Call in the citizen reporters

By Steve Outing

(Oops. Messed up in the original version of this. It’s been rewritten to indicate that this is not a Washington Post project.)

Here’s a great example of how the power of the crowd can enhance journalism: Citizen Journalists, Start Your Engines!

The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin, writing on in his role as deputy editor of, is looking for volunteers willing to pore over transcripts of recent Congressional oversight hearings. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has begun posting preliminary transcripts of many hearings on its website — a new and welcome development. It means that instead of a 6-month delay for transcripts, the information will become public very quickly, while it’s still live news.

Alas, that’s a lot of words to plow through, so Froomkin is seeing if bloggers and other “citizen journalists” are willing to do some of the work — and find news that traditional news organizations have missed.

Froomkin says:

This is a great opportunity for citizen journalists to become Washington reporters. If you find some overlooked news in these or other transcripts, e-mail me your blog posts or your findings, and I’ll try to make sure that they aren’t overlooked as well.”

This is a great idea.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!