Pradyuman Maheshwari is back with his “Mediaah” blog. His latest Monday memo discusses citizen media:
To better appreciate blogpower, lets hypothetically consider I am a student and have nothing better to do in my summer vacations. I decide to set up a blog on Delhi, and with the help of collegemates and friends in and around the metrop, I get read to cover all types of happenings. The response is lukewarm initially, but a friend of mine was at the scene of a crime at, say, Connaught Place, and he used his cameraphone to click pictures and flashed the news to me on phone within seconds. I used a contact to reach out to television channels and newspapers telling them that I have live footage of the camera, and by the next morning, my site becomes the most popular thing around town!
What Ive stated is a piece of fiction, but to those of us who are in the business of news are well-aware that the above is eminently doable.
However, its not that all of this cannot be accomplished by traditional media. Use the power of the medium to your advantage. Grow a blog yourself, and develop a citizens-aggregated news offering. First on the website, with an incentive that if the news is really good, it will find its way in print/ television. Encourage the use of webcams, digicams and cameraphones and let people file their stories to you round the clock.