November 20, 2007

Online Journalism Seminar, day 2

The morning starts with two insider views of participatory journalism in mainstream online media: Rosa Jiménez from and Nathalie Malinarich from BBC News. is one of the most daring online newspapers in Europe regarding participatory journalism. But Rosa is not completely satisfied with how they are doing everything. She feels they are still exploring.

She argues that quantity should not be the main criteria to evaluate success of participatory options. She does not feel that forums are useful. They have 3,000 daily users, but comments on news seems to her to be much more useful.

Managing the community of blogs is her main duty. There are 6,000 users and 200-300 daily new posts. They have a metablog that summarizes the takes of the bloggers on current issues, and this is linked in the news stories.

Yo, Periodista is the citizen journalism section of ElPaí Rosa would like more visibility of their section, but they don't always have good stories to be shown in the main homepage. They stopped giving out monetary prizes to the best articles. They are thinking now about giving out tools for citizen journalism (a mobile phone...) or starting a point-based system so that everyone can have some reward in the end. Their challenge is keeping people interested, motivated.

Citizen media in Spain

In the second session, Pau Llop explained his citizen journalism project,, and Marta Torres and Laura Rahola presented their website mapping stories about Barcelona, was born January 2007. It is run by professional journalists who write stories and edit those contributed by citizens. They discuss editorial decisions collectively on a forum and have online materials to help citizens train themselves as journalists. is a 7-year-old project. It is an open space for Barcelonians to contribute stories about specific places in the city (photos, narrations). It is like a geotagged collective blog that tries to reveal the subjective city, the voice of the citizens, the microhistory of the everyday life that is not covered by the media. They have a weekly program in a local radio where the stories of the web move to the mainstream media.