Open Source Spotlight: How DocumentCloud Adds Depth To Digital Journalism

Rohan Pearce | Computerworld | November 6, 2012

The corporate media is facing a deep-going, digital-driven crisis: Dropping print advertising revenue, a growth in online ad spend that hasn't plugged the revenue hole, and the unwillingness, in general, of readers to pay for online news. But while the internet has played a big role in the financial haemorrhaging of the media — in Australia, swathes of editorial staff have been cut over the last few years, particularly at some of the biggest publishers — it has also made possible new ways of doing journalism.

Although plenty of parallels with the Pentagon Papers have been drawn, an organisation like Wikileaks would not be able to function without the internet. The Guardian's much-publicised investigation into British MPs' expense claims used online crowdsourcing to trawl through masses of documents. And interactive elements are a staple of every major metropolitan's website.

DocumentCloud is an open-source-based project designed to be part of the digital revolution in news reporting...