The borderless world of journalism

Assignment 11: Write a blog post about three examples of journalistic use of User Generated Content. Why do they appeal to you? Also explain what you would do to promote User Generated Content at your medium.

Quoted in Buffalo News about the local citizen...

Buffalo News about the local citizen journalism phenomenon (Photo credit: inju)

Here are three examples of journalistic use of UGC:

CNN iReport

Allows users to share their stories with videos or photos. There is an active group of iReporters all over the globe. CNN encourages participation by opening “assignments” for contributors. To help contributors make something out of their stories, the project offers some guidelines and what they call an iReport toolkit. CNN launched iReport in 2006.

BBC Have Your Say

This is BBC’s take on ‘citizen journalism‘. The BBC’s UGC team piloted in 2005. When it comes to breaking news and taking the pulse of the public, the BBC profits a lot from its viewers who send their first-hand experiences on what’s going on, pictures and videos. With content generated from its viewers, BBC’s news gathering is on time, real-time and meatier.


A coordinated effort from Buurtlink and RTL, Buurtjournalist is like CNN’s iReport. It encourages people to join and share their stories with video. However, compared to CNN iReporters, Buurtjournalisten are not too many and they are trained by RTL, follow workshops and are given a Buurtjournalist kit which includes a Flip HD video.

These forms of UGC appeal to me because while they do not offer financial rewards, they do offer exposure (CNN iReports can be featured on, openness (BBC’s Have your say) and trainings (Buurtjournalist). These are all interesting when you want to show the world what you can do and what’s interesting in other sides of the world. In case of the BBC, it is interesting because it gives the audience the feeling that television is all-embracing. We are all welcome to share our experiences. The result is a borderless world where everybody can interact.

For my part, I promote UGC by opening the comments area in my websites. I don’t think I can do it the way CNN, BBC and RTL do but I can at least open the lines of communication with my readers on the comments and contact pages.#


So, what do you think?

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