Authority has been replaced by authenticity as the currency of social journalism. The key to engaging with a community is to seek out those closest to the story. They rarely have a title but are people of standing within a community. They are guides to the wisdom within their crowd and interpreters of nuance: if you are verifying video from Syria you don’t want a foreign policy wonk, you want someone who can distinguish between a Damascus and a Homs accent.

Writes Mark Little in the latest issue of Nieman Reports.

He and his colleagues at Storyful practice what he calls social journalism — the process of examining, validating, and finding a context (and a place) for meaningful information uploaded by people all over the world.

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