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OMNI's New Approach to Citizen Journalism
OMNI to relaunch in September
OMNI (cloudatlas)     Email Article  Print Article 
Published 2010-08-01 16:02 (KST)   


Welcome to a fresh approach for OhmyNews International. In a month셲 time, the site will a re-launch and reboot. The old site will remain online, but it cannot accept new stories.

Instead, we are launching a new blog dedicated to covering and discussing the world of citizen journalism itself. Our new aim is to help raise the bar for the future. The new OhmyNews International is a guide to what citizen journalists, academics, and even professionals are thinking about how everyone will collaborate on the news of the future.

As we wrote in our new mission statement:

쏰MNI is the barometer for citizen journalism. In a Venn diagram between participatory media and news, OMNI makes the grey space its home. Grassroots journalism, citizen media, crowdsourcing are all related terms that tackle the same question: How are regular people making and changing the news?

We will do this through a team of curators. They will, with your help, highlight the most important events and stories in the citizen journalism world. In addition, curators will work with our citizen reporters all over the globe to do original reporting about the citizen journalism happening everywhere. Finally, curators will commission critical essays on where citizen media is headed.

Our new home is located at http://international.ohmynews.com/. Please stop by.

Why?

We are rebooting a site that has been a hallmark of citizen journalism since 2004. Why?

Because the old site was 70 percent of what we need to do. Because citizen journalism is no longer in its infancy, in need of a showcase. Because we want to do better.

We founded OhmyNews in Korea because it served a particular need: to help correct the imbalance in the Korean media environment. Unfortunately, because OhmyNews was in Korean, it was very difficult for people outside Korea to understand what we had done.

We wanted to show the world how it worked; how OhmyNews registered people from across the country to become citizen journalists. So we created OhmyNews International as a showcase where anyone in the world could participate.

Subsequently, perhaps from an experience with OMNI, citizen journalism websites started to appear in other parts of the world. People everywhere were becoming able citizen journalists, and stories flowed in to websites around the globe, including ours.

There were, however, some problems. First, we lacked a specific focus. With citizen reporters from every corner of the world writing on every topic imaginable, it became increasingly difficult to cover stories consistently. The broad array and frequency of topics was also intimately tied to our second problem: editing difficulties. With stories coming from places like Afghanistan, Brazil, Zimbabwe and everywhere in-between, it was impossible for our editors to accurately check each story. Fact-checking is one of our core principles.

Due to these issues, and the existence of many new and thriving citizen journalism sites around the world, we felt it was time to refocus OMNI. As noted above, the new OMNI is designed to cover citizen journalism itself. It will be the hub of a global conversation.

Your Integral Role

What does that mean for our current citizen journalists? We ask you to stay involved in three ways.

First, we encourage each of you to write for the citizen journalism site in your country, or your own blog. If your country does not have a citizen media organization, you may create one using freely available tools. Please feel free to consult with our experts on the best ways to build a new site.

Second, tell us what you are writing about, and give us a feed to include in our aggregator.

Third, we are eager to hear from you. We hope you will be active in writing posts on citizen journalism, linking us to new and interesting projects happening in where you live, or helping to translate great work into other languages.

No matter what you have to contribute, we셶e streamlined the process: just click 쏶ubmit Stories on the top of the page, tell us your name and e-mail address, and paste in your work.

Please visit our new site. Read some of the stories. Leave some comments. Send us a story of your own. Let us know what you think.

Thank you for the past six years of sharing your stories and ideas with the world. We look forward to the coming years of collaboration to improve citizen journalism as a whole.

The OhmyNews International Team
internews@ohmynews.com
©2010 OhmyNews

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