Listening Post

The citizen content revolution

Light years away from letters to the editor, user-generated content is changing the face of news.

Last Modified: 29 Sep 2013 14:10
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From the Arab Spring to the Boston bombings - user-generated content (UGC) has become the new norm on screen, online and in print.

The footage is often shaky, the images blurred - pros might turn up their noses - but more and more stories are being broken by citizens in the heat of the action.

UGC has come a long way from letters to the editor and now the power to create news content has turned anyone with a smartphone into a potential journalist. And audiences are increasingly aware of their own changing role.

Citizen-powered news is forcing mainstream media to adapt and now a new generation of intermediaries is here to help - sourcing content, verifying it - even training amateurs in the needs of the newsroom.

Nikki Usher from George Washington University says: "More and more people have mobile phones, more and more people have instant access to the recording of instant history in a way and a scale that has never before, before been seen, so that makes everybody a potential journalist, or at least everybody potentially able to commit what we might call an act of journalism."

Listening Post’s Will Yong takes a look now at the citizen content revolution and how UGC specialists are giving everyone the opportunity to commit individual acts of journalism and even get paid in the process.

Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

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Al Jazeera
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