Embracing citizen journalism

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This post is based on a primer email I sent to colleagues today having read a great article in The New York Times on December 4, 2006.

Are you taking advantage of the power of the blogosphere? There is an article in today’s New York Times that explores how Yahoo and Reuters are introducing user-generated content through a service called You Witness News designed to “showcase photographs and video of news events submitted by the public.”

“The project is among the most ambitious efforts in what has become known as citizen journalism, attempts by bloggers, start-up local news sites and by global news organizations like CNN and the BBC to see if readers can also become reporters.”

This trend creates new opportunities for your organization. While there is “an ongoing demand for interesting and iconic images,” according to Chris Ahearn, president of the Reuters media group, communication teams need to identify which citizen journalists and bloggers wield the greatest influence. Just as we pitch mainstream media, we need to consider how online outreach can land our clients not just in the blogosphere and on the Web, but also in some instances in print or broadcast media. According to the Times, future contributions may also include articles.

[tags]citizen journalism, user-generated content[/tags]