There’s a good chance you are not one of the Birmingham Post’s 12,700 daily readers and therefore may have missed something of a landmark event in crowdsouring.
Help Me Investigate, the public journalism project designed to kick-start investigative reporting with public involvement at its heart, has its first story in print today.
Via the pages of the Post, it reveals the worst places to park in Birmingham, a story based on an initial inquiry by a resident called Stacey and followed up by seven others (including, it must be said, some intimately involved in the Help Me Investigate project).
The Freedom of Information request that led to the release of the parking data was written by Heather Brooke, she of MPs’ expenses fame.
For the record Alum Rock Road leads the list with 4,000 tickets handed out last year. In total Birmingham City Council issued 135,656 parking tickets in the year to 2009.
So far the crowd is modest but this morning’s Post story points to interesting things ahead.
A flood in ITN’s Studio 6 may not add to your understanding of (important) world events but the fact that the Channel 4 News* team went into contingency-overdrive this morning has more than a passing appeal.
Using Twitter to share what’s happening behind the scenes gives the viewer a sense of the “inside” and a flavour of the personality and character of the programme and its maker. It may even cement the relationship between programme and viewer.
Or perhaps that’s reading far too much into it. Either way, you would have clicked on the link.