Department

Communication

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Abstract

When the Los Angeles Times unveiled its Wikitorial, an open source experiment in commons-based editorial writing, it was shut down within two days as malicious trolls began to fill it with obscene photos. The editorial page editors apparently didn’t understand how commons-based peer production works. As journalism institutions consider commons-based peer production, known interchangeably as We Media, Open Content, Open Source Journalism, Participatory Journalism, Citizen Journalism, and Citizen Media, they would be well advised to consider a framework built on the past experiences learned by commons-based peer production in other areas. This article builds on open source/open content literature and applications to develop a framework from which academics, citizens, critics, journalists, and the media industry can collectively develop a sustainable model or models to save quality journalism—possibly by reinventing journalism as it has traditionally been defined. This article provides that framework, not so much as a theoretical construct but, rather, as an annotated checklist to guide those interested in reinventing journalism.

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