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Q: How are TV and radio stations reaching out to "citizen journalists"? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: How are TV and radio stations reaching out to "citizen journalists"?
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: rservice-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 09 Jun 2006 18:20 PDT
Expires: 09 Jul 2006 18:20 PDT
Question ID: 736852
How are television and radio stations reaching out to "citizen
journalists" -- i.e. either bloggers, or regular people with
cameraphones who are in the right place at the right time?

I am trying to make a case that there are new emerging groups of
broadcast-media (radio and TV) consumers (citizen journalists being
one), and that broadcasters need to "think outside the box" (sorry) to
reach them more effectively.

So -- I need you to find four case studies (from anywhere in the
world) where radio and TV stations have tried to seek out citizen
journalists... and a sense of how the results have been (i.e. what
have they learned from their experience?)

Clarification of Question by rservice-ga on 09 Jun 2006 18:24 PDT
Deadline for this is tight: I need the info by Saturday (tomorrow) at
noon Pacific time.

Clarification of Question by rservice-ga on 09 Jun 2006 21:17 PDT
Please see for
an example of the format I'd like you to use for the results. I think
you'll find it should make your task much easier.

In the case studies, I'd be looking for about 3-4 paras of info.
Subject: Re: How are TV and radio stations reaching out to "citizen journalists"?
Answered By: czh-ga on 10 Jun 2006 02:20 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello rservice-ga,

This was a very interesting search project. ?Ripped from the
headlines? you might say. The emergence of ?citizen journalism? is one
label for ?user generated content? and the old media of TV and radio
are trying to figure out how to make the most of the immense desire
people have to share.

The most obvious case for citizen journalism is people who happen to
be in the right place at the right time to capture an important /
interesting / newsworthy moment. The proliferation of camera phones
made this dramatically real with recent disasters such as the London
tube bombings, Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Indonesia. Video
blogging provides the visual drama to go along with the personal touch
captured by blogs. Mainstream media are grappling with how to use and
incorporate such user generated content. Most TV stations are working
on developing a strategy. I?ve provided some stories about the
approach taken by the BBC as the first case study for you. The main
point is that the BBC is inviting and encouraging its
viewers/listeners to contribute regularly, not just wait for the next

Hard news reporting is not the only opportunity for citizen
journalism. Broadcast media, both TV and radio, are trying to attract
and capture the younger generation who tend not to be old media
consumers. The remaining three case studies all place emphasis on
capturing the younger demographic users.

Current is a TV station started in 2005 by Al Gore. It uses short
pieces submitted by its viewers as the main content it broadcasts. The
Travel Channel is about to broadcast its second season of 5 Takes.
This program is a combination reality show, travel documentary and
interactive online party. Finally, YouTube is generating a tremendous
amount of buzz and it has made a deal with MTV and is working on
further partnerships with other TV stations.

This topic is live and bubbling and new developments are emerging
daily. I barely scratched the surface in exploring all that is
happening with citizen journalism and user generated content. I?ve
included some of the links I encountered during my search. There is
much more. I trust that the four case studies I?ve identified will
meet your needs. Please ask for clarification before rating my
question if you need further information about any of this.

Wishing you well for your project.

~ czh ~

BBC News

Have Your Say

The use of mobile phone footage on stories like the London bombings
has changed the way broadcasters can report news.

The BBC has been looking back at how user generated content has become
part of everyday news throughout 2005.

Citizen footage propels BBC towards key award
Posted: 8 September 2005

Amateur footage of the London bombings submitted to BBC News Online by
its readers has been shortlisted for this year's Association of Online
Publishers' awards.

It is the first time that blogs and user-generated content have been
shortlisted for the annual awards, which celebrate the best of the
UK's web publishing.

BBC online revamp embraces mobiles, podcasts and user content

BBC unveils big online revamp
Published: April 26, 2006, 

Research by the BBC found that 60 percent of those aged between 16 and
24 watch fewer than three hours per week of BBC programming, and about
a quarter of those watch no BBC programs at all.

The broadcaster is lining up some major changes, including the growth
of user-generated content and an emphasis on new distribution channels
such as mobile phones and iPods.

The BBC will also begin to focus on encouraging its audience to
participate and contribute to its online content. "We need to reinvent
(BBC Online), fill it with dynamic audio-visual content, personalize
it, open it up to user-generated content," Thompson said.

Simon Grice, founder of etribes, which provides publishing tools for
user-generated content, questioned the move.

"I think you have to step back and say is (user-generated content)
what the BBC should be rushing after? Is that their core competency?
The BBC should be focusing on what it's really good at: creating
high-quality, nonuser-generated content," Grice said.

Thompson also revealed that as part of the Creative Future strategy,
the BBC is less than five years away from allowing viewers to create
"drag and drop" personalized TV and radio stations.

The BBC's on-demand service, which allows viewers to download programs
broadcast within the last seven days, will be renamed BBC i-player. It
also will start to open up its archive and put it online.

citizen journalism: what to publish? (or making transparent editorial decisions)


Current is a national cable and satellite channel dedicated to
bringing your voice to television.

Current is about what's going on: stories from the real world, told by you.
We slice our schedule into short segments that we call "pods" -- each
just a few minutes long. You'll see profiles of interesting people on
the rise, intelligence on trends as they spring up around us, and
international news from new perspectives.

And much of it comes straight from you. 

We call it viewer-created content, or VC2. Right now, VC2 makes up
about a third of our channel -- and that share is growing.

It works like this:

Anyone who wants to contribute can upload a video. Then, everyone in
the Current online community votes for what should be on TV. You can
join in at either stage -- watch & vote or create & upload. (We've
also got online training to help you get the skills you need to make

This is definitely not a traditional TV network. Watching Current,
you'll see more, on more topics, from more points of view.

But if we're going to succeed, we need you to do more than watch; we
need you to jump in and participate.

Current TV is an independent media company, led by former U.S. Vice
President Al Gore, personal injury attorney Joel Hyatt, and a team of
industry professionals and young people. The cable television network
went on the air in 2005, at midnight EDT (4:00 UTC) on the morning of
August 1st. Until the minute before the launch, the channel carried
Newsworld International from the CBC.

The network features various "pod" segments. These "pod" segments are
videos between 5 seconds and 15 minutes, and are designed by the
network's viewers. Viewers are able to pick their favorite videos and
get instructions on the Internet on how to construct and submit their
own segments. Current calls such user generated content Viewer Created
Content, or VC2 (VC-squared). The channel has exclusive rights over
viewer-submitted segments, which was a change from the original policy
of the creator retaining rights to the content. [1]

Current TV is offering a tiered pricing structure ($500 - $1000 /
video) for any video content they elect to put on the air. Current
will retain the exclusive rights to the content for three months,
which is a point of contention between the company's interest and the
philosophy of open-source media.

Sep, 14, 2005 ,
Current TV: Fast but Treacherous
February 4th, 2006 - A Ten Step Lesson in Screwing Up Peer Production

Let?s backtrack for a second. is a cable and satellite
channel powered by ?viewer-created content?. It launched back in April
2005. But this isn?t user-generated content as we know it. Instead of
providing a platform for the hundreds of thousands of ?amateur?
vloggers and video producers out there, Current sets the agenda: they
decide what should be produced and what?s ?good enough? to go to air.
They even require a 3 month holding period while they decide whether
your content is worthy of their esteemed channel.

May 31, 2006
SuperNews on Current TV 

If you're one of the 28 million homes in America that gets Al Gore's
Current TV network, then you may have already fallen in love with
'SuperNews.' It's the animated political satire show from the mind of
self-described Independent, Josh Faure-Brac. He's not only the created
of this multi-episode series, he's the writer, director, lead
character designer and voice actor behind the majority of the
characters. Oh, and his band also did the Show's theme song.

Got video? Current TV website a venue for grassroots journos
By Micah Kawaguchi-Ailetcher. Posted: 2005-09-20

Current TV, launched by former vice president Al Gore in the beginning
of August, is the hippest way for citizen journalists to move from the
Web to TV. It is "an open forum for ideas" that "capitalizes on
advancing technology," said Sarah Gore, Al Gore?s daughter and a
volunteer at Current TV.

April 27, 2006
Current TV's viewer-created ads

If American public television is "supported by viewers like you,"
Current TV's content is "created by viewers like you." And that goes
for the commercials, too.

Current is encouraging its viewers to become citizen marketers by
creating and uploading V-CAMs, or viewer-created ad messages. Toyota,
L'Oreal and Sony have signed up to have their commercials created by

Then, web site visitors vote on, or "greenlight" commercials they
like. Naturally, they are encouraged to comment on them as well.
Viewers whose commercials make it to the air pocket $1,000 and a sweet
resume builder.
If the advertiser likes the results and wants to air it in other
media, the erstwhile citizen marketer could earn $5,000 to $50,000.
Now that's engagement. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

What is 5 Takes?

A pioneering interactive television series, with the real-time
immediacy of super-fast turnaround, 5 Takes chronicles the journey of
five young travelers sent on the adventure of a lifetime. With limited
resources ($50 a day each), the five travel journalists (TJs for
short) will visit 12 cities across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore,
Hong Kong, Taiwan and Cambodia/Thailand in 12 weeks.

What makes the show different is that it's the Travel Channel's online
community, via or, that will decide which
city the TJs should visit last in Australia, which country they should
make their final stop in Asia and what they should do in every city
they visit. In effect, the online community will drive the show.
Equipped with video cameras and laptops, the TJs have one mission: to
share with the world their experiences through their five unique

The TJs won't just come to our message boards for ideas on what to do
and where to go. They will each be posting to their personal blog
daily as well as creating a video log (vlog) once a week letting
people know how they're faring. This online element will happen in
real time, enabling the community to have a concrete impact on the TV
show that follows just seven days later.

There's no "voting off" or scheming to win the big prize; there is no
"winner" as there is no prize to win. At its core, 5 Takes is an
immersion into a two-month-long summer trip by five young travelers,
the story of their adventures in these incredible cities, and the
life-changing experiences they have along the way.

Travel Channel Launches Site for "5 TAKES Europe" Reality Show . Watch
on TV and On as five "20-something" filmmakers are
turned loose in Europe. Viewers and the five travelers will be able to
interact via the website during their trip to share suggestions,
up-to-date experiences and influence their journey.

5 Takes Europe Videos

Travel Channel taps into VJs

The Travel Channel has partnered with Michael Rosenblum to produce a
new TV series called "5 Takes Europe." The show will highlight five
video journalists -- equipped with mini DV cams and laptops -- as they
travel through Europe. The VJs will blog and vlog (video blog) their
experiences on "This is a real interactive
television event and a huge leap forward from traditional
programming," said Pat Younge, EVP & GM, Travel Channel. "Through the
dynamic of the dedicated real-time website, they?re able to draw upon
the knowledge and experience of literally millions of people who know
these cities well, and through votes and polls, that online community
also will influence their journey. It?s truly like nothing we've done
before." More details in the press release...

5 Takes

Posted in Blogs, News at 4:32 am by jon yang
Now in its second season, The Travel Channel?s 5 Takes follows five
travelers around the Pacific Rim. What makes this show supremely
interesting is how it uses the Internet as a vital component of the
viewer experience. Visitors to the 5 Takes site are also given the
chance to direct the TJs (travel journalists) on where to go in each
location that they visit, creating a truly interactive experience.
Each of the TJs are armed with camcorders and laptops. With these
tools they are responsible for independently documentating their trip.
The TJs are tasked with blogging on a daily basis and maintaining a
weekly videolog.

The blogs aren?t just a few trite paragraphs about the joys of
traveling. They are well-composed detailed (at times rambly) reports
of the day?s activities. The videologs are often amusing and highly
personable ? and does a great job of showcasing what vlogs can do as
part of a show.

M3 Media Will Produce the Travel Channel's 5 TAKES EUROPE Series
Featuring One-Person Video Journalists
Business Wire,  July 21, 2005  

Founded in February 2005, YouTube is a consumer media company for
people to watch and share original videos worldwide through a Web

YouTube is a place for people to engage in new ways with video by
sharing, commenting on, and viewing videos. YouTube originally started
as a personal video sharing service, and has grown into an
entertainment destination with people watching more than 50 million
videos on the site daily.

YouTube Featuring MTV Videos
Chris Noon, 03.03.06, 7:10 PM ET

More details have emerged about an agreement between, a
nacent video file sharing site and MTV2.'s homepage now touts MTV2, as an "official partner" at the
top of its "Today's Featured Videos" listings as part of an informal
deal struck between the companies. No money been exchanged between the
two parties, according to spokespeople for both companies. Jeff
Castaneda, a spokesman for MTV2, told us that the network's seeding of
the site with clips--such as The Andy Milonakis Show and Wonder
Showzen--was part of the company's "marketing" strategy rather than
any formal tie-up.

Even if no money has changed hands with the Web site, MTV's almost
certainly a keen viewer. A month ago, a user uploaded a self-made film
from an 11-year-old's personal web site to YouTube, entitled MySpace:
The Movie--even though it didn't debut on News Corp. (nyse: NWS - news
- people )'s social networking forum. With 3.4 million viewings to
date, MySpace became YouTube's most viewed video--and MTVU, the online
network of MTV, offered the youthful Stanley Kubrick a development

YouTube Ties Up Wth MTV; First Formal Media Company Agreement[by
rafat] : After some small rumblings from media companies like NBC and
CBS (where they asked YouTube to take off unauthorized clips off the
service), YouTube has struck its first formal partnership to obtain
copyrighted content with MTV2, a division of MTV/Viacom.

MTV2 is seeding the site with multiminute clips from a pair of series
promoting new seasons and DVD releases this month: "The Andy Milonakis
Show" and "Wonder Showzen. MTV2 is listed atop the rankings of
"today's featured videos" on the YouTube homepage along with a network
logo identifying MTV2 as an "official partner."

American Idol' Partners with YouTube has begun another promotion for established media
companies as it tries to establish itself as a legitimate ad vehicle,
writes AdWeek (via MarketingVox). The popular video-sharing service
began showing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" video as part of a promotion
for Hollywood Records' Queen Stone Cold Classics compilation. The
video is in YouTube's "Featured" section on its homepage and
encourages viewers to tune into American Idol, contestants of which
have been singing Queen songs.

YouTube traffic has grown from 500,000 in October to 9 million in
February, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. It has made arrangements
with companies like E! and MTV to show previews in its "Featured
Videos" section.

YouTube's Scary Movie 4 trailer was viewed 1 million times, including
250,000 the first day. So far, "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been watched
78,000 times.

--------------------------------------- Receives $8MM Infusion
April 07,2006, a video-sharing website, has received an $8 million
infusion from venture capital investor Sequoia Capital.
Nielsen//NetRatings reported that more than nine million people have
visited YouTube's site in February, up from 4.8 million in January.
YouTube has a collection of more than 35 million free amateur and
professional video clips.
YouTube has also struck deals with entertainment companies such as MTV
Networks and Miramax Film Corp.'s Dimension Films about hosting
branded video content on their site.

Viral Video and the Rise of YouTube

June 6, 2006  In just six months, YouTube boomed from a startup viral
video site to a Web phenomenon, a virtual library of cultural
highlights and amateur video clips uploaded by anybody with a digital
camcorder and some time to burn.
Users upload 50,000 videos a day, at last count, and visitors watch 50
million clips per day. Not bad for a company with 26 employees and an
office over a pizza parlor.

Apr. 23, 2006
Cable spins Web to catch guys
Exex use amateur clips online to find the next hot show for key demo

After years of the Internet and videogames siphoning young men from
television, networks are employing the tactics and services of sites
like YouTube to win them back.
With viral videos and user-generated content populating the Web, the
new philosophy among TV execs is this: Let the audience dictate what's

With the explosion of guy-oriented Web sites like YouTube,
and -- a mix of amateur video and clips ripped from other
media -- it's no wonder that programming execs have begun treating the
viral video portals as what Lazzo calls "development tools."
"It's got enormous piloting potential," he says. He has already
reached out to several from the online world for possible on-air

NowPublic - Share the News

Share what you're reading and writing. Upload photos and videos. Add
tags to anything. See what others are sharing. The News is NowPublic. 

NowPublic is a participatory news network which mobilizes an army of
reporters to cover the events that define our world. In twelve short
months, the company has become one of the fastest growing news
organizations with over 15,000 reporters in 130 countries and over 2
million unique visits a month. During Hurricane Katrina, NowPublic had
more reporters in the affected area than most news organizations have
on their entire staff.

Michael Tippett, Product & Marketing

Michael Tippett founded The Webpool Syndicate, one of Canada's first
internet companies, in 1995. He has worked internationally. Recently
he lived in New York and served as General Manager at
(one of Deloitte & Touche's Fast 50). In 2005 Tippett founded
NowPublic, a commercial descendent of, which in 2002
became the first to combine cameraphone photographs with breaking news

Vancouver, May 31, 2006
NowPublic Closes 1.4 Million Angel Financing

Citizen journalism, also known as "participatory journalism," is the
act of citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting,
reporting, analyzing and disseminainformation," according to the
seminal report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News
and Information, by Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis. They say, "The
intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable,
accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy
requires."[1] Citizen journalism should not be confused with Civic
Journalism, which is practiced by professional journalists. Citizen
journalism usually involves empowering ordinary citizens -- including
traditionally marginalized members of society.

In a 2003 Online Journalism Review article, J. D. Lasica defines
Citizen Journalism as having the following characteristics: 1)
Audience participation (such as user comments attached to news
stories, personal blogs, photos or video footage captured from
personal mobile cameras, or local news written by residents of a
community), 2) Independent news and information Websites (Consumer
Reports, the Drudge Report), 3) Full-fledged participatory news sites
(OhMyNews), 4) Collaborative and contributory media sites (Slashdot,
Kuro5hin), 5) Other kinds of "thin media." (mailing lists, email
newsletters), and 6) Personal broadcasting sites (video broadcast
sites such as (KenRadio).[6] There is some disagreement over whether
blogs should be included in this list, however. Since most blogs are
not subjected to the same checks and balances to ensure that a story
is balanced and represents fair comment, they are not truly journalism
and should not be treated in the same way as a professional news

--------------------------------------- is a South Korean online newspaper with the motto "Every
Citizen is a Reporter". It was founded by Oh Yeon Ho on February 22,

It is the first of its kind in the world to accept, edit and publish
articles from its readers, in an open source style of news reporting.
About 20% of the site's content is written by the 55-person staff
while the majority of articles are written by other freelance
contributors who are mostly ordinary citizens. OhmyNews' citizen
reporters now number 41,000.

Open source journalism

Open source journalism, a close cousin to citizen journalism or
participatory journalism, is a term coined in the title of a 1999
article by Andrew Leonard of Although the term was not
actually used in the body text of Leonard's article, the headline
encapsulated a collaboration between users of the internet technology
weblog Slashdot and a writer for Jane's Intelligence Review. The
writer, Johan J. Ingles-le Nobel, had solicited feedback on a story
about cyberterrorism from Slashdot readers, and then re-wrote his
story based on that feedback and compensated the Slashdot writers
whose information and words he used. This early usage of the phrase
clearly implied the paid use, by a mainstream journalist, of
copyright-protected posts made in a public online forum. It thus
referred to the standard journalistic techniques of news gathering and
fact checking, and reflected a similar term that was in use from 1992
in military intelligence circles, open source intelligence.

The meaning of the term has since changed and broadened, and it is now
commonly used to describe forms of innovative publishing of online
journalism, rather than the sourcing of news stories by a professional

The term 'open source journalism' is often used to describe a spectrum
on online publications: from various forms of semi-participatory
online community journalism (as exemplified by projects such as the
copyright newspaper NorthWest Voice), through to genuine open source
news publications (such as the Spanish 20 Minutes, and WikiNews).

"We Media"

About "We Media"
We are at the beginning of a Golden Age of journalism ? but it is not
journalism as we have known it. Media futurists have predicted that by
2021, "citizens will produce 50 percent of the news peer-to-peer."
However, mainstream news media have yet to meaningfully adopt or
experiment with these new forms.

Historically, journalists have been charged with informing the
democracy. But their future will depend not on only how well they
inform but how well they encourage and enable conversations with
citizens. That is the challenge.

This report details the important considerations when exploring a
collaborative effort between audience and traditional media

Written by Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis
Edited by J.D. Lasica, senior editor Online Journalism Review

Saturday, June 10 
The challenges of citizen journalism

Just finished up a terrific session here at NAB-RTNDA on citizen
journalism. Execs from Yahoo, Current TV and the BBC were among those
on the panel.

On the panel: News 21's Merrill Brown, Yahoo's Neil Budde, Current
TV's Laura Ling, BBC's Adrian Van Klaveren and Media Bloggers
Association's Robert Cox.

User generated content

User Generated Content is a term that has come into the mainstream
during 2005 in web publishing and new media content production
circles. It refers to on-line content which is produced by users of
websites as opposed to traditional media producers such as
broadcasters and production companies. It reflects the democratisation
of media production through new technologies which are accessible and
affordable. These include digital video, blogging, podcasting, mobile
phone photography and, of course, wikis. Prominent examples of
websites based on User Generated Content include Flickr, Friends
Reunited, eBay, FourDocs and Wikipedia. The advent of User Generated
Content marks a shift among media organisations from creating on-line
content to creating the facilities and framework for non-media
professionals (i.e. 'ordinary people') to publish their own content in
prominent places.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), for example, set up a
User-Generated Content (UGC) team as a pilot in April 2005 with 3
staff. In the wake of the 7 July 2005 London bombings and the
Buncefield oil depot fire, the team was made permanent and was
expanded, reflecting the arrival in the mainstream of the 'citizen

The rise of clip culture online


citizen journalists
tv OR radio citizen journalism
tv OR radio user generate content

Clarification of Answer by czh-ga on 10 Jun 2006 02:25 PDT
Hello rservice-ga,

I didn't see your clarification about your preferred format until
after I posted my answer. Please let me know if you need me to revise
what I've provided. I think the information you asked for is covered
in my answer. Thanks.

~ czh ~

Request for Answer Clarification by rservice-ga on 10 Jun 2006 10:11 PDT
Hi czh,

This looks outstanding. Thanks for the great effort under a short
timeframe. Might you be interested in:

I can extend the deadline there to 5pm today Pacific for you and will
tip $100 if you're able to provide the same breadth of excellent
research as you did here.

Clarification of Answer by czh-ga on 10 Jun 2006 11:07 PDT
Hello rservice-ga,

I'm glad that I was able to get you the information you're looking
for. I'm working on your "info-lusters" question right now. Extending
the time frame will definitely  help. I'd also love to work on the
other two questions and will take them on unless another researcher is
able to give you the answers before I get to it.

More very soon.

~ czh ~
rservice-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $50.00
Hi czh,

This looks outstanding. Thanks for the great effort under a short

Subject: Re: How are TV and radio stations reaching out to "citizen journalists"?
From: yorker-ga on 11 Jun 2006 00:13 PDT
That's a great answer you got there, and in a pretty fast timeframe,
too (it shows how powerful Google answers can be!) If you're still
working on the project, you might want to check out a company called
NowPublic (, which specializes in PRECISELY that:
providing a full Citizen Journalism platform for mainstream media
companies. The head guy there is a well-known Canadian entrepreneur
named Leonard Brody, and I think you can reach him at  Good luck with your piece.
Subject: Re: How are TV and radio stations reaching out to "citizen journalists"?
From: czh-ga on 15 Jun 2006 14:58 PDT
Hello rservice-ga,

Thank you for the affirmation, five stars and generous tip. I hope
your presentation went well.

~ czh ~

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