John McCann

Citizen news photographers in action

In Citizen Journalism on April 20, 2006 at 12:29 pm

In a comment on my post about citizen journalism, Ed Dombrofski points to a blog post about a "minor revolution in British journalism." Scaffolding fell at a construction site and before journalists and camera crews could arrive on the scene, the BBC had been e-mailed about 600 photographs by witnesses at the site.

This is truly amazing: hundreds of people participated in news gathering of a relatively minor event. With the wide spread adoption of camera phones and the coming addition of Wifi to digital cameras, such news gathering will become standard. This will accelerate the demise of the century old practice of news organizations publishing or broadcasting on a set schedule, e.g. morning newspaper and 6pm news broadcast. As news organizations continue to make this transition, there will be more and more opportunities for anyone to participate, through pictures, videos, sound and/or text, in the news process.

  1. More of the same from the BBC,,1760999,00.html

    Orginailly found at

    Thought you would be fine this interesting.


  2. I read the Media Guardian article about the BBC’s plan and was overjoyed to learn what the BBC is doing. Two paragraphs struck me as very innovative. First is the comment by Ashley Highfield, BBC’s director of new media and technology: “BBC iPlayer is going to offer catch-up television up to seven days after transmission,” said Mr Highfield. “At any time you will be able to download any programme from the eight BBC channels and watch it on your PC and, we hope, move it across to your TV set or down to your mobile phone to watch it when you want.”

    I don’t watch a lot of television (except for sports), but I am very interested in watching my favorites on a weekly basis. So having “catch-up television” is very exciting.

    The second paragraph that I found interesting, this time as a person who does research, has to do with search: “From tomorrow internet users will for the first time be able to search for details of the corporation’s entire programme catalogue as far back as 1937.”

    Since I was not alive in 1937, I (and most of you) could search for stories throughout my lifetime.

    Now if we only had these features here in the U.S. Perhaps we could get the BBC to move to the U.S. Then they could become ABC. Oops, that won’t work, will it? But wait, the real ABC has announced that they will be offering catch-up TV for some of their shows. Now if we could only get all of our hundreds of channels to provide such catch-up and search services.

    John McCann

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