Friday, August 24, 2007

Sky to Cover Next Election with 400 Citizen Journalists

The Press Gazette reports today that Sky News is about to recruit several hundred 'citizen journalists' to cover the next election campaign, with the help of the City University Media Department. I'm not toally sure what this will involve, but I guess they intend to have someone in most of the constituencies covering what goes on. Stories would be uploaded to the Sky site and could be on air within minutes. is this the first sign of Tim Montgomerie's prediction coming true? He wrote in the Spectator recently that this would be the first election to be fought on the internet. Maybe that was going a little far, but it looks as if it will certainly be *covered* on the internet in a way it never has been before.


Peter from Putney said...

Completely off topic Iain, sorry, but continuing your "Game of two Chancellors" thread from yesterday - I've just been watching Adrian Chiles presenting his magazine programme on BBC 1, the topic being the introduction of an additional day's Bank holiday, up chirps Chiles to promote this being held on TUC Community Day (whatever that may be), to be arranged in the last week of October "I'm sure we would all agree with that" he added.
No, we bloody wouldn't say I - who wants a Bank holiday at the fag end of October?
Are there any Tory presenters at all on the Beeb, apart, perhaps, from Terry Wogan? I had previously been encouraged to learn that included on their A-list was one Fiona Bruce, only to discover that the person concerned was not the BBC's well-known news reader.

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Surely a positive step as well - though a very cheap way for the broadcasters to get their stories.

strapworld said...

Cameron should,as I have mentioned before, promise to have a Royal Commission into Public Service Broadcasting and its relevance in the 21st Century!

That will frighten the pants of the lefties at the BBC. For far too long we have had to put up with their political slant on everything.

Nothing,today, on the return of our brave soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq in their coffins! Could it be that it was because Cameron was at Brize Norton?

As for Sky...All your readers, Iain, should send in their details via and offer their services...lets see how many 'right' thinking people they 'employ'

Sky will only do what the Aussie/American/Chinese man tells them....

Anonymous said...

"Citizen journalists". Oh, please! Give me a break! LGF invented this phrase because American citizens know who they are. They are citizens of the United States.

No British person knows to whom or what he owes his allegiance. He's a subject of some people whose names he doesn't even know, in Brussels. Please - forget the term 'citizen journalist' - which is for real citizens - in Britain. 'Subject journalist' might pass muster.

What a wannabee charade!

jailhouselawyer said...

Jonathan Sheppard: Doesn't that remind you of 18DS?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Beware of unintended consequences.

Marshall Mcluhan, the erstwhile pop media commentator, developed, in collaboration with his nephew, a potion that could remove the smell of urine from underpants. Not many people know that. Its USP, though, was to leave other smells (considered attractive) such as sweat, intact. It failed to catch on as a product. I don't know why. Perhaps some people like the smell of urine.

He also said that we are always living way ahead of our thinking. It's this idea that gives a frontier quality to the internet. You never know how it is going to shape and change the way we live. McLuhan's sayings are easily misunderstood, but when he said "the medium is the message" I take that to mean, the medium as in a petri dish, not as in "the media".

We seem to live net-life in a petri dish and the rate of amplification is beyond human ability to control it. The only thing a concerned body or government can do is turn it off. It cannot regulate it effectively because of course information spreads like a biological virus.

There have been attempts to subvert the medium of weblog, of facebook, and of YouTube by publishing out and out lies, often dressed up as satire. The anonymity gives bloggers a boldness they would never carry through in real life.

My concern is that we cannot be selective. The same political blogger who sent some of us into a tailspin by claiming that Margaret Thatcher had died, also wielded a little credibility at the time.

Tim Montgomerie says

"Ninety per cent of blogs, discussion boards and homemade videos are unreadable or unwatchable" - so how do we sift the information?

We do not yet understand the political consequences of the bloggers revolution and our thinking is not joined up enough to understand all the consequences, anymore than people in the latter half of the eighteenth century understood the industrial revolution.

If the next election is going to be fought and won on the www, we need a good grasp of reality and something to strain out the unwanted odor of mischief.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:17 am was me and I didn't intend to be anonymous.

There can be no such thing as "citizen journalists" in Britain, because there are no "citizens". Have you considered this?

Am I wrong? You think you're citizens? Of what? An entity that is no longer a legal entity now that the EUSSR has subsumed it? Your citizenship has been slid from under you, like a hall carpet.

Your citizenship was only ever the will of the people, and that has been sucked out of them by the Peter Mandelsons, the Neil and Gladys Kinnocks, the Tony and Cherie Blairs, the Chris Pattens and all the other euro-effluent that neverless contrived to take away our country without a war.

Where are your "citizen journalists" getting their legitimacy, given that they are not citizens of anything?

Citizens in America know where their loyalty lies: to America. Does anyone in Britain know what they are supposed to be loyal to? Their own country? No, because it has been deconstructed as regions. The EUSSR, yes, although it isn't an entity.

Lobster Blogster said...

Hi Iain

Just heard that you are running your most boring blog in Britain list again. Sorry about the late entry. My nominations are:

1. my own blog - shines out in sea of mediocrely boring blogs
2. 10 Doughty St - post after post which no one can be bothered to read or comment on
3. er, that's it...

Anonymous said...

OK, heres a bit of "citizen journalism" The MOD alone were guilty of killing the troops in the "friendly fire" accident! WHY?
Our forces are equipped with the finest helicopter gunship in the world so why was it not used? It sat on the ground because the MOD is rationing its use to save money!
The MOD has recently thrown away dozens of Jaguar2 ground attack planes PLUS their highly experienced pilots to save a few quid! The Afghan war is being done on the cheap and its costing many lives now! The tacit approval of the MOD in laying the blame on the USAF is nothing more than grubby and disgusting blame shifting!
The Amaricans are not to blame here! The MOD tried to save money by relying on American air power instead of spending money on British air power!
The MSM are silent on this crime and only on the net will you find the truth now!
The MOD/government commisars have blood on their hands and its upto the net to tell the truth! So lets spread the word around that the MOD/NuLab commisars are guilty of premeditated murder!

Unsworth said...

Verity: "I didn't intend to be anonymous"

How poignant, and how true of all of us...

Citizens eh? More like denizens, I think. I had a country and a nationality once, but it has long been eroded away.

strapworld said...

Verity, I think we should ask Springstein to reissue one of his greatest with a little ammendment!


or you, Iain, you arrange with your musical friends a rendition of the 'new' song..and I am not referring to 4Puffs and a Piano..

May I ask budding songwriters to pen new words to the Verity song
'Back in the EUSSR' please.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Strapworld. You have an interesting point. Will there even be a BBC by then?

Jeremy Jacobs said...


Nothing cheap about 18DS

strapworld said...

For Verity!!

Back In The E.U.S.S.R.
Apologies to John Lennon/Paul McCartney.

Flew in from Brussels via BA
Didn't get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man I had a dreadful flight
I'm back in the E.U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the E.U.S.S.R.

Been away so long I hardly knew the place
Not so good to be back home
Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case
Honey disconnect the phone
I'm back in the E.U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the E.U.S.S.R.

Well the german region girls really knock me out
They leave England region ones behind
And French region girls make me sing and shout
That Heidie’s always on my mind.

I'm back in the E.U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boys
Back in the E.U.S.S.R.

Show me round your snow peaked mountains way down south
Take me to your daddy's farm
Let me hear your balalaika's ringing out
Come and keep your comrade warm.
I'm back in the E.U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boys
Back in the E.U.S.S.R.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.17. Since Mrs Thatcher's British Nationality Act 1981, we are 'citizens' of the UK and not 'subjects'.

jailhouselawyer said...

Jeremy Jacobs: Have you not heard about relative values?

Anonymous said...

Strapworld - Clever.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

In addition, the British - as ever never quite grasping an American definition - muck things up. A citizen journalist is one citizen who takes a specific interest in a particular subject and follows through on it off his own bat, with camera and tape recorder, and produces a report of near professional - sometimes better than professional - quality.

FOUR HUNDRED? Recruited - not driven by their own idea and interest? God, why do the British degrade everything? Why cannot they grasp an idea without mucking it up?

It's like the term "gunned down". If someone in Britain gets shot, the papers race to headline "Boy gunned down". No, dear subs, he was shot. Gunned down means a fusillade of shots. As in, for example, a gangster being "gunned down" by five or six police shooting full out. It is not someone dying of a single gunshot by a single person.

The British just can't cope with the inventiveness of American society and they reduce everything to the drabness with which they are so familiar.

Theo Spark said...

As if they had a choice.

Anonymous said...

You're fired.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Unsworth - Funny.

Alan Douglas said...

Perhaps these 400 "citizen journalists" could follow up on this APB:

WHERE is Iain Dale? Last seem Friday somewhere in the vicinity of this thread.

Anyone spotting him should return him immediately to 18DS.

Thank you

Anonymous said...


Perhaps he found gold on the west ham terraces??

Vienna Woods said...

Iain seems to be losing interest in the blogging scene, or am I being cynical

Iain Dale said...

Yes you are. It's August. I have one book to proof read and another to edit this weekend. No other reason for the lack of posts.

Wrinkled Weasel said...


I think blogging is a winter occupation, like knitting and noggin the nog. (Though up here, winter lasts about 11 and a half months) I have been out all day with my lawnmower and am really only trying to recover for a few minutes before getting on with other things.

VUK said...

It will be the first election for me that I will Blog on this side of the Atlantic. Also with Blogger know having a video feed one can place video on one's Blog. If you think about it, the Main Stream Media in the UK has not lost that much power compared to the MSM in the USA. This election should show if British Bloggers can have the same effect that the USA Bloggers had on CBS and Dan Rather. If a person in every hamlet should Blog and each main party has a blogger it could well develop in to the War of the Bloggs. But still think the BBC, SKY will be the main threads for infomration. By the next election and the ugrades in Blogging we will be able to challenge the MSM Media.