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SXSW Interactive 2013

Wise Crowds: Should Experts Shape Journalism?

From bosons to bond yields, the most complicated stories often have the most profound implications. Journalists must make sense of these complexities for the public, but are often accused of relying on a narrow set of expert sources to do so. After all, finding a diversity of expertise is laborious and expensive. Can technology fix this, making reporting smarter by accessing the wisdom of wise crowds? This panel is a mix of new media and old, specialists and generalists, asking if technology can alter how experts and journalists connect, and if we even want it to.
Social affairs journalist Mary O'Hara regularly writes for The Guardian on specialist topics like mental health and Aaron Mays connects experts at the prestigious Kellogg School of Management with the media as the school's Asst. Director of Media Relations. Tom Foster and Fulbright Scholar Prajwal Ciryam are leading separate ventures to connect great content and its purveyors with news outlets, clients, and the public.

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  1. Can we leverage crowds of experts — creating a wisdom of wise crowds — for better journalism?
  2. Bob Garfield recently described how the Washington Post quoted the same expert in three separate stories on section fronts in the same day. Are there costs to overusing sources? If so, how can we avoid doing this?
  3. Are experts always pursuing their own agendas and in what ways do they distort or shape the news agenda?
  4. The BBC was criticized because around 90% of the experts featured on its news programs are men. Can technology increase diversity in expert sourcing?
  5. What are the best ways to connect the most qualified experts to reporters and why does it matter?



Prajwal Ciryam, CEO, Policy Networks, Inc.

Meta Information:

  • Tags: crowdsourcing
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Level: Advanced
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