Guardian Witness: The Guardian’s experiment with citizen journalism is exactly what student media needs
This morning, the Guardian released Guardian Witness. Described by The Guardian: ‘Share your view of the world - Your chance to have videos, photos and stories featured on the Guardian’, the website and corresponding app allows anyone to submit photos, videos, and text to the Guardian.
The editorial team at The Guardian will be suggesting ‘assignments’ (current ones include Views of tall buildings, The cuts get personal, and Syria refugees: your stories) that users of the app are able to contribute their own content to.
The Guardian have made it as easy to submit content to their assignments, as it is to tweet a photo from an event, or share a video onto YouTube.
Student media, often plagued by the inability to gather together good content and stories, should definitely take note. University campuses are now filled with thousands of students, most of whom have smartphones. When looking for the next big story, or photos and video from an event, it’s easy to see how an app like this, that connects the newsroom to the students, could be really useful. Not only would the newsroom have an abundance of content and material, but students would be able to get their photos and videos featured as the story develops, their own 30 seconds of fame.
Embracing students in this way is great for student media. It helps their image, encourages students to engage with stories, share stories with their friends (getting more clicks, reads, likes, and so on), and maybe students will start getting more involved in student media.
You can watch a video of the app in action here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/video/2013/apr/16/guardian-witness-promo-video
What do you think? Should people be giving their content away to The Guardian for free? Or are we doing it anyway on Twitter and other social networks, and is it a clever move by The Guardian to bring that content together?
LJ Digital: This is fascinating. Student journalists, check this out!