My favorite piece of crowdsourced journalism right now is pretty meta and on the fringe of the assignment, but I think it's really intetersting because it challenges perceptions of journalistic norms.
The Society of Professional Journalists and Muck Rock are behind the #AccessDenied project, which tracks public information officers' refusals to cooperate with journalists. Note: Muck Rock itself is a pretty good example of crowdsourced journalism.
SPJ and Muck Rock say it's becoming more of a problem, lately, where PIOs block access to government employees or monitor what they say to journalists or even demand to preview questions journalists will ask. SPJ's president says the practice "prevents, delays and can impede a journalist's job: to accurately, fairly and ethically inform the public."
To push back, SPJ and Much Rock launched the #AccessDenied project, asking journalists to alert them every time they receive pushback from PIOs.
I think the #AccessDenied project is interesting becaue it's doing a couple of things at once: it's serving a certain industry and perspective (journalists self-interest). Access for journalists is one of those topics it's tricky for journalists to report on because there's no veneer of nutrality. So, by making it a crowd or an industry issue, it maybe protects individual journalists.
I think it's funny the people behind the project say they will use the #AccessDenied stories to "share the information on social media and with government officials." If any other group were doing that, journalists would call it "lobbying."
The other thing the #AccessDenied project is doing is encouraging journalist-to-journalist communication. Fairly or not, journalists sometimes have a reputation for not wanting to share information about sources (in my experience, people are pretty willing to share contacts). I think the #AccessDenied project is encouraging journalists to talk to each other, to say "This was hard for me, was it hard for you, too?" It's pretty rare to see journalists talking publically about the stories they failed to get, and I think the #AccessDenied project could help forge connections not just with other journalists but with the audience. If you can't trust the government to be transparent, then maybe transparency from journalists about their perceived failures might help the public understsand why, for example, getting the truth about the Flint water crisis took so long.
Alas--all of the most recent tweets using the AccessDenied hashtag are about the inability to login to a website or jokes about unfollows. So it doesn't look like it's catching on as a highly visible source of journalism (maybe the collective journalism crowd sees this as a sure loser), but maybe SPJ and Muck Rock are having more luck through the more formal complaint process.
On the other hand, the #AccessDenied project could backfire; as I mentioned, it could appear pretty self-serving, and I think a significant population would take the position that the government should execute authority and control. They would find the #AccessDenied project as whiney and would be glad the government isn't just releaseing information wiley-niley.