Like CNN’s iReport, ABC News has i-CAUGHT which started around 7th August 2007. Both services allow viewers to become contributors by submitting content (e.g. video) directly to these news agencies for possible use on their TV news networks.
Mix of Low and High Brow…
While Singaporean bloggers (like myself) might have complain about the relatively low-brow content on our very own Straits Times STOMP (e.g. skimpy models always works), I’ve discovered that it isn’t too different on these “citizen journalism” efforts by major U.S. news networks.
CNN iReport hosts communal topics such as “Take us to the Gun Show” where readers show off their ripped bodies and share workout tips, to more significant issues such as I-Reporters sharing rebuilding updates after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast two years ago.
ABC News i-CAUGHT does feel more quality, as it plays host to sentimental artsy videos such as the y3k video submissions, where users send their 3 meaningful words in creative ways. There’s also a fun and investigative piece on Second Life which was pretty well done, despite being a little late in the news as I’ve mentioned before.
Why Mainstream Media Loves Walled Gardens?
Now a common complaint I have about mainstream media opening up to participatory culture is that they don’t seem to give bloggers any love back… we’re talking about no video embeds, let alone trackbacks. Perhaps the old metric of timing eyeballs on a page still lives (think Attention Economy). There’s also the possible loss of control, since it’d be much easier to manage users if they were all in one place.
Still, are conversations to be forever trapped within their walled gardens?
Is this manner of crowdsourcing for citizen-sponsored labor truly beneficial to all?
Isn’t this just another form of kleptocracy?
Hat tip to Florence for the word on that guy’s missing finger.