The Audience as Investigator
Open-Source Spaces in Investigative Journalism
Journalism, a discipline traditionally formed by a variety of disruptions, currently faces a disruption with global dimension: The digitalisation represents a democratisation of content, which allows various kinds of new actors to enter the journalistic stage. Thus, the internet heralded an era of fake news and post-truth, which left journalism almost voiceless. Yet,the up- and-coming phenomenon of open-source in journalism lead by nonjournalistic actors like Airwars, Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture use these new
developments for investigations on a universal scale. With novel methods and tools they show how the audience – which before was handled as a passive mass – could be integrated in their reporting and be transformed in active participators. This shift towards a news, image and investigative literate public represents a chance especially for investigative journalism. The open-source investigators transform the traditional role of the
journalist as “controller” and “gatekeeper” into an enabler of free collaboration and they open its “gates” towards new spaces, here called auditoriums, to find their voice and to address new audiences.