Citizen Journalism is Vancouver Bound
Citizen journalism is all about participating in providing relevant, reliable, and accurate information to a mass market. Whether it via video or photography, citizen journalism is catching on quickly with major news organizations and starting some new ones in the process as well.
The way you view news has been changing rapidly over the past couple of years. With the emergence of blogging and media sharing sites such as Flickr and YouTube, quality content is being distributed to mass markets with a simple click of a button. Not only are people able to setup their own mini news station to reach millions of users, but large corporations such as NBC, CBC, and CNN are starting to catch on with this new wave of journalism who believe that the production of media can be put in the hands of the citizens.
Think of this for a second. The approximate costs for a broadcasting company to manage, maintain, and outfit a fleet of vehicles for news coverage can range close to $100k per vehicle. Now, lets crunch some numbers. Company ABC has 10 TV Vans outfitted for the transmission of data to and from their central network. Their operating costs run close to $20k a month. Let’s say there are about 20 new leads for stories each day. Now, if they were to cover each story by having to physically arrive at a location each time something new happens, were talking some serious coin.
The new era of leaving the media to the masses gives corporations the flexibility to purchase content from 3rd parties for the fraction of the cost it is for them to operate and maintain their vehicles. This also leaves room for other potential leads that somehow weren’t reported in the first place.
A great example and business model is to look right in our own city, Vancouver. NowPublic.com, who recently closed a $10.6 Million round of financing, allows members around the world to contribute news-worthy articles to a central location on their website.
NowPublic.com currently has over 130,000 members in over 4200 cities. Their content ranges anywhere from coverage on Hurricane Katrina to local events such as Critical Mass.
One member in Burnaby happened to video-tape the oil rupture that happened recently and posted it on Now Public which was later sold to the Associated Press.
Events such as this are often missed or minute details that are sometimes overlooked by larger corporations. A mass collaberation of contributors to news allows there to be growth in the way we watch, read, and listen to the media and its news. Without handy cams or cell phone cameras, probably more than half the news that we read online that has been sourced from various citizens who happended to have been in the right place at the right time, we would not know much more than what the current media feeds us.
Opportunity is all over the place, for small business and freelance journalists alike. Tap into a niche market that you enjoy and like or write articles and blog posts in association for a company like Now Public. It’s all about what the people want to hear, so let it be heard. I know I’ll be listening.