TV reporter one-man bands (“backpack journalism”) who shoot, write, edit and produce, their print counterparts who pack a camera and file “multimedia” versions of their story, as well as citizen journalists who make use of cell phone cameras to record breaking news have all been topics of discussion here.
As we continue to explore the complementary relationship between journalism and technology, some related news to share: The Associated Press (AP) has announced a partnership with NowPublic.com (“fresh, crowd-powered media”) that will let AP use photos, video and news from citizen journalists in its newsgathering operation. NowPublic.com posts citizens' images and news accounts on its site, along with links to mainstream news outlets. Read more here.
Clearly, this citizen journalist movement is gathering momentum. MSNBC and CNN ask for contributions from on-the-scene citizens who may just happen to have a camera. And now, there’s even a Santa Rosa TV station, KFTY-TV, which has eliminated its nightly newscasts in favor of programming from locals. The station will reportedly see whether it can make money from citizen-generated stories that will begin airing in a few months.
Given these outlets riding the citizen journalism wave, a few questions I have: Will there be (in the case of the Santa Rosa station) any editorial/news screening for this citizen-submitted content? Will contributors receive compensation or credit for their work and if so, how much? Will there be new rules of engagement for traditional reporters working with citizen journalists (think fact-checking, providing historical context within a story, etc). More questions than answers at this point, but as technology continues to encourage the development of new journalistic models… we’ll be watching.