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Jersey Shore Hurricane News: Using Facebook and Crowdsourcing to Build a News Network

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, November 19 2014

Jersey Shore Hurricane News has grown into a news outlet for much more than just severe weather updates (credit: Robert Siliato)

When Hurricane Irene barreled down on the East Coast in 2011, one news source had some irregular advice from one New Jerseyan to another: "Fill up some Ziploc bags with water NOW and freeze....keep them on hand for when we lose power and you need that ice to keep the beer cold." The tip was punctuated not with a period but with a smiley face, and it was first posted to Facebook, the home of a new citizen journalism outlet: Jersey Shore Hurricane News.

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WeGov

Assault On Independent Media Site in Zambia Ends In Humiliation For Junior Minister

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, January 13 2014

After beginning a highly personal war on the independent, anonymous news site Zambian Watchdog, Zambia's Junior Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Miles Sampa suffered numerous blows to his image, and finally backed down from the assault, tail tucked firmly between his legs. It is a prominent victory for the feisty Watchdog, which has endured assaults from the Zambian authorities before.

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WeGov

The App That Builds Trust Into Citizen Media

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, December 12 2013

What did I tell you about not believing everything you see on the Internet? (Flickr/@Doug88888)

Don't trust everything you find on the Internet.

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WeGov

"Dumbphones" To Get A Bit Smarter With Wikipedia Zero

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, October 28 2013

Times have been tough for Wikipedia. Earlier in October the Wikimedia Foundation disabled a ring of more than 250 fake accounts used by a public relations firm to write and edit company pages. The scandal has prompted at least one writer to wonder if Wikipedia is getting worse. Other have pointed to the fact that there are 20,000 fewer active contributing editors now than in 2007, and blame the “crushing bureaucracy” and “abrasive atmosphere” created by the current collective, which is 90 percent male. In spite of the recent bad press, the beleaguered site has announced a new pilot program called Wikipedia Zero, which will provide access to 70 million new users without computers, smartphones or data plans.

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WeGov

Cameroon's Award-Winning ICT Blogger Explains Why Digital Media Still Lags

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, October 7 2013

Around the world, bloggers have often stepped up to fill the void that traditional media either will not fill or cannot fill. Many of them, like Cameroonian blogger and multimedia journalist Dorothée Danedjo Fouba, take their responsibilities as bloggers as seriously as any journalist. In an interview with fellow Cameroonian blogger Dibussi Tande, published by Global Voices Online, Fouba said, a “good blogger must already have the intrinsic qualities of all good journalists.”

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WeGov

Blackouts in Cambodia Spark Online Demands for Explanation

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, March 28 2013

Reports of local blackouts in Phnom Penh on the Urban Voice website. [Screengrab]

As the dry winter season interferes with hydroelectric power production in Cambodia, the capital city of Phnom Penh has been facing rolling, unpredictable blackouts.   Now, an urban mapping platform has taken up a campaign to understand when and where in the city the outages are happening, and to make the government answerable to residents who are living in the dark. 

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How a Romney Gaffe that Wasn't Went Viral on the Web

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, August 20 2012

"I never tried to pretend that the original 'RMoney' image was real, and acknowledged that it was faked shortly after I posted it," said Dave Allsopp, co-founder of the liberal site Democratic Underground. "But I understand that since then people have been confused as to whether it is real or not. As I said, that's probably the main reason why it has spread so far."

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Romney Campaign Flip Flops On Whether The Sun Rises In the East Or the West

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, August 14 2012

The Australian political satirist Hugh Atkin is at it again. Atkin, who's become known online for his YouTube videos lampooning Australian and U.S. politicians, released "When The Sun Rises in The West" on Tuesday. Read More

[EDITORIAL] How to Understand What the Aurora Shooting Aftermath Says About the News

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 25 2012

On Reddit, eyewitnesses prove they were where they said they were, saw what they said they saw.

It's time to quit all of this wringing of the hands about the "future of news." We're in the damn future of news. People genuinely concerned about its direction ought to cancel their next speaking gig pontificating about that future, whether dystopian or bright, and put their hands instead to shaping it.

There's no better example of the problem and its solutions than the latest round of navel-gazing in the wake of the shootings in Aurora, Colo., late into the night of July 19. What began as an earnest attempt to understand a tragedy and then to parse this country's collective response to it has devolved into just another "journalists vs. bloggers" bull session. It's a false dichotomy, as almost everyone in that argument has already conceded.

Citizen media and "mainstream" media aren't even two sides of the same coin. There is no longer such a thing as "citizen media" or "'mainstream' media," as far as I'm concerned, because each is now such an integral part of the other.

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On YouTube, "Obama Boy" Celebrates Obama's Gay Marriage Stance

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 13 2012

Now making the rounds is a new video from a New York man calling himself "Obama Boy," in the tradition of 2008 viral video sensation Amber Lee Ettinger, the "Obama Girl." On the occasion of President Barack Obama's completed evolution towards support of gay marriage, "Obama Boy" Justin Brown decided to get on screen with a ballad celebrating POTUS' new stance, video writer Justin Duarte told Politico. Read More