Summary: Crowdsourcing is a growing practice in journalism, one of the conclusions we drew in our recent “How-To Guide to Crowdsourcing” for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of the Tow Center’s ongoing research on the cutting edge of journalism. My co-authors, Jan Schaffer and Mimi Onuoha, and I surveyed the territory in a whirlwind three months, and put together a report describing the state of the art. During our research, we interviewed 51 people, analyzed 18 survey responses, explored dozens of projects, and developed four in-depth case studies. You can download our “Guide to Crowdsourcing” here. In the process of the reporting, it was decided to put information about our work here at ClearHealthCosts.com in a separate blog post on the Tow site, and not in the report; you can find that blog post here.
During our reporting, the Knight Foundation granted $2.2 million to ProPublica for “audience engagement,” which includes, of course, crowdsourcing. On its site, ProPublica announced the Crowd-Powered News Network, which ProPublica desribes as “a forum for journalists and others proactively engaging communities in storytelling to share ideas, practical support and best practices.”