guanxi writes: Gannett, one of the largest newspaper publishers in the U.S., plans to change its newsrooms to utilize Crowdsourcing, a new term for something Slashdot readers have been familiar with for years: From the article, they will "use crowdsourcing methods to put readers to work as watchdogs, whistle-blowers and researchers in large, investigative features." Last summer, the The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida asked readers to help investigate a local scandal. The response was overwhelming: "Readers spontaneously organized their own investigations: Retired engineers analyzed blueprints, accountants pored over balance sheets, and an inside whistle-blower leaked documents showing evidence of bid-rigging." Public service isn't their only concern, of course: "We've learned that no one wants to read a 400-column-inch investigative feature online. But when you make them a part of the process they get incredibly engaged." Is this the beginning of a revolution at major media organizations? Can they successfully duplicate what online communities have been doing for years?
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