The GuardianWitness platform, and supporting iPhone and Android apps will help us to carry on this tradition. It will allow you to tell your story – by desktop or mobile – by submitting pictures, videos and text to journalists directly from an assignment.
It also has its own site, which allows you to submit and browse news, opinions and creations submitted to those assignments.
If your submission is picked up by a journalist it could go on to be featured across the Guardian – in print and online – which means you can help set the news agenda and become part of the Guardian’s award-winning journalism.
Guardian Witness is part of their Open Journalism initiative, of course, which is itself just a branded version of the idea of networked journalism.
But it does seem to offer a method of smoothing the journey from an isolated act of citizen journalism to that act being part of an orchestrated piece of journalism conducted by a journalist. Is it needed? Aren’t people more likely to contribute via their own social presences? I suspect that this experiment will tell us one way or another.
Update: there’s an obligatory “tinkly music” app demo video that startups have made de rigeur
Update 2: Graham has a good point:
Yes, this does feel very much like a 2006/2007 “come, create user generated content on our site” effort. But there are good people that I respect involved in this effort – I’d be interested to hear from them how this differs from that…
Update 3: Graham has articulated this further on his own blog.
Update 4: And now we know the commercial relationship with EE at work, thanks to Joanna speaking at Shift 2013:
Update 5: Joanna has some interesting hints in her response: