Title: Do You Have a Source for That? Understanding the Challenges of Collaborative Evidence-based Journalism
Authors: Sheila O’Riordan (University College Cork), Gaye Kiely (University College Cork), Bill Emerson (University College Cork), Joseph Feller (University College Cork)
Abstract: WikiTribune is a pilot news service, where evidence-based articles are co-created by professional journalists and a community of volunteers using an open and collaborative digital platform. The WikiTribune project is set within an evolving and dynamic media landscape, operating under principles of openness and transparency. It combines a commercial for-profit business model with an open collaborative mode of production with contributions from both paid professionals and unpaid volunteers. This descriptive case study captures the first 12-months of WikiTribune’s operations to understand the challenges and opportunities within this hybrid model of production. We use the rich literature on Wikipedia to understand the WikiTribune case and to identify areas of convergence and divergence, as well as avenues for future research. Data was collected on news articles with a focus on the time it takes for an article to reach published status, the number and type of contributors typically involved, article activity and engagement levels, and the types of topics covered.