Thursday, May 04, 2006

Citizen wotsitsname - that film (wemedia


Everyone knows the film, even if they can't remember the talented director. The film has become part of our visual landscape and set a standard for those who would follow.

And the film was. . . the one that showed the beating of Rodney King, the film showing the botched landing of a plane on the sea off the coast of East Africa, images from London's tube, from 911, Hurricane Katrina and there are countless many more.

These were films made by Citizen Joe and Josephine. Citizen Journalism has been here as long as we've told stories. In the late 1600s leading to 1700s in the UK, story telling turned professional. Addison and Steele, famed for Tatler and the Spectator, both of whom had different professions, could loosely count as early flag bearers of a name that today is a red flag to many.

So citizen journos are not a new phenomenon, but like an army has been professionalised. And on the theme of the army, we might count it's citizen contributors as members of the Territorial Army - citizens who have their day job, but enlist all the same. No one gets heated about that. Oh, I'm being naive.

It's not whether we embrace CJ or not. It's here, has been here, and ain't going anywhere. In fact the digital economy will ensure CJs increase in number. Some organisations have welcomed blogs, but that's just one facet of the digital journalist.

There is more we could do, much much more. Not because we're compelled to, but because we're interested and need to facilitate greater understanding, education, entertainment and participation amongst ourselves. CJ adds to that. Listen to the CJ podcast and to panelist Rachel North - one of the survivors of July 7th bombing.

So to my one contribution - a perhaps nonsensical idea. Emily Bell ( Guardian ) said this morning, most of the UK's TV talent is in reality TV. So the programme is this. Broadcasters who claim to have the CJ firmly in site should set up a CJ model news made by guess who to compete with their own bulletins.

The broadcasters facilitate the making of the programme offering support but the editorial comes from we the people. If YouTube and Metacafe are anything to go by, it should make an interesting programme. It may even have a shelf life on broadband.

The best film ever, Citzen Kane? Or was that made by you.

p.s I'll blog my thoughts on what I thought of the Citizen Journalist debate , as one of the panelists later

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