16 February 2007

Internet users transformed into news reporters [AFP]

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Citizen journalist
As picture-taking mobile telephones and digital movie cameras grow ubiquitous, Internet users worldwide are being recruited as citizen news reporters.

In December Yahoo launched YouWitnessNews, a website that posts offerings from users after the submissions pass muster with professional editors.

Founded almost two years ago, news website NowPublic.com taps into legions of people that post pictures, videos, or commentary online.

NowPublic boasts more than 60,000 contributing “reporters” in more than 140 countries and promises to quickly locate potential witnesses or news gatherers close to breaking events from natural disasters to terrorist attacks.

“We have become the largest participatory news network in the world,” NowPublic chief executive Leonard Brody told AFP. “We have everything from complete amateurs to complete professionals.”

“News in the future is going to be crowd-source and we are building that army.”

NowPublic and YouWitnessNews have formed alliances with traditional international news wire services and provide them photos or other worthy content.

NowPublic takes the deal a step further, promising to swiftly pinpoint for wire service reporters potential witnesses or contributors close to the scenes of breaking news.

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