A new Montreal news source?

There’s some buzz going around about a new super-secret startup called YulNews. The details are, of course, sketchy, but common sense suggests it might be a user-generated news site.

If that’s the case, I’d have to say I’m a bit skepitcal. In the big picture, sites like NowPublic.com are still trying to find their sea legs. Nothing has really reached the critical mass necessary for another Wikipedia. Instead, we get stories that link to or generously quote mainstream news stories, stories written about the website itself, or “call to action” stories about someone’s injustice that his friend wrote about.

Wikipedia is great, but it’s not an original source for news. Wikinews, its open news sister site, is still not at the level it needs to be to be trusted as a news source.

Citizen media are useful for things. They can provide unfiltered eyewitness testimony, they can write interesting opinions, or they can get insider information. But we still need professional journalists, the people who are paid to spend an entire day in a courtroom, who can file a story in a half hour, who have the time and expertise to bring the news out.

So is this going to be a place where ordinary Montrealers can share information about what’s going on in their city that the mainstream media isn’t talking about, or is it going to end up like a substandard version of Montreal City Weblog? Or something else entirely?

We’ll see.

3 thoughts on “A new Montreal news source?

  1. oniquet

    It is true that citizen journalism is not always useful. At Cent Papiers, we’ve had some great examples of what citizen journalism could be, but the majority of the articles couldn’t have been written without the work of professional journalists. This is why we promote a complementarity approach between citizen and traditionnal medias.

    Still, quoting and linking to stories from mainstream medias isn’t always bad. It could be really interesting to compare how the news is treated in different medias and to add some informations such as videos, maps, expert view points, or other sources of informations which had not been considered by professional journalists.

    The challenge is to sort what’s good and what’s not…

    Reply

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