Oh My! News!

Three years ago, a crew of four people quietly launched the South Korean "citizen journalism" Web site OhmyNews. Since then, its staff has grown to 53, and the number of "citizen reporters" writing for the site has grown from 700 to about 26,700, with about 1 million readers each day. Its experiment with grassroots-led journalism has transformed Korean politics. "OhmyNews is transforming the 20th century's journalism-as-lecture model—where organizations tell the audience what the news is and the audience either buys it or doesn't—into something vastly more bottom-up, interactive and democratic," says San Jose Mercury News columnist Dan Gillmor. In an interview with the Japan Media Review, OhmyNews founder Oh Yeon-Ho explains how he got started. "I had confidence that citizen participation in journalism was something that citizens currently desired. But I could not imagine that the fire would spring into a blaze in such a short time," he says.