Euan Findlater

Portfolio Website

Making Sense of the Chaotic Overflow of Information: Is Curation Journalism?

Curation can be understood as the consolidation and organizing of information into specific, specialized packages that are easily accessible and readable to the consumer. The concept of curation is certainly not new, however, it is arguably becoming a vital, or at curationworldleast impact, aspect of our news and media environment.

In order to understand the link between curation and journalism, Mindy McAdams provides exceptional insight through her museum curator comparison. Here are McAdam’s 7 aspects of journalistic curation that correlate to museum curation:

  • Selection of the best representatives
  • Culling
  • Provide Context
  • Arrangement of Individual Objects
  • Organization of the Whole
  • Expertise
  • Updating

The process of journalism and publishing has always had an element of curation. However, it is quite evident that curation is taking a new, noticeable and impactful direction.

In the words of Josh Sternbeg: “The art of information gathering, analysis and dissemination has arguably been strengthened over the last several years, and given rise and importance to a new role: the journalistic curator.”

In today’s society, consumers demand the availability of instant and specific information that is easily read and easily accessible. Social media and new technology allows this phenomenon to occur and simultaneously provides a platform for amateurs and professionals alike to engage in curation. This is similar to the idea of “Networked/Citizen” journalism put forth by leading experts, Clay Shirky and Bregtje Van Der Haak.

As Anthony DeRosa, former Social Media Editor at Reuters, says: “We all have access to pretty much the same information sources…There’s enough out there for someone who simply wants to be a helpful guide, to plant their flag and be a good resource for whatever it is they’re interested in. You can use RSS, Twitter, Storify, Storyful and any number of other tools to stay on top of what is happening and be a human filter for what I should be looking at.”

Not only is it significant that the ability to curate has become widely accessible, but it is also noteworthy to recognize that these companies recognize their own importance as tools for curation.

For example, Twitter has released a new app called “Curator”, which allows you to collect tweets of a related topic and use them to create a project or story. This is in essence very close to the service Storify provides.

In all, curation has always been a part of the journalistic process. However, the ability to curate and the acknowledgment of curation as an important dimension of the media environment has and will continue to significantly increase in order to understand and make sense of the chaotic overflow of information in society.


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