As society becomes de-sensitised to the ubiquitous cries of “fake news” this may be the appropriate time to consider how news is changing in the 21st century. The concept of open journalism has been around for several years and is unlikely to disappear in our technological age. In 2012 Alan Rusbridger, then the editor of the Guardian, was asked what he meant by open journalism. Here is his response:
“Open journalism is journalism which is fully knitted into the web of information that exists in the world today. It links to it; sifts and filters it; collaborates with it and generally uses the ability of anyone to publish and share material to give a be.”
Of course, the Guardian is an esteemed newspaper with a long history and real credibility. However, the very term open journalism suggests new approaches to the aggregation and presentation of news; enter Blasting News. Blasting News launched in Italy in 2013 and started opening up the platform to other countries in 2014. The founder is Andrea Manfredi and he decided to set up a platform where people could start or grow their journalism career, or simply express themselves and get paid for it.
Anyone can submit a story to Blasting News but all stories are then rigorously checked before going public. Initial checks are conducted by algorithms that check for plagiarism and to ensure there is a logical structure to the story. At this point a human takes over. An editor or ‘senior blaster’ reads the copy and makes the final decision about whether or not to publish.
Not surprisingly some have been sceptical about the quality of journalism that might emerge from Blasting News but Manfredi has no such concerns:
“The way we define quality is engagement. We want people to click on the news, read all of it and take notice of it. If they don’t, in our opinion, it is not good news.
They are also keen to avoid clickbait so that if fewer than 40 percent of readers don’t read articles to the end they are removed from the site. These types of measures may make it difficult for budding journalists to build a career but credibility is critical. Each writer or ‘blaster’ is paid a fixed fee for a story, but that fee can alter depending on engagement and Manfredi has said that he wants the platform to become a home for professional journalists and provide a sustainable income.
Open journalism (also referred to as citizen journalism and collaborative journalism) now plays a significant role in the global news cycle so if you would like to hear more about Blasting News why not book a business visit with us and we will introduce you to this innovative organisation.