Real news reporters may as well stay at home these days – thanks to mobiles and mini camcorders, there’ll always be someone in the thick of the action willing to film it for free.
To celebrate journalism’s new recruit – the general public – Nokia and Press Gazette have launched the Citizen Journalism awards, which will give a Nokia N90 (shame it’s not the new N93) and photo printer to the best piece of amateur photo or video journalism from the past year.
To enter you need to have had a photo or video clip published by a newspaper, magazine, broadcast service, internet news service, blog or photo sharing site in the last 12 months. And, no, freelancers or real journalists can’t enter.
Having initially fobbed off ‘distributed journalism’ as an insult to their professionalism, media companies are starting to embrace their new front line employees. Amateur footage of the Boxing Day tsunami and Buncefield oil depot events got big coverage, and not just because pro reporters were too scared to visit the sites.
Once you’ve filmed your piece on the local shotgun-wielding maniac, you just need include a paragraph on why it should win – simply begging for an N90 above won’t do – and send it in the address on the official site by June 30th. Big name judges, including Jon Snow, will deliver their verdict soon afterwards.