One of the most innovative use of the web is in Korean: OhMyNews, an Online Media whose moto is "Every citizen is a reporter." In a recent speach given at the World Association of Newspapers Conference in Istambul Yeon Ho, the founder, explains: "Journalists aren't some exotic species, they're everyone who has news stories and shares them with others." He is convinced that his 35 staff members and 33,000 citizen reporters are creating a new form of journalism for the 21st century.
Besides some interesting examples, this speach raises some fascinating questions concerning power and networks:
Each political scholar has his own definition of power. I would say power comes from established standards. Those who have power set the standards, and it is through those standards that they are able to maintain their power.
Yes, in the media market there has been a media power which says "this is standard, follow me". The standards of 20th century journalism have been created and controlled by professional newspaper journalists.
But these standards are challenged by the Internet: challenged by new journalists of the new space, they are called netizens or citizen reporters.
They challenged the traditional media logic of who is a reporter, what is news, what is the best news style, and what is newsworthy.
In a sense, one might see OhMyNews as a networked media that includes "citizen reporters" and staff. Not surprisingly, their working mode is "selection and concentration", a way of saying "swarming" that Yeon Ho defines in the following manner:
If we decide to focus on an issue that day, our staff reporters are all in.
And with "selection and concentration," there is another strategy. We use all the merits of Internet media at their best, reporting speedily and vividly with simultaneous input from readers.