Lift10: OhmyNews, the story and future of citizen journalism (Yeon-ho Oh) [en]

Here are my running notes of the Lift conference in Geneva. This is OhMyNews: the story and future of citizen journalism (Yeon-ho Oh). May contain errors, omissions, things that aren’t quite right, etc. I do my best but I’m just a human live-blogging machine.

Found other good posts about this session? Link to them in the comments.

Lift10 Yeon-ho OhFounder of OhmyNews. Visited other Swiss cities. Read Swiss Democracy. Glaris landsgemeinde.

“Every citizen can be a reporter.” Journalists are people who have news stories and share them with others. Every citizen can participate in the news process, whatever their age, and in many ways.

Example: a high-school teacher who has written 1685 articles, mainly on football. He doesn’t sleep, watches the game live on TV (time-difference, middle of night), writes it up between 7 and 8 in the morning. Passion! This kind of passion is not rare.

Similar passion seen at the landsgemeinde and in citizen journalists.

But is such citizen participation always good? This kind of participation is best when it is done for the right reasons. To make things better, not just to have one’s name on an article.

Beginning of OhmyNews: 4 staff members including him. Now 78, if I understood correctly.

Staff members and citizen reporters work together in the recruiting process.

A team of nine went to Paris to understand how France maintains a high birth rate: half staff, half reporters.

2008, Seoul, 72 hours of live webcasting (candle procession).

70% of income comes from advertising — they want to bring it down to 50%.

Recently, team invented 2 new income models:

  • 100,000 Club: “Let’s Study Together” — monthly fee; lectures in the OhmyNews offices. Lectures also streamed live online.
  • The “tip” system: upto 21K€ for a single story! *steph-note: not 100% sure* — readers can “tip” individual citizen journalists for their stories. Tip money is split between citizen and operational system.

Working on more ways to sustain OhmyNews.

Spectator to contributor: responsible, credible, sustainable.

William Tell play. Interviewed one of the amateur actresses.

In Glarus, every citizen is a legislator. In Interlaken, every citizen is an actor. In OhmyNews, every citizen is a reporter.

He never expected to make money — his background and interest in creating OhmyNews is purely journalistic. *steph-note: another example of success taking by surprise the passionate and disinterested :-)*

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