Media training for citizen journalists

29 06 2009

There are many differing opinions on the value of citizen journalists, and often they can be negative. But no matter what your own personal opinion may be, there is a place for it. The recent Mumbai terrorist attacks, the Hudson plane crash and the events that have unfolded in Tehran are all good examples.

In an interesting move, TechCrunch has just reported that You Tube launched a new channel called Reporters’ Center over the weekend. The goal is to educate us on how to be better citizen journalists. A number of journalists and media experts will share instructional videos with tips and advice for better reporting. A form of media training is a better way of describing it.

So far, 34 videos have been posted including video from CBS News’ Katie Couric and Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. That is a pretty good start.

It also shows that real journalists DO embrace citizen journalists, which is great to see. I know from comments here in Australia, a lot of journalists have been very negative. Their reasons vary, but largely it’s because they either feel threatened, or they simply like to bag the quality. On the latter, they often have a case, but there is no threat here as there is always a place for quality journalism. For many journalists, they see social media as a source for stories.

I think this Reporters Center will be a great training resource, and if it means the quality of citizen journalism will improve, that has to be a good thing right?

I guess there will be some journalist’s that will still trash it, but if they do, at least they now have a chance to improve it. Like Katie and Bob, they can simply jump in front of a camera and share their tips with the rest of us. We shall see.

I have also posted this article to the TechPRNibbles blog.