THE age of the citizen journalist has arrived – and that’s official.
YouTube has this week created a special ‘reporter channel’ where anyone can upload film about news and events in their local community, organisation or business.
The channel is designed to encourage ‘citizen journalists’ to share their own films about news and events with the wider world.
YouTube say their ‘reporter channel’ is specifically aimed at airing ‘on-the-spot’ film, student newscasts, interviews with community figures, comment on issues and even professional journalists seeking a wider public for their work.
It goes on to provide a wide range of examples of the work of ‘citizen journalists’, from interviews with a local Mayor in the US, to Tibet protests at the Olympic torch procession in Canada, captured on a mobile phone.
Now anyone can become a reporter – and they can broadcast from their very own YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, as Hillary Clinton bows out of the Democratic race for President of the United States, the Independent on Sunday greeted the dawn of a new era in political reporting thus:
“a first-of-its-kind election dominated by bloggers of all political hues, by citizen journalists armed with camera phones and cheap digital recorders, and played out on YouTube and across the web.”
It goes on to describe the dynamic and influential role so far played by ‘citizen journalists’ in the US election – a trend which looks certain only to increase as the battle between Obama and McCain intensifies.
Whether Britain will ever embrace this exciting new age of digital communication with quite the same enthusiasm, open-ness and commitment remains to be seen.
But one thing is clear – effective communication with global audiences is no longer the preserve of multi-millionaire media tycoon’s like Rupert Murdoch.
And that can only be A Good Thing.