World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Open Journalism report

Open Journalism report

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The World Editors Forum has drawn together the leading arguments for open journalism -- supplementing original reporting with the vast resources of the web -- and collected key examples in a new report that offers an overview of a wide variety of approaches for newsrooms everywhere.

“Open Journalism”, prepared by WEF as part of the Shaping the Future of the News Publishing (SFN) research initiative, examines the fundamental shift in thinking that sees journalism as an ongoing, open process, rather than as a finished product.

“There is a clear, practical business case for supplementing reporting with information from elsewhere when you have fewer journalists who are trying to produce more content,” said Cherilyn Ireton, Executive Director of the World Editors Forum. “If you can save time by linking to other sources, or improve an article by tapping into the expertise of your audience, then why not?”

The Open Journalism report, which is offered at no cost to members of WEF and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), and to attendees at the upcoming World Editors Forum conference in Kiev (2 to 5 September next),  can be found at .

The report cites leading editors about how open journalism is changing journalistic practices and offers numerous examples, including:

- How Norran in Sweden and Le Monde in France introduced live chats that allow readers to enter the newsrooms virtually, suggest ideas and discuss ongoing stories with journalists. “In the old days we used to sit here guessing what our readers wanted,” said Anette Novak, former Editor of Norran. “We don't have to guess anymore, we can talk to them and ask them.”

- How The Guardian in the United Kingdom has taken crowdsourcing to new levels, using social networks to find video and other evidence of wrongdoing by authorities, and using Twitter to support on-the-ground reporting of the London riots and other stories.

- How the Danish daily Dagbladet Information created a think tank to address the problems facing Denmark, and invited its readers to join experts, politicians, organisations, corporations and established think tanks. Through this blend of expert insight and popular opinion, the paper hoped to gain a more profound insight into the mood of the Danish people and how best to deal with the current political and economic environment.

- How the Colombian digital publication La Silla Vacía worked with its audience to create Quién es Quién, a database of the country’s powerful and influential figures that offers profiles and links to stories about them. Users are invited to send in information to add to the database and do so in significant numbers. But this is more than a simple Wikipedia of the great and the good of Colombia: Quién es Quién can be filtered so that you can see important connections between these figures.

- How citizen media content has emerged as a significant source of reporting for Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Arab Spring and aftermath, and how the broadcaster’s ability to effectively source and verify user-generated content has become one of its major strengths. During the Egyptian revolution, 16,000 videos came to Al Jazeera in the space of 11 days.

Other cases – The Economist, UK regional publisher Archant, the Journal Register Company in the United States, and more. Full details are available at

The World Editors Forum is the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) for chief editors and other senior newsroom personnel.


Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski


2012-07-16 11:02

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