Reddit: ‘The front page of the Internet’

American anchor Anderson Cooper is swift to point out social news website Reddit’s seamier side in this clip, tacitly reaffirming distrust of this new thingie they call the Internet.

But at closer inspection you’ll discover that not only have journalists everywhere been using the online bulletin board to push their stories and headlines, driving masses of web traffic back to their sites, but they are also sourcing a lot of story ideas from it.

Writer Bobbie Johnson points out in his GigaOm article that the site has become a “Meme factory” where writers commonly pilfer story ideas from, some attribute to the original authors and some don’t.

Explained simplistically, Reddit is an online space where users post content and vote on what’s worth reading or not. Wildly variable, the content can include anything from costumed cat photos to hard news.

So is Reddit a useful journalistic research tool and platform for sharing information or just another sign that original thoroughly fact-checked journalism is on the wane?

Have journalists become too lazy to find their own stories? Or is it simply cheaper for cash-strapped newsrooms to employ young internet savvy writers to search for and rehash stories from the Internet?

Please ponder and respond!


*Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Journalist’s see Reddit’s potential as the new “newsroom”

*GigaOm: Why Journalists Love Reddit for its brains, not its beauty


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