Softbank, the Japanese investment company, has invested $11 million in OhmyNews, the pathbreaking Korean online newspaper. The goal, according to the companies: “spreading citizen participatory journalism on the global stage.”
This means, for practical purposes in the near term, pursuing the English-language OhmyNews International edition, which has been around for a while but hasn’t gained a lot of traction. The big questions are a) whether the OhmyNews system can be replicated in the U.S. (I have my doubts); and b) what new innovations Mr. Oh and his team will come up with for the new market(s) they intend to serve.
Whatever happens, it’s safe to say one thing. This is an important turning point in the development of citizen journalism.
(Note: Oh Yeon Ho, founder of OhmyNews, is a member of the Center for Citizen Media’s Board of Advisors.)