I’m just starting to explore the needs for journalists who use social media and other crowd-produced reports (SMS, blogs, Flickr, etc.) to become aware of breaking events, or for surfacing topics, or for cultivating sources.
It’s my hope that social science, qualitative research, and a good understanding of the technical issues can help us break down: What affects confidence in a report? In a source? What is relevant to identity?
And different beats might have different use cases and sets of needs. I was a journalist for a decade, but never faced the challenges of crisis or war reporting, or did a long-term investigative piece. Is there a way to find what’s in common, and what varies, and design that into a tool?