An idea whose time has come:OhmyNews International:
My introduction to OhmyNews came in June 2003. I had learned about the victory of Roh Moo-Hyun winning the presidency of the Republic of Korea (ROK) with the support of Korean netizens, when he took office in February 2003. I was curious to learn more about how this happened. I posted on a relevant Usenet newsgroup and in response received a url to an article about OhmyNews written in English by Jean Min, who was then a student at Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the famous technical university in Korea. Also I learned about the OhmyNews newspaper. At the time, it was only published in Korean. A Korean student I knew was glad to translate some of the newspaper, both describing the content of an article I found of interest and also translating several of the comments on it. I was also interested in how the ideas about citizen reporters who functioned in online forums, would work in an online newspaper environment. I was already writing for Telepolis, an online newspaper in Germany which functioned in some ways that were similar to Ohmynews, encouraging discussion on its articles and paying contributors a small payment for the articles they wrote. I first wrote Jean Min in June 2003 describing some of my interests and questions. Also I found the article Jean had written in English about OhmyNews very interesting, so I wrote him asking if we could reprint it in the Amateur Computerist, a newsletter I work on. He agreed. This was in November 2003. We published the article. (1) Then in February 2004, I heard from Jean that he was going to work on the International edition of OhmyNews which was just being launched. If one wanted to be a citizen reporter, however, one had to be able to register online in Korean. I let Jean know that this was difficult, and soon he sent me the beta version of an overhead set of directions in English about how to register, so I would be able to go through the registration process in Korean. While I didn't manage to go through the Korean registration process at the time, I did begin to send articles to OhmyNews. My first OhmyNews article was translated into Korean by a Korean netizen I had met on Usenet. She submitted it to OhmyNews. It was published in Korean and English. Subsequent articles were written only in English and submitted via email. This went on for most of 2004 and some of 2005. Then the English version of the citizen reporter registration software was installed and I eventually signed up so I could submit articles on my own and go through the official processes for a citizen reporter.
This is really a more appropriate post for Blogalization