Crowdsourcing for experts to support stories such as those using Help a Reporter Out and open forums for news reporting such as CNN’s iReport have grown in popularity recently. However, The Guardian, a national British newspaper, will be one of the first national papers to implement a major editorial change with plans to crowdsource aspects of its editorial policy, which could be the starting point of change in the way national news is reported.
The idea is to publish a carefully-selected portion of the national, international and business newslists on a daily blog, and encourage people to get in touch with reporters and editors via Twitter if they have ideas.
The crowdsourced participation comes with some inherent problems such as the Guardian will not list all of their exclusives or embargoed content, and need to be particularly sensitive about legally sensitive or unsubstantiated stories. The Guardian, like so many others is focused on maximizing its resources and may have found a way to do just that.
Crowdsourcing may also provide the newspaper with much more diverse information than could be generated by a handful of primary reporters. The potential is huge for newspapers across the globe and is bound to be intensely scrutinized by other national editors. It is possible that a whole new approach to editing may be needed to fully utilize the input generated through crowdsourcing as we put readers to work as watchdogs, whistle-blowers and researchers in large, investigative features.