Who is the big bad wolf in open journalism?

Today while reviewing my Tweets and Facebook newsfeed, I came across this video posted to the Facebook profile of a friend. It is a video created by The Guardian, an advertisement for the media companies approach to open journalism. describes a form of innovative publishing wherein the new story is a collaboration of digital and Internet-based content and sources, not necessarily from a professional journalist. It is a term akin to citizen or participatory .

The advertisement provides an example of how with and through digital social technologies could cocreate a news story about The Three Little Pigs, a fairytale first printed in the 1880′s. This is a story many of us maybe familiar with, where the three little pigs act to defend their home from a big bad wolf intruding into their personal social space.

The advertisement acts to imagine how a news story may be covered by open journalism. From the story breaking, to open source news reports of arrest activity, to crowd sourcing public opinion on justice for defending ones home. The advert is coupled with good theatrical effects from actors, an emerging narrative, and content that traverses social media contexts entwined with a crescendo of music sources.

The advertisement provides an example of the viral escalation a news story with and through social technologies. How the narrative fluid and evolving is socially constructed through a plethora of digital viral interactions. Those involved in the story, an opinion, a digital artefact – traverse from ‘what was’ to ‘what could be’ to ‘what should have been’ to ‘why it was so.’

Very cleverly done to represent perhaps not what is so much the future, but in some instanced current open journalist .The digital social ways within which everyone – as open journalists, citizen bloggers, opinion givers and social sharers –  how we coexist with and through social technologies, crafting the story from multiple sources – official, informal, social, reactive, and in this … socially constructing it.

From one perspective, open journalism can serve to unlock what is the real story of the people, as evident in stories that have emerged worldwide. However, from this video I also came to consider Who is the big bad wolf? Who is intruding on the three little pigs personal social space? Is it the police? The journalist? Or is it us. Tweeters, bloggers, FB friends, curating our own version of events and sharing it with others.

The video left me revisiting my thoughts on OUR role as SHARERS with and through digital social technologies. A thought I fear we rarely reflect on let along talk about. Reciprocity is key feature of social interaction (be it unmediated – face to face, or digitally mediated). In this reciprocity is the in-kind positively or negatively connotated responses of individuals towards the actions of others. However, when we share with and through digital social technologies, sometimes we may not consider in the moment the effects or responses towards our actions. So I wonder:

What is our role in what we share, how we share it and whom we share it with. And as a consequence, what is our responsibility in the effect our sharing has on others.

“When you share about yourself, it is your choice. When you share about others, it is your responsibility!”

Those that know me know I am an advocate for social ways of working, learning and living with and through social technologies. But I am also an advocate on how we learn as individuals and learn collaboratively to participate responsibly, with care and good intention with and through social technologies.

Leave Comment