Just two weeks after launching, a ‘crowdsourcing’project which encourages readers of the Liverpool Daily Post to contribute to the creation of news stories has already generated a major scoop.
Earlier this month, the Post used the ‘Make the News” page on its web site to encourage readers to contact the paper with opinions and information about numerous local issues, including the troubled budget airline Flyglobespan.
People with intimate knowledge of the aviation industry contacted the paper to direct them to official flight statistics showing that in September the average Flyglobespan flight had fewer than 20 people on board.
Another source highlighted that the airline had been stripped of a key safety licence banning it from flying further than 60 minutes from an airport forcing it to take a longer route and occasionally stop for fuel. The two stories were combined and were published as a splash.
The Post’s takes the lead from ‘crowdsourcing’experiments at newspapers in the United States.
Daily Post editor Mark Thomas said: “The response to Make the News has been very strong, and the Flyglobespan story was proof that, if asked, people who traditionally wouldn’t offer information are happy to get involved. Without this source of information, we wouldn’t have been among the first to break the safety licence story, while the flight figures would have remained hidden away on the internet.
“We have a variety of other issues currently ongoing, including city centre road works, university education and elderly care. The response has been excellent and will lead to some very strong stories in coming weeks.
“New story ideas continue to go on to Make The News, which is promoted in the main paper as well, and we intend to extend it online by providing readers with guides on how to get information themselves, by means such as using the Freedom of Information Act and attending council meetings.”