Simón Peña

Simón Peña Fernández is a Doctor in Communication and a lecturer in journalism in the Faculty of Social and Communication Sciences of the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU) in Spain, where he teaches subjects related to media models and online journalism. Currently he is Dean of the Faculty of Social and Communication Sciences. His main research fields are new technologies, newspaper design, social innovation and cyberjournalism.


Effectiveness of Crowdsourcing for the Appearance of a New Public Sphere

Technology and the new tools available to us have changed many fields of our life, especially those related to the way in which we communicate, organize ourselves and obtain information.

This context has seen the development of the figure of the “prosumer” and “user generated content”, favored by the phenomenon of collective intelligence and the power of multitudes. The formerly passive audience now has the possibility of participating in the whole news process, from information gathering to the elaboration and distribution of content.

From this starting point we can reflect on the existence of “other journalisms”, which include citizen journalism. This is a phenomenon helped by the technological empowerment of the population, which has now become an active audience with the capacity to monitor the big media corporations in a global context of crisis of the media and institutions.

Technological democratization offers us a choice in favor of openness and transparency in the mass media, where citizen collaboration and participation become a further option when it comes to contributing solutions to common problems. This joint form of working has served different platforms in elaborating rigorous news reports thanks to user collaboration. News crowdsourcing is not an alternative model to conventional journalism; instead it is a complementary model.

The effectiveness of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding (micropatronage of projects) indicates that we are facing the emergence of a different public sphere, one in which communities support and feed new media as against those of the old order.