"Ideally, what role do you see Newsvine playing in your daily news consumption?"
First, let me say that I think the question, and the Series, could turn into an interesting collection of replies to "personal interview"-type questions of those who read, use, and contribute content to Newsvine. Interesting idea for a Series.
Citizen journalism, also known as "participatory journalism," is the act of citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information," according to the seminal report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information, by Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis. They say, "The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires."
I tend to agree with that ideal. Powerful search engines by Google, Yahoo!, and MSN are providing community sites with traffic and, where there are partnerships, shared ad revenue has the potential in creating a tempting business model for new media. And, although Newsvine's ad model is still in the works, I think it could lead to some nice donations to various humanitarian charities on the part of those Newsviners who choose to give a part of their revenue to charity.
"Public journalism is a set of values about the craft that recognizes and acts upon the interdependence between journalism and democracy. It values the concerns of citizens over the needs of the media and political actors, and conceives of citizens as stakeholders in the democratic process rather than as merely victims, spectators or inevitable adversaries. As inherent participants in the process, we should do our work in ways that aid in the resolution of public problems by fostering broad citizen engagement..."
As a blogger whose blog is currently "out on the fringes" of the blogosphere (my blog isn't on the "A List"), I see Newsvine as a very tempting alternative for citizen journalism (and citizen journalists). One of the "freeing" things about Newsvine is the ability to seed articles that might otherwise never be covered by old media (aka: the mainstream media, or MSM) or their websites. Newsviners don't really have any restrictions on what kinds of news to avoid (other than the language barrier which the developers are working on). MSM, on the other hand, often only portrays a very specific viewpoint; a good example of this is it's coverage up to and through to the present of the Iraq War, which was very pro-war, neglecting to give equal coverage in terms of media slots and time allocated to the opposing viewpoint. The peace movement that was virtually ignored had the largest peace demonstrations in the history of the world, and it wasn't considered "newsworthy" to old media, even though dissent was being heavily monitored by the NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, and IRS, among other agencies. I think when it comes to that kind of selective "editing" of the news in the mainstream media, that places like Newsvine which aren't subject to that same kind of restriction serve a real purpose in giving the public a chance to participate in that process, and get the other side of the news that goes missing from old media.
I think that Newsvine's Wire and Vine, and the threaded commenting discussions that follow, lead to cultural and political understandings of a diverse audience and how best to serve the global news-consuming public who seems to feel they are not being served by old media.
For me, Newsvine is both a source for my consumption of news as well as a place to bring in stories from other sources and gives the public the power to publish their own articles to a growing audience of news-consuming public. It's kind of a give-and-take form of citizen journalism.
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J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism helps news organizations and citizens use new information ideas and innovative computer technologies to develop new ways for people to engage in critical public policy issues.
This article is part of a series examining the various ways Newsvine users view the site and envision its future. Please consider reading other articles in the series.