Setting Up Citizen Journalism

By Alex Dibble

Your role and mine in shaping the world of online media

Since a camera was first added to a mobile phone, citizen journalism has come alive. A story without an image is much less of a story (at least in the eyes of online media organisations) than a story accompanied by visuals.

And so with a mobile, Joe Bloggs suddenly had the potential to generate online news content.

Stephen Jio is the eBusiness Programme Manager at Dell, and says that “no discussion about citizen journalism can happen without talking about the photo taken by Janis Krums on the 15th January 2009.”

On that date a US Airways airliner crash-landed in the Hudson, with all passengers and crew surviving. Krums happened to be crossing the river on a ferry, and took this photo.

The image has come to all but represent the new media phenomenon. If you search ‘citizen journalism’ on Google images, it’s right at the top.

Within 24 hours it had been viewed more than 40,000 times. More importantly, it was used by news media around the world. It couldn’t have been a better shot.

While that’s a fantastic photo, we’re here to uncover the role of video in online journalism.

Smart-phones have made citizen journalism incredibly easy from a video point of view: get your phone out, record something and upload it. All in a matter of minutes.

The value of this user generated video content will be the subject of future posts.

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