By paulgillin | November 26, 2007 - 2:00 pm - Posted in BusinessModel, Journalism, NewMedia, OnlineMedia

An Important Lesson About Grassroots Media – Editor & Publisher, Nov. 26, 2007

The founder of a now-defunct community journalism venture talks about what he learned. While the idea of grassroots reporting is exciting and citizen journalists have a lot to contribute, the overall quality of their contributions is weak enough that pure community sites will have trouble succeeding, he says. The better model appears to be to combine content from professional editors with that contributed by citizens without regard to who is the so-called professional. A few pure grassroots sites will succeed – he cites Flickr and YouTube as examples – but only if they have massive membership. For smaller operations like the moribund Backfence, the quantity of good content doesn’t justify the amount of time readers have to spend finding it.

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