Sunday, August 31, 2008

Citizen Journalism

Many people followed the Democratic National Convention through their usual trusted sources of news, but increasingly important are the other eyes and ears. Technology now offers devices for the everyman and woman to create content and upload, on their own. And forward-thinking media now embraces that.
Witness C-Span's Convention Hub, hosting blogs, like mine and countless others, Twitter highlights, relevant YouTube footage, Qik video streams from one's phone, all created by the people, for the people. (Sound familiar?)
News consumers have shown that they want facts, fast, often, and image (and other) quality might not be a top priority. People check their bookmarked blogs, news sites as often as they check their email.
Even the biggies are getting in the act.
Today's New York Times asks for footage, images, commentary from New Orleans as the city prepares for yet another hurricane. Traditional media, perhaps feeling pinched financially simply can't put reporters at every site of breaking news. Airfare, hotels, meals, it ain't cheap to send a seasoned journalist across the globe to capture the story.
By recognizing the ability of witnesses to share their experiences, we, the news consumers, get a lot more noise, but we get more information as well.
Early. Often.

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