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CNN, MTV, Mashable and Facebook Discuss How Crowdsourcing Is Affecting Reporting

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“The way CNN reports a story today is fundamentally different than the way CNN would do it four years ago, before iReport, and before you could actually include the voice of the audience, and represent them back in the story,” said CNN’s Lila King.

That being said, King acknowledged, “I think we have a long way to go, for sure. I don’t want to sit here and pretend that it’s all figured out, but I think we’re heading in that direction.”

The comments came on a panel titled, “CrowdControl: Changing The Face Of Media Or Hype?” moderated by Text 100′s Joe Kingsbury and also featuring Mashable founder Pete Cashmore, Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg, and MTV’s Jason Rzepka.

Cashmore said “curation is being underrated. It’s really important to make sense of raw materials,” when we asked him about just how much “true reporting” is taking place by crowd-sourced methods. For example, when US Airways Flight 1549 famously landed in the Hudson River last January, the initial image of the event came from Twitter, but almost all of the subsequent news reporting came from “traditional” sources.

MTV’s Rzepka said that MTV has “kind of been in the citizen journalism game since the beginning,’ and mentioned programs like their get out the vote effort “Choose or Loose.”

Cashmore acknowledged that news brands are still extremely important. “You see something on CNN, it’s a trusted brand. You see something trending on Twitter, it’s less trustworthy,” he said.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg said she sees crowdsourcing in two ways: ideation and distribution. She gave the example of actress Betty White being asked to host Saturday Night Live due almost completely to efforts on Facebook. Getting her on the show is “ideation,” while the “distribution” is people reacting to the decision and the show online.

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