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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Citizen media project

Participatory Journalism: The BBC declares 2005 "The year of the digital citizen," in a wrap up of how everyday people contributed to reporting on major events via "gadgets with greater capacity to record, store and share content." From the Southeast Asian tsunami, to the London bombings and most recently the UK's Buncefield oil fires, the mainstream media integrated material "produced" by eye-witnesses into their reporting, a trend the BBC article says will evolve further in 2006 because "Clearly there is an appetite to be involved with the production of news- the capturing of moments that have left their indelible watermark on history, big or small."
The Beeb quotes citizen journalism pioneer Dan Gillmor: "We need a thriving media and journalism ecosystem. We need what big institutions do so well, but we also need the bottom-up - or, more accurately, edge-in - knowledge and ideas of what I've called the 'former audience' that has become a vital part of the system."
Podcasting: Andy Bowers at Slate magazine asks "what the medium of podcasting really is. An outlet for new talent? An outlet for the painfully untalented? A real threat to traditional broadcasting? A promotional tool for mega-corporations? The biggest waste of bandwidth yet created?"
It may be the word of the year, but it seems that many media organizations are jumping on the podcasting bandwagon without really knowing what the value of the medium is nor, more importantly, how to monetize it. But with several new media companies working on these problems accompanied with the simplicity of creating a podcast, 2006 could be the year that newspapers find a way to make turning print into audio profitable.

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