In 2005 an independent video news service was announced
What made The Real News unique? No government funding No corporate funding No advertising Viewer supported television news ….was it possible?
Initial indicators promised much The beta website received more than 60,000 visitors within the first month The website contained a business plan and some supporter videos Emails supported the belief that enough people were dissatisfied by television news and would financially support this new offering Donations came rolling in
True development began Seed funding sought from foundations Donation outreach stepped up Editorial approach framed Design of news site began Search for independent journalists broadened Testing for scalable online video production began
Was online video viable? In a report published in July 2007, just weeks before The Real News posted its first story, Pew Research Centre in the U.S. published the following research statistics. The majority of adult internet users in the U.S. (57%) report watching or downloading some type of online video content and 19% do so on a typical day
Volunteers and citizens engaged We had more volunteers wanting to help than we knew what to do with BUT For those wanting to contribute editorial support, we used our own definition of citizen journalism
Definition is important Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University says citizen journalism is when the people, formerly known as the audience employ the press tools in their possession to inform one another. Thats cool. Why dont we do that?
The Real News promises: Daily news imbued with verifiable facts, history and context. The Real News was realized as a global news service working with independent professional journalists that could withstand challenges through due diligence in research and accountability in reporting.
The Real News Citizen Journalist Eye-witness Researcher Videographer Chase producer
Lessons Ive learned about collaboration and citizen engagement Apply human resources and time Be prepared – toolkits, training, tips Manage expectations Utilize the social technology but – Dont rely on social tech to do everything
Secret sauce for collaboration collaboration means building a solid relationship Collaboration means establishing trust True collaboration means letting go True collaboration is hard – ego, legal frameworks, accessibility True collaboration takes courage
The opportunity is still available BBC and CNN are trapped within a national framework The Real News could tap into existing opportunities to collaborate with like-minded organizations globally They could share editorial principles Self-finance so resources are not stretched Utilize citizen journalists to bolster global teams Better utilize social technology to bolster profile and engagement
The future of news has no borders seascape No borders…lets drive