Is Reddit a Journalist?

A piece by Slate writer Farhad Manjoo made waves this week for exposing the secret behind Buzzfeed’s viral success: repackaging content from online communities such as Reddit in a way that’s easier to consume and appealing to a broader audience.

Manjoo’s post is a great springboard for something I’ve been thinking about for months: Is Reddit a journalist?

Socially savvy journalists already recognize that Reddit is a veritable cornucopia of story ideas and content. However, if you go a little deeper (“we’ve got to go deeper!”), you’ll find the Reddit community does a lot of what a good journalist should do: it reports news, it checks sources, it calls BS on false information. Possibly most importantly: it creates and curates.

The OPs of Reddit — the Original Posters — create an enourmous pile of content on a daily basis for the much-revered “Knights of New,” who stand at the Gates of Creation to determine which content will have a chance at making the beloved front page. Redditors with an expertise in a certain field correct invalid information, seemingly hyperbolic claims are met with skepticism at best.

So there’s creation, curation, source-checking and fact-checking. The Reddit hive-mind is, I believe, a journalist.

This is really an open-ended thought piece that I’d like to prompt a couple of discussions: Is Reddit a journalist, and should journalists cite it (and other similar platforms) when repurposing content posted there?

I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below or shoot me a tweet at @AlexJamesFitz.

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About Alex Fitzpatrick

Alex Fitzpatrick is Homepage Editor for Time.com, also covering technology, policy and cybersecurity. He previously covered politics and policy for Mashable. Fitzpatrick has a degree in International Relations from the State University of New York at Geneseo, where he also served as News Director and Station Manager for the campus radio station, 89.3 WGSU. Follow Fitzpatrick on Twitter at @AlexJamesFitz or email him at alex.fitzpatrick@timeinc.com.
This entry was posted in Journalism, Op-Eds, Social Media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Is Reddit a Journalist?

  1. Pingback: Reddit : un outil journalistique | Horizons Médiatiques Edition Amérique du Nord

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