters, citizen journalists, bloggers and average news consumers into the editorial process to help shape the coverage being produced by Digital Journal. Participants were invited to provide input on the type of content of interest to them.

Participants interacted with Digital Journal editors and management to express their thoughts on stories and topics they believe were under-reported; emerging trends and topics that needed more media attention; and geographies and local stories that were being missed by the press. Readers chatted live and responded to polls and questions, and that feedback was used to assign stories to thousands of contributors via Digital Journal’s content assignment technology.

“We learned a lot about what people look for in a news site, and we were surprised by some of the feedback we got,” said Digital Journal CEO, Chris Hogg. “One of the most interesting things we noticed was that local content matters to people, but those people are also likely to read local content from other regions if the right context is provided. Several people told us they will read foreign news coverage if it’s presented to them through a single content source, and they really enjoy reading about news from other cities.”

Several key themes surfaced in the Global Editorial Meetings, including:

  • Local content is widely sought-out by news consumers, but the majority are also interested in local stories from other geographies when context is provided.
  • Readers are increasingly turning to social media sites to discover new information, following content feeds from media organizations on Twitter and Facebook because they are often curated and timelier than a website.
  • Readers view their social media friends as content sources, often citing their social circles as sources of information.
  • When a major or developing story breaks, a large percentage of online news consumers turn to their social media circles to validate information and to get updates rather than turning to a specific news site. Readers will often follow a story as it breaks on Twitter and Facebook, and then look for validated information from news sources after.
  • Several readers want to see more investigative journalism and original work in the mainstream press and less content from wire services.
  • A large percentage of readers enjoy reading opinion pieces, even if it’s an opinion contrary to their own sentiments.
  • Most readers want to see more editorial coverage from regions such as South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Several readers said they hope to learn more about these regions beyond the typical headlines that come from these areas.
  • When it comes to content verticals, several readers said they want more business, science, and environmental news, regardless of the geography from which a story originates.
  • Readers want to see more photography with news stories, citing preferences for photo essays and on-the-ground reports filled with high-quality visuals.

In addition to these overall themes, participants also noted that while a lot of the news they read informs them about what’s happening around them, deeper context is often missing in news articles in the mainstream press. That is especially true when it comes to discussions on the debt crisis and global financial markets, readers said. In addition, readers said geographies such as Africa and the Middle East are often in the news because of conflict occurring in those regions, but they believe media outlets need to do a better job of explaining the various sides of a story, such as who is involved, historical context and why the story should matter to them.

“Digital Journal is well-known for giving a voice to anyone who wants to take part in the news-gathering process,” said Hogg. “Learning from our readers, as well as people who are just discovering us as a news source, helps us improve our news offering and I would encourage every newsroom to start experimenting by bringing their readers behind the curtain to involve them in the everyday process of reporting news.”

Full transcripts from Digital Journal’s Global Editorial Meetings are available on request.

About Digital Journal:

Digital Journal is a global digital media network with 32,000 professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and freelancers in 200 countries around the world. Regarded as a pioneer and leader in crowd-sourcing and user-generated content, Digital Journal is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Digital Journal also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from digital media properties. For more information, visit digitaljournal.com.

Digital Journal commended for opening newsroom story meetings to the public

August 16th, 2011

My company, Digital Journal, issued the following press release this morning:

Digital Journal, a global digital media network with contributors in 200 countries, reported a strong response to its series of Global Editorial Meetings, ushering in a new precedent for how newsrooms interact with their audience and how editorial content is produced.

Online story meetings were open to the public, taking place throughout July. The live-chat discussions invited reporters, citizen journalists, bloggers and average news consumers into the editorial process to help shape the coverage produced by Digital Journal. Participants were invited to provide input on the type of content of interest to them.

“In an age where people go online to find content appealing to their tastes, it’s important for news organizations to adapt and ensure their editorial process aligns with reader interests,” said Digital Journal CEO, Chris Hogg. “By opening up our story meetings to the public, we provided a platform for people everywhere to tell us what they care about. We received a lot of great feedback that will allow us to target geographies and stories we know people care about.”

During the Global Editorial Meetings, participants interacted with Digital Journal editors to express their thoughts on stories and topics they believe were under-reported in the media; emerging trends and topics that needed more media attention; and geographies and local stories missed by the press. Readers chatted live and responded to polls and questions, and that feedback was used to assign stories to thousands of contributors via Digital Journal’s content assignment technology.

Several participants said they enjoy reading and contributing to Digital Journal because of the variety of content.

“I like Digital Journal because it gives me a mix of everything,” said Denise, a reader based in the UK. “I enjoy visiting a news site that offers me news I want to read from my location but also something else.”

Kim was also fond of Digital Journal’s diverse editorial mix. “I like a variety of hard-hitting news and politics as well as the odd news and light-hearted stuff, the same mix as Digital Journal provides,” she said.

Participants were very happy to have the opportunity to participate in a discussion about what is newsworthy and what stories they felt were not being covered by international press. Participants were also happy to have an opportunity to speak directly with Digital Journal staff members.

Pulling back the curtain and offering the public a chance to take part in the news-gathering process has earned Digital Journal kudos and praise from people all over the world.

“Thank you [Digital Journal] for great moderation, openness, and opportunity for feedback,” said Sam Halaby.

“Thanks for asking us what we think,” wrote Darren W. “Don’t see that often in the media.”

Full transcripts from Digital Journal’s Global Editorial Meetings are available on request.

Digital Journal will also be publishing an editorial summary to provide media organizations with an overview of the type of content average readers enjoy consuming, as well as input on how to improve online news coverage. The summary can be found here.

About Digital Journal:

Digital Journal is a global digital media network with 32,000 professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and freelancers in 200 countries around the world. Regarded as a pioneer and leader in crowd-sourcing and user-generated content, Digital Journal is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Digital Journal also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from digital media properties. For more information, visit digitaljournal.com.

Digital Journal announces Global Editorial Meetings

July 5th, 2011

Digital Journal's David Silverberg (left) and Chris Hogg discuss the company's Global Editorial Meetings.Today, my company, Digital Journal, made a big editorial announcement. To keep you up-to-date, I’ve included a press release below:

Digital Journal today announced a new community newsroom initiative aimed at widening the scope of news covered globally, and involving the public in the news creation process.

Dubbed “Global Editorial Meetings,” these online chat story meetings are open to the public and hosted on Digital Journal.

“Every news organization has story meetings,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal. “But traditionally they happen behind closed doors, with a selected group of individuals deciding what everyone should be reading. We want to change that to see how editorial direction will shift by opening up these meetings to the public. Starting this month, our Global Editorial Meetings will allow everyone to share details on what kind of stories we should be covering, and what stories are going unnoticed in the press.”

As a hybrid news network that combines professional journalists with citizen journalists and bloggers, Digital Journal has always taken a forward-thinking approach to journalism. The company has successfully crowdsourced thousands of story ideas from a large and growing contributor base and held liveblog workshops on journalistic practices. With Global Editorial Meetings, Digital Journal is going one step further to open up these meetings to give an editorial voice to literally everyone.

In the Global Editorial Meetings, Digital Journal staff members and editors will chat live with readers, journalists, bloggers, photographers and passionate news junkies about important stories and topics from their city, province/state or country.

Conversation will focus on multiple geographies and news verticals, and particular attention will be focused on stories the public believes are being under-reported.

After these Global Editorial Meetings are complete, Digital Journal will use feedback and input to assign stories to thousands of Digital Journalists around the world. The company will use its Assignments technology to create, track and organize a massive editorial project to provide the public with content it wants.

The first Global Editorial Meeting will take place on July 11 at 9 a.m. (Eastern time), and the second will happen July 21 at 2 p.m. (Eastern time). A third Global Editorial Meeting will take place on July 28 at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). The live chat conversations will use Cover It Live and anyone can participate.

To participate in a chat, visit the Digital Journal Global Editorial Meetings group and click on the blog post for the day(s) you wish to attend. You can set a reminder for yourself on the embedded chat widget inside each post.

“Our goal is to get our finger on the pulse of the world,” said David Silverberg, Managing Editor of Digital Journal. “Combining the public’s voice with the Digital Journal platform to create, assign and publish content is a really powerful marriage. We hope to be able to get a much better sense of what people find important, and then deliver that information to Digital Journalists who can make sure those voices are being heard by providing coverage of all those topics.”

“Digital Journal is recognized as a pioneer in the news industry for bringing in everyday people as reporters,” said Hogg. “We want to continue to lead by example, and so we’re opening up our newsrooms and giving the public a forum in which they can be heard.”

Citizen journalists, media capture earthquake aftermath in Japan

March 11th, 2011

The aftermath of an earthquake in Japan, March 2011Japan has been hit by the most powerful earthquake since it started keeping records, and a massive tsunami warning has been issued across the Pacific. Videos show widespread flooding, including ships, cars and buildings being washed away.

Japan was hit by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake Friday, prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a widespread warning watch for tsunamis.

According to a report in the LA Times, seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena said the quake “is going to be among the top 10 earthquakes recorded since we have had seismographs. It’s bigger than any known historic earthquake in Japan, and bigger than expectations for that area.”

The BBC reports a state of emergency has been declared in a nuclear power plant in Japan, but no radiation leaks have been reported. According to reports, hundreds of people are dead after the 8.9-magnitude quake hit about 400 km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo at 2:46 p.m. local time.

Video captured by local media and citizen journalists is now making its way online, showing massive damage. While places like Hawaii brace for impact, the damage within Japan is widespread.

Here are some videos showing the devastation in Japan:

Map of areas affected in and around Japan (courtesy Storyful):


View Japan Earthquake – March 11 in a larger map

[via Digital Journal]