‘Citizen journalists’

People sending their ‘at the scene’ footage of events, as they unfold, to newsdesks is no longer a novelty.

The TimesOnline reports today on how the events of last week have served to highlight the increasing quantity and quality of first-hand, user generated content ‘Images of terrorism captured by ‘citizen journalists

As well as the increased participation of the general public in reporting on and helping to shape how news events are covered, it is also noticeable how the BBC is becoming increasingly fond of using satellite photography gleaned from sources such as Google. Presumably this is being done to add a kind of cutting edge ‘we have the technology’ aesthetic to the television reports. Whether or not the ability to zoom into the scene of a flood or attempted car bombing from space helps us to understand what has happened or is happening to people on the ground is up for debate.

I guess the natural progression is for the man or woman on the street to start licensing the syndication of photos and video captured on his or her mobile, geo-tagged and uploaded to flickr and positioned on Google Earth. Then the BBC can zoom us straight into that person’s living room from space, and, who knows, provide us all with the ability to instantly become friends of the content provider on Facebook by pressing the red button.

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