AllVoices Launches Participatory News Hybrid

AllVoices.com map

I had the pleasure of getting to know the dynamic Amra Tareen last month (over a weekend of women in tech hosted by Mary Hodder) and learn about the exciting development of AllVoices.com Currently she’s in Lahore, covering the Pakistan election and launching the site.

Walter Lippmann observed in 1922 in his book Public Opinion:

News and truth are not the same thing, and must be clearly distinguished. The function of news is to signalise an event, the function of truth is to bring to light the hidden facts, to set them in relation with each other, and make a picture of reality.

Providing multiple points of view by inviting mobile voice and text messages, images and videos from the field and weaving them with local and regional news stories, wire services and blog posts, Allvoices creates context around local events and begins to make a clearer picture of reality.

You can see the human dimension of local events with unedited, unmediated news from the street alongside that from multiple media outlets. Everyone can participate by contributing news, asking questions and discussing with others on the site.

This is a great example of a new kind of top-down bottom-up hybrid that Kevin Kelly describes in his recent article “The Bottom is Not Enough” and what can happen when, as Clay Shirky writes, Here Comes Everybody.

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