COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE IN JOURNALISM: THE CONFLICT AND THE INTERPLAY OF THE LOGIC OF THE CROWD AND THE LOGIC OF JOURNALISM

Tanja Aitamurto

Abstract


This paper examines the impact of collective intelligence on professional journalism. By using crowdsourcing as a knowledge search method, journalists tap to the collective intelligence of the crowd and channel the crowd’s input to their news stories and feature articles. The paper draws on data from several cases of crowdsourced journalism in established newspapers and magazines, in which professional journalists deployed crowdsourcing in their story processes. The findings show how collective intelligence makes the knowledge search in journalism more efficient, and, at the same time, makes professional journalism vulnerable to the manipulation of the online crowds. Crowdsourcing also slows down the journalistic process and requires the journalists to adjust their typical workflow to the unpredictable and uncontrollable behavior of the participant crowd. Thus the two fundamental building blocks of collective intelligence — large participant crowd and the diversity of the crowd — are both virtues and perils in crowdsourced journalism.

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