By paulgillin | January 21, 2008 - 8:42 am - Posted in blogging, NewMedia

Scott Karp offers some thoughtful and constructive perspective on citizen journalism, which he calls “networked journalism,” in this post on Publishing 2.0. One of the greatest risks of unfettered community reporting is the risk of someone gaming the system, he notes. There are thousands of blog posts already out there that describe strategies for driving up vote totals on community recommendation engines. A particularly controversial one is here. The advantage of the “command-and-control” journalism model is that it’s relatively transparent. Fact-checking and decision-making are done by human editors who are responsible for their actions. In contrast, decision-making by algorithm is inherently subject to manipulation.

Karp takes issues with those who argue that algorithms can be developed to detect gaming. The most sophisticated schemes will always be hard to detect, he says. That doesn’t make citizen journalism bad, though. In the end, Karp argues, there’s much to recommend the community-driven model, but we need to be aware of its flaws, too.

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