Are you crowdsourcing? Are you thinking about it?

OJR is looking for examples of journalists and news organizations using online crowdsourcing in their news reporting.

If you are using reader reports in an investigative, feature or beat report, we’d like to hear from you. We are looking for a variety of implementations, across a range of beats and story types, that we can report upon and profile in future articles here on OJR.

  • Are you using reader reports to build an incident database?
  • Are you asking readers to examine documents and report upon what they find?
  • Are you aggregating reader-submitted photos, audio and/or video for breaking news reports?

    You need not have used reader reports successfully, either. If you tried to use crowdsourcing, but it just didn’t work, for whatever reason, we want to include your experience in our reporting, as well.

    Nor do you have to have started a crowdsourced project yet. We are looking for projects in the earliest planning stages, as well as ongoing and completed projects.

    We will select a handful of representative projects and profile them for an upcoming series here on OJR. We will present these projects as case studies within an broader examination of the use of crowdsourcing in news reporting, one that will include a strong “how-to” component. OJR writers will interview people involved in the various projects, examine their online presentation, and, where possible, interview reader participants.

    If you think that you would like to participate, please do keep in mind that we are looking for projects where reader reports are being used as sources for a staff-managed news report. For this project, we are not looking to examine so-called “citizen journalism” efforts, where readers are charged with the entire production of a news item, from reporting to writing to online production.

    It doesn’t matter whether your crowdsourced project is low-tech, with readers e-mailing reports, or highly advanced, with a custom-built front-end to a real-time database online. Or if you are a one-person blog or a multi-brand news chain. Again, we are hoping to bring a wide variety of experiences to OJR readers, so that we all can learn from others’ experience in this developing area of online journalism.

    (And yes, we’re fully aware that by asking you, our readers, for leads here we are, in essence, crowdsourcing a news feature on crowdsourcing. Behold the birth of metacrowdsourcing!)

    If you are interesting in participating, or simply want more information about the project, please contact OJR’s editor, Robert Niles, via rniles [at] (or use the “Contact the Editor” link at the bottom of the page).

    Thanks, and we hope to hear from many of you soon.

  • About Robert Niles

    Robert Niles is the former editor of OJR, and no longer associated with the site. You may find him now at


    1. Hello. I am registered here at my blog identity, but workdays I am a business reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle where we do some crowdsourcing-like stuff without calling it such. For instance the paper has developed a Two Cents database of subscribers who are on call to answer email queries and help provide voices and opinion. Some questions have a harder edge. But the crowdsourcing label is pretty New Agey and I haven’t heard it in the newsroom. Tom Abate