OhMyNews.com is an online Korean newspaper whose motto is Every Citizen is a Reporter. They classify themselves as a News Guerilla Organization. Their reporters are average Korean citizens who sign-up as ohmynews members to write articles for the newspaper. Members post articles and images for OhMyNews editorial staff to examine and edit before publishing. This happens four times a day.
OhMyNews is so successful that most Korean Internet users are aware of it. Even Koreans living oversea like me read it daily. All the politicians are aware of it. To say OhMyNews is influential in Korea is to underestimate its power. Recent candlelight vigil in the honor of two Korean girls overran by American tanks were started by an OhMyNews member. The vigil turned into a major anti-American and anti-conservative movement that, almost everyone in Korea admits, contributed to Mr. Roh Moo-hyun winning the presidential election over his conservative rival Lee Hwae-chang. Is that powerful or what?
OhMyNews articles tend to be biased toward liberal views and each article drips with emotions and subjective judgements. Still, they usually reveal details not reported by major newspapers. These details were collected face to face by members themselves or by a friend of a friend. You can tell that they took the time and care to sit down with people involved in the story and talked with them heart to heart without concerns for deadlines nor news worthyness.
Are they journalists? Probably not in the traditional sense. What one cannot dispute is that what they write are worth spending some of my time to read. Isn't that enough? I wish we had something like OhMyNews in America that can broadcast American citizen's voice unfiltered instead of out of context soundbytes, twisted and arranged to fit around professional reporters' objective news article, and millions of individual thoughts grounded down into a poll artificially spiked to make it interesting.