Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 15, 2005
Since late last year, WikiMedia.org, the site hosting the Wikipedia
The project is still in its infancy. Though users from as far as Russia and Israel have already opened newsrooms in their native languages, there aren't that many stories written by them -- yet. These volunteer reporters are still working out the how-tos of reporting news accurately, avoiding being sued, etc. Still, this network of self-professed citizen journalists could, potentially, change the news business as we know it.
Consider: Bloggers have already broken many stories, including the recent resignation of CNN's Eason Jordan. As Dan Gillmor recently wrote in his blog, some of these citizen journalists are pretty good: "Bloggers and other citizen journalists are doing increasingly valuable work," he writes. And as blogs become more respected and more mainstream, many more people will go to them for news.
The idea of, say, a blog to which thousands of people contribute news items isn't really that outrageous. Such a site could become quite popular. And perhaps anticipating such a flood of traffic, search engine Google recently offered the Wiki guys to host their Wikipedia site for free (check out an article on that here).
The Wiki people are talking about how, if the project is successful, the organization could, perhaps, hire its own research staff and its own, paid editors. Perhaps from the Associated Press?