Citizens’ media

Citizens’ media
: Ashley Highfield, director of BBC’s online efforts, answers questions at the Guardian, among them a query about online’s impact on the gathering of news. The reply:

One of the biggest shifts in News reporting I think is that the reports do not all have to come from our reporters. Increasingly, our audience can submit articles, views, comments, photos, and even video footage. The big challenge in this world is how to maintain both impartiality and quality in this world of user generated content.

Well, apart from the obvious straight line (“What, you’re worried about impartiality from the audience when you’re apparently not worried about it from your own reporters?”), there’s truth and good forward-thinking there.

He’s also asked about a project that had members of the audience submit video:

Many of those short video-stories made by members of the public using our equipment and posted on our website were really exceptional, some quite moving. Watch this space, we have more plans for this very public service!! i think they have a future because one of the key social trends that we’ve noticed is, in a fragmenting society, people want to get more involved in their media consumption, want to contribute, sometimes as a substitute for real-world communities.

Yes, they want to be involved in more than media consumption. They want to be involved in media creation.