An open, unbiased news gathering site

The problem with news reporting is that an individual editor with prejudices, political friends and vested interests has to decide which story to report. This obviously leads to a distorted view of the world and is relevant only to that group of people that falls into the editor’s chosen bias. It’s surprising how few people realise this simple fact.

With the advent of open technologies, it occurred to me that it might be possible to democratise the news gathering process. An open newspaper could exist on the internet that operated on a similar basis to Reddit but instead of people posting stories there that they’ve already read, they could post stories that they have directly experienced but which have not been officially reported yet. As more people add their concerns to the site, the story would get prioritised and moved up the list. The site could be called ‘Reportit’ or something.

In this way, if an issue affects many people in different ways and they choose to report it (think NHS) then that story will dominate the news site. This should eliminate the bias of a single editor and all the baggage that they bring to the job.

How those stories are then reported is another issue. Whether qualified journalists use the site as an indicator of what is actually concerning people and then use the lead stories to write a report for their own media is an option (assuming they don’t work for mainstream media). At least such a site could alert the public that certain issues are being ignored (for whatever reason) by the mainstream media if they’re not reporting it.

It would probably work best on a local community level and possibly engage an indifferent populace if they thought that their ‘news vote’ actually achieved something.

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