Thursday, August 28, 2008

Investigations: New Statesman Web 2.0 Experiment Flounders Amid Anti-Semitic Diatribes

An interesting experiment in crowd-inspired investigative journalism at the UK's New Statesman newspaper (see here) is yielding bizarre results. The idea is to allow readers to vote on one of five topics for the newspaper to investigate - from the influence of lobbying to "the state of British childhood" and Prince Charles' "meddling" in politics. The hands-down winner so far - with 85 percent of votes - is the impact of Britain's crackdown on asylum seekers, which has left many destitute on the streets. But the readers' comments further down on the page take the experiment veering off in a rather different direction. The first one starts off with the suggestion that the newspaper look into "the power of the Jewish lobby in the British media and politics," followed by "the real purpose of the DNA data base and the master race/programmed death/birth." This comment prompted others of a similar ilk, the discussion of which is pretty much what dominates that page right now. Good intentions, New Statesman, but if you're going to use Web 2.0, learn about moderating comments.

TAGS: investigations, future of journalism, the biz, Web 2.0, citizen journalism

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