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Citizen Journalism from the well-connected Koreans

Posted by bryan on April 20, 2008 in Web Services with No Comments

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English: OhmyNews citizen reporters at the Ohm...

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Citizen Journalism is not only emerging, but is becoming a dominant form of news media the world over. In South Korea, which currently enjoys one of the most connected and high use mobile data service networks, the model is tried and tested through citizen journalism and online publisher OhMyNews. Being constantly in the nation with the 4th fastest broadband rates and 2nd most pervasive mobile data networks, means that news can come in at a rate much faster than any newspaper in the world could ever possibly print at. When new media forms rival the cost and speed of distribution of existing media like this, what we have on our hands is a potential creative destroyer.


OhMyNews certainly got off to an excellent start, one that many analysts attributed to the unique political situation and geographical settings at the time of its launch in 2003. OhMyNews began as an idea for an answer to the monetization and organization of the common blog, taking that model a step further by allowing every member to contribute news articles with the same opportunity of being featured on the main site (think landing page… or… you could equate it to the front page of the newspaper). The opportunity of being featured is decided solely by the site’s users. The site has been not only wildly successful with millions of visitors per day, but also profitable.


After quickly gaining readership numbers in the millions and near-professional quality contributions from thousands of “Featured Reporters/Bloggers” and over 35,000 total contributors, they received a great deal of interest and aggressively pursued international markets to continue their drastic growth rates. The site reported net earnings in excess of $1.8 million in 2005, plus $11 million worth of venture capital investments in 2006 from Softbank Corp’s CEO and President of Internet Services, Masayoshi Son. They even seemed poised to shake up all global news agencies for a time.


However, as the Blogosphere saturated towards the end of 2006, trouble appeared to be looming ahead, and it was unclear if the model can survive. It has continued to


Still, the basic premise is undeniably intriguing… can paying regular users a portion of Ad revenues to encourage quality content contributions ever provide a sustainable business model? If the answer is yes, then the digital landscape will soon change forever. Sure, it may seem as though it’s changing enough as is, but think about the possibility of adopting a similar (but possibly more streamlined) model to other content areas.



You can find out more about the Independent Online News organization here:…


And see a profile of some of the “Featured Writers” earning an income from their online news reporting activities: