Share the knowledge
How smart of them. This is what the future of news is about: sharing.
By teaching those who care to learn, the BBC is building an army of news-gatherers in the world. One of them could be there when the huge story happens. One of them will be inspired to go out and report a story. And that video will end up on the air — on the BBC or on the internet or elsewhere — and we’re all better informed.
You could argue that the BBC, which has also talked about starting a journalism school for citizen reporters, can do this because it has a different mission than a commercial network: It is supported by license fees to inform the public, period (which would make you think, by the way, that NPR, PRI, and PBS should be doing exactly the same thing here).
But I’ll argue that the wise commercial station — and newspaper — should be doing this, too, because it will produce more news and improve the reporting of that news reporting at a lower cost, while also taking down the barriers that have been built up between the press and its public. It’s good journalism. It’s good citizenship. And it’s good business.