How Could News Organizations Manage Documents Better?

    by Amanda Hickman
    January 21, 2010

    How are you handling primary source material on your website?

    OaklandLocal is summarizing a new report on a shootout in March that left five people dead. They use Scribd to embed reports directly on their site, but can’t provide annotations.

    California Watch is looking at what campaign season generosity bought for agribusiness in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. They put together a great Flash widget that highlights noteworthy portions of the documents they reviewed, but they had to sit down with a highlighter, circle relevant passages, and then scan each document for the site.


    ProPublica, the Los Angeles Times, ABC News and the Washington Post are collaborating to report on civilian contractors injured in Iraq that are now struggling to get badly needed health care. But if you want to read the Congressional report that found covering private contractors has proved quite profitable for insurance companies, you’ll have to download the whole report.

    If the reporters behind these stories had DocumentCloud at their fingertips, we could have saved them a decent amount of work, made the documents they wanted to share more accessible, and invited deeper reader examination. And that is just the beginning. We don’t know yet what that examination might yet yield. Stay tuned!

    As we work, we really do want to know: What are you doing with documents now? Can you point out a recent story that you’d like to look at more closely? Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments.

    Tagged: california watch documentcloud documents oaklandlocal pro publica sharing

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