As we cover the media trends we’re looking forward to in 2010, today we’re focusing on citizen journalism and crowdsourcing — two similar concepts that promote engagement between reporters and people involved in the stories they’re covering.
To get us started on this topic, we spoke to Jim Gaines, the former managing editor at People, Time and Life magazines and current editor-in-chief of digital publication FLYP, about the possibilities of citizen journalism and the future of journalistic storytelling.
Gaines is a big proponent of using journalism to start a conversation, and using collaboration from readers to continue that conversation and coverage of a story. Although his own pub FLYP doesn’t have the infrastructure in place yet to accomplish his vision, Gaines thinks collaboration is the wave of the future.
“I think 2010 is going to be enormously important as a turning point for digital publishing in general, citizen journalism in particular, because the facility — and by that I don’t just mean the software and hardware, I mean the culture and other supportive elements — are just getting into place,” Gaines told us.
“Google Wave is a wonderful example of a collaboration, but there are so few people on it that it has no scale. I think that it is an interesting model for the storytelling of the future, which is not going to be a one-way story told. A story is going to be the beginning of a conversation and that story will be modified by the conversation that follows. I don’t know exactly what that model is going to look like because the experimentation is only beginning. But it’s very exciting.”