John McCann

Archive for the ‘Participant observer’ Category

In Citizen Journalism, Participant observer on December 4, 2006 at 5:43 pm

An article in today’s New York Times reports that “Yahoo and Reuters want you to work for this news service.”

“Hoping to turn the millions of people with digital cameras and camera phones into photojournalists, Yahoo and Reuters are introducing a new effort to showcase photographs and video of news events submitted by the public. Starting tomorrow, the photos and videos submitted will be placed throughout and Yahoo News, the most popular news Web site in the United States, according to comScore MediaMetrix. Reuters said that it would also start to distribute some of the submissions next year to the thousands of print, online and broadcast media outlets that subscribe to its news service. Reuters said it hoped to develop a service devoted entirely to user-submitted photographs and video.”

This is an opportunity for anyone to contribute to the news gathering process. And it is only the latest program being offered by the traditional media. The same article describes similar efforts by CNN and quotes a CNN executive about the philosophy of this new form of journalism.

“Even the best reporters in most cases are approaching the story from the outside in,” said Mitch Gelman, the executive producer of “What a participant observer can offer is the perspective on that story from the inside out. We feel as a news organization we need to provide both to offer full coverage to our audience.”

I love the phrase “participant observer” because it reflects the theme of this blog. We observe many situations every day of our lives. By carrying and using a camera phone, we can now make our observations available to others.