Is curation journalism?

But first, what would curated journalism be if curation is journalism?  Put simply by Barbara Iverson, it is “the organizing of information filed by reporters into a deliverable packages for readers.”contentcurationprocess

In today’s news landscape, where we have countless “content silos” from social media platforms to blogs to the news organizations’ websites themselves, information seekers are bogged down with too much noise, making them unable to get to a lot of the news that they should be reading.  This thought comes from Amy Gahran’s “The Lego approach to storytelling”.

Gahran further makes the point that instead of more content silos, we need more content integration. That is, we need a good modular content management tool that allows a journalists to put pieces of a story that are coming from all over the internet into one streamlined story on one host.

Storify is a good example of this type of platform for integration, however still very elementary when considering what is most economical for both the reporter and the reader.

In its best light, however, Storify has provided a good host for some top-notch curation.

About two months ago, Billy Baker, a feature writer for The Boston Globe, tweeted a series of tweets about two brothers – clear underdogs in society – working their way up.

Baker used Storify to pull these tweets together into one congruent story from single tweets.  The story went viral, one tweet at a time.

With many factors at play, its hard to pinpoint just what it was that made his Twitter tale, Riding Bus 19 to the top garner such large attention.  Was it the Twitter platform itself? Baker’s already established network of followers? The Storify platform that sowed the pieces together? Or simply the uncommon feel-good take on a news story?

Maybe it is a combination.

So when asking, is curation Journalism, we need to look at individual examples, like Baker’s, and assess the journalistic value it is providing us.  In the case of Baker’s curation on Storify, it provided an insight into poverty and the perspective that our country, the land of opportunity, might have too many obstacles for the majority of people coming from hard life circumstances to conquer. And beyond the story, the medium it was presented in, brought the actual news story that was published in The Boston Globe, much more attention arguably than what it would have had without Twitter or Storify.

Curation, in reference to news, is great, and all serious journalists should delve into this spectrum of journalism if not already using it.  If you are new to the game, read Storify’s twitter-chat story to learn what to curate – and what not to curate.  And for even more beginners help to curation and Storify, read Staci Bairds 5 “Rules” for Journalists Using Storify.


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