Thursday, September 08, 2005

Citizens' media quickly taking central role in news sites

Citizens' media quickly taking central role in news sites

Not long ago, online news sites discovered that users wanted to become
part of the media conversation. Begrudgingly, many news sites added
group blogs and other devices that cracked open the palace doors and
allowed readers to become writers. Turns out the barbarians at the
gates were adept at slinging words. Who knew? Now we're seeing the
next stage take hold in the citizens' media movement. People are
beginning to contribute rich media -- photos, video and audio -- to
news sites. "If news organizations don't embrace this, it will embrace
them, and they'll become less and less relevant," says Michael
Tippett, founder of "Citizen journalism is not the
future. It's the present." For some time, readers have contributed
photos of news events like Sept. 11, the space shuttle breakup or the
London bombings. What's changed is that such reader galleries are
becoming central parts of several news sites rather than
afterthoughts. Video and audio aren't far behind. In the process,
thousands of amateur photographers, video-makers and podcasters have
begun creating a flavor of news that's different from traditional
journalism -- something more informal, spirited and community-based.
Source: J.D. Lasica, Online Journalism Review

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