Many important news stories are buried amidst huge numbers of documents. And sometimes, those documents are hard for news organizations to process, either because of the sheer number, or the formats in which the documents are published.
A few years ago, a number of news organizations experimented with “crowdsourcing” – tapping interested readers to help with the work of converting the documents into a structured database and/or looking through the data to flag cases which should get a closer look. Some organizations even published open source toolkits to promote this, but the method hasn’t gotten a lot of adoption. How might we learn from past efforts and provide support to news organizations which want to use crowdsourcing as a reporting and engagement tool?
Results from the project