Scoop pushes for participatory election coverage

April 6, 2017

Scoop pushes for participatory election coverage

Scoop wants readers to help them take control over “the game” of politics. Photo: Paige Janssen

Online publisher Scoop has called on readers to combat click-bait news and participate in politics through the launch of its Open News Project.

Using the crowdfunding platform PledgeMe, it aims to raise $30,000 to implement open and independent coverage of the upcoming September general election.

Scoop will use the money raised to consult with communities through its HiveMind platform, collaborate with freelance and data journalists to further investigate the data received, and distribute multimedia stories incorporating this public discussion through their website.

Scoop’s co-editor Joe Cederwall said the media’s lack of focus on solutions and policy has stopped people participating, and is the main reason behind the project.

“We’ve realised there are issues with journalism and the model it’s been under is not working, it’s broken.

“If you look at the likes of the US election, it has drawn in a lot of click bait and fake news.”

In order to ensure quality content and engagement in the election, Mr Cederwall said new engagement approaches in political media coverage need to be used.

“We are trying to use new tools that are little more participatory to allow people to share their ideas.

“It’s about moving the conversation in the right direction.”

AUT professor of communication studies Dr Wayne Hope said Scoop’s Open News Project shows that publications outside of mainstream media want to contribute in the upcoming election.

“The more sources you have to run debates over election issues the better,” he said.

“What has happened since the arrival of the internet and the blogosphere is that mainstream media hasn’t had it all their own way and there has been a wider range of views.”

However, business and political journalist Rod Oram said there was still not enough media coverage and analysis of politics.

“There was a time when my Sunday Times column was once 1250 words and that is now 700 words. It’s just a massive tweet in the terms it is so compressed,” he said.

To combat this, Mr Oram said news organisations need to develop a strong relationship with readers and viewers.

Mr Cederwall said understanding more about readers and what appeals to them was the foundation behind the Open News Project and the future of journalism.

“There’s a lot of really exciting that can happen, like more citizen journalism, more engagement strategies, it’s an exciting time,” he said.

Since the launch of its campaign, Scoop has raised $14,038 towards its goal.

The campaign closes on April 14.

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