In 2013 The Guardian launched a citizen journalism platform where readers can submit stories, videos and pictures to be published on Guardian Witness.
It has been created in partnership with EE and is designed to be the ‘home of user-generated content on The Guardian and highlights how UGC is a vital part of reporting the news.
The most recent example was the fatal London helicoptor crash in January – news broke first on Twitter and beat traditional news outlets to the story. Passers by tweeted eye witness accounts, took pictures and shot videos – much was used by the media.
London Evening Standard used a picture taken by Craig Jenner – captured blazing debris, the paper used it as their front page picture.
This project echoes what CNN has been doing with it’s IReport site.
Another side of Guardian Witness will be journalists flag live blogs if they are suitable – enabling readers to be part of the breaking story
The Guardian Witness site described it as ‘It might be a simple but beautiful idea such as asking everyone to take a picture at a certain time of day or a way of investigating an issue in more detail’.
It picks up on a trend where Guardian readers have been involved in some of the biggest news stories such as helping review MP’s expense claims, eyewitness accounts of the Arab Spring & understanding the U.K riots.
Some high profile examples include:
The police said the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson was not suspicious, a reader sent the paper a video clearly showing a police officer knocking him to the ground.