Blurring the Journalist Line

When I present on social media to public information and emergency management folks, I LOVE to talk about citizen-journalists. Half of the room usually rolls their eyes, while the other half mentally checks out.

Citizen “journalists?” Bah, bloggers in their parents’ basement. And rarely do they look as dashing as Jude Law in Contagion.

But then I talk about how they drive coverage by the media. How CNN’s iReport is often, and more and more frequently, the lead view of how CNN reports the story. And then I tell them it’s going to get worse (if you consider that a bad thing, which I don’t necessarily).

My evidence for that is a lightly reported story about AP partnering. with streaming video social network Bambuser to provide streaming video of events.

The partnership between Bambuser and the AP is significant in part because it formalizes the relationship between the news organization and citizen video reporters, who on occasion are thrown into the spotlight just because they happen to be live streaming from what turns out to be a major event.

You wouldn’t know it from the American press, but the situation in Syria is really the hottest story in the world. And the best, on-the-ground reporting has been done using none other than Bambuser. It’s already available for download in your neighborhood.

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