The ultimate in citizen journalism?

Last week I wrote about the need for journalists to adapt to the rise of new media. Here’s another very big reason why: YouTube has announced it’s setting up a citizen journalism channel, where anyone and everyone with a video camera can upload their own ‘news stories’. When CNN launched its iReport service earlier this year, it set up a filtering system where an editing team vets all material before publishing, but YouTube doesn’t appear to be doing this – like its normal videos, it’s a free-for-all. As a trained journalist, I don’t know whether to laugh or shake in my boots – probably both! I think it will further dilute the power of major media companies, but at the same time people will seek out trusted, quality writing if they want the full story on something (a study recently released by the Annenberg School for the Digitial Future at USC showed that the number of people who think only a small portion of material posted on the Internet by individuals can be trusted jumped from 33% to 45% in 2007). But one thing is for sure – this is going to change the dynamics of news-gathering and publishing.