Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Vanguard of Citizen Journalism

In a week when it is being reported here in the U.S. that an item on a blog (The Drudge Report) had enough impact to trigger a sell-off and resulting 400-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it is interesting to see this story coming out of the U.K.

Citizen journalists are gaining broader exposure every day. It remains to be seen how that will affect the depth and quality of the information we are receiving, but it certainly is an exciting time for information junkies like myself!

Opie unveils user-generated vision for Five News
By Jules Grant
7 Mar 2007
© C21 Media 2007

The new content chief at UK terrestrial Five has outlined her future strategy for the channel, including a major overhaul of Five News, saying she wants it to be in "the vanguard of citizen journalism." Speaking at a Royal Television Society event last night, the RTL-owned channel's new MD of content Lisa Opie said that its news service would be "radically relaunched," putting user-generated service Your News at its heart. The service, which already allows viewers to send in their own filmed reports and suggestions for stories, will now "sit at the heart of what we do," she said.

Referring to news anchor Kirsty Young perching on the edge of her desk – a gimmick that prompted a raft of copycats in the 1990s – Opie said: "In the same way Five News redefined news when it launched 10 years ago I want it now to be in the vanguard of citizen journalism with more direct input from viewers. "We will integrate our news and talk programming across the day and we will be passionate and campaigning on viewers' behalf."

Other new highlights included the creation of MySpace pages for all of the commissioning team, where viewers will be able to pitch ideas and engage in a "direct dialogue" with the channel. "These pages will be promoted on air and on our website, giving viewers, for the first time, a direct line of communication with the people who make the decisions about the programmes they see," she said.

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