Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Every Cell Phone as Citizen Media

MediaShift - Digging Deeper: Stanford Fellow Imagines Every Cell Phone as Citizen Media Outlet | PBS. Mark Glaser interviews Erik Sundelof a Reuters Digital Vision Fellow at Stanford University:
It’s a control issue, not wanting to give up control. There’s a fear that if there are citizen journalists, then what’s the role of the professional journalists? Someone encroaching on their turf and not being paid anything or being paid very little. So the professionals are afraid their whole purpose is disappearing but I don’t think it’s really true.

Sundelof: They have a clearer purpose because they can actually focus on bigger events and present more well thought out articles…Events like Rodney King and similar events, it’s really interesting to have cell phones as part of the scene. Because it’s much harder to get away with that if you have 40 people with cell phones sending it in. You can’t say, ‘No, it was not police brutality.’ Well we have 40 different people saying they saw it — with proof.

I really see an opening here for citizen contributions. The key here is that the media organizations need to realize they are losing control. They can’t really control [the news] now because people are posting this stuff to other blogs. I think it would be better to merge traditional reporting with citizen media rather than have a [totally] new media. To take the best of the old fashioned news organizations and bring in the power of the bloggers, because you have so many people investigating. Mix them and you have an extremely good organization and you’ll have content that’s really important in finding out the truth.


  1. With my phone, I can record and upload audio posts to Odeo, videos to YouTube, and pictures to Flickr and my moblog. I'm a dangerous person!

  2. It's already happening in Japan, where camera phones are standard issue. Do a YouTube search for Uncle Buss (Pressure). I'd guess that 2007's network news will include significant amateur footage: it will be grainy, but real. What America wants.

    One day this post will seem remedial:


  3. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Well the difference is not that you cannot upload images. The difference is that you can now send it to one number and I redistribute it to one or several. Which technique do you think is cheaper?