There is so much exciting activity in the general space that some call “citizen media” that I can’t keep track of it all. It ranges from Minnesota Public Radio’s vision of “public insight journalism” to YouTube’s YouChoose 08 initiative to the international aggregation of blogs at Global Voices and many, many other examples besides.
But this one may take the cake: in an intriguing attempt to extend the phenomenon of peer production to further frontiers, a project called Assignment Zero is coordinating the creation of crowdsourced journalism. These folks are trying to harness peer production, and do it outside the boundaries of any existing MSM outlet, yet produce final product that resembles the coherent balanced articles we expect from reported journalism. Wired magazine (and its companion web site) hope to publish some of the final pieces. One of the first topics, naturally enough, is Beth Noveck’s concept of Community Patent Review — an application of peer production to the review of patent applications, which the Patent Office is testing out in a pilot program. (And Assignment Zero needs volunteers to help produce the story…)
So, it’s peer-produced journalism about an application of peer production in government. I’ll be eager to see the results!