Interview: @acarvin, twitter, revolution

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Riffing on Amanda’s comment on my last post, I decided to ask NPR’s Andy Carvin how he’s been using online conversation to cover recent revolutions in the the Arab world. “I’m using twitter to produce journalism on an open source model,” he said. “I find experts who chime in in a very public fashion. They help me do everything from identifying landmines to translating obscure dialects.” I asked Andy to say more:

Andy’s got a very different take on our “how can we reinvent online news discussions?”  challenge: he sees online conversation as a way to get people involved in making news. “There are so many people out there who are subject matter experts or who are witnessing real history being made. Now they have the tools in their hands to document it.” Andy is bringing these people into the process, getting them to make the news alongside him and his NPR colleague.

To borrow a phrase from the MoJo discussion list, what Andy is doing is “as old as the Cluetrain Manifesto”. But that doesn’t make it any less exciting.

IMHO, what Andy is talking about is at the core of what MoJo hope to produce: tools and practices that get audiences involved in making and shaping the news. If you’re a developer or designer with ideas for tools like this, enter the MoJo challenge. All you have to do to get started is submit your idea.

This is part of series of interviews with people involved in the Knight Mozilla News Innovation Partnership (MoJo). Find out more on the MoJo web site or enter the MoJo news innovation challenge.

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