MTV Election Coverage is a Coup for Citizen Journalism
As part of MTV's coverage of the 2008 presidential elections in the US, the media network assembled a "street team" of 51 amateur journalists, one in each state and the District of Columbia, to file blog reports, photos, videos, and audio podcasts about election issues during the course of the campaign season. The videos are being syndicated to MTV's mobile web site, social network, and to the Associate Press Online Video Network.
Members of the street team have been outfitted with laptops, video phones, and other popular tools of the citizen journalist...For Super Tuesday, in which 23 states in the US hold primary elections, Caroline McCarthy reports that MTV will be leaning heavily on their citizen journalism street team. Members of the team in the 23 voting states will be filing live video field reports via Nokia N95 handsets. As McCarthy notes, this is the first time MTV has done live mobile-to-web video reporting.
The N95...is also being used by Reuters as part of a "Mobile Journalism Toolkit," which some Reuters field reporters are testing to help them file stories from the field and use the cell phone's camera to take photos and videos of news events. This is all part of a growing trend toward legitimizing citizen journalism and the embrace by mainstream media of amateur journalism's tools and techniques.