Innovation That Matters

School for citizen journalists

Publishing & Media

Photos by Gwan W.S. Springwise’s daily servings of new business ideas wouldn’t be possible without our network of 8,000 Springspotters who send us news of new business ideas whenever they spot them. Little wonder then, that we’re especially attuned to developments in the area of citizen journalism. We first reported on back in June 2003. The South Korean online newspaper has—by recent count—60,000 reporters who receive about USD 20 per published story, plus the glory of having their story appear on a website that’s read by millions. Now comes word that OhmyNews is opening a school to help citizen journalists better hone their craft. Located in a remodelled elementary school 90 minutes outside Seoul, the facility will teach skills such as camcorder and digital photo use. Additional classes are designed to re-educate mainstream journalists on best practices in citizen journalism, and others are aimed at businesses and NGOs. The OhmyNews Citizen Journalism School is significant for a number of reasons. First off, it further legitimizes citizen reports. And it does so on its own terms: the practitioners—and not old-school academics—are behind the effort. And the school will undoubtedly create a strong face-to-face community alongside the online newspaper’s massive online community. Equally important from an entrepreneurial standpoint is the school’s location. Korea is perhaps the most internet-focused nation on the planet, where broadband connections are nearly as common as electrical wires. Bottom line: what happens in Korea isn’t likely to stay in Korea, which means there’s a ripe opportunity to start similar ventures elsewhere. As more and more citizen journalists emerge, readers and viewers will inevitably seek out the most prescient and finest reports. Which means that those who want to stand out as citizen journalists will seek training. Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



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