A while back I participated in a usability test for the new WRAL.com. The site is now up and has some interesting features. No longer are our local newspapers the only news outlets with blogs. WRAL has several like The Skinny on local tech, High School Hoops, WRAL Sports: The ACC & Beyond, and more. They even link to local Political Blogs in their News politics section. (ex. OrangePolitics.org, The Locker Room, Science and Politics.)
The new feature that really caught my eye was the Share Video part of the site. I didn’t find it by browsing but read about it on Dot John — Inside WRAL.com. Right now they have three videos up you can watch in the web browser. Two are promos and one is a video shot of a house fire.
While I love the fact that WRAL is getting into using Citizen Journalist video I’m still concerned. How should Citizen Journalists be compensated? Right now they have awarded an iPod to one person who has uploaded video.
And keep an eye on the page for contests. We already have awarded an iPod to a visitor who shot, edited and uploaded high school football highlights to WRAL.com.
Do all people who upload video get an iPod? I doubt it. What is the reward for the work Citizen Journalist perform? A pat on the back? The satisfaction of having your video on the WRAL site?
I recommend that WRAL treat Citizen Journalists like any other stringer. Publish rates and details of all content sharing deals. This to me is the fair thing todo. WRAL is a for-profit media outlet that will gain one way or another by the hard work of Citizen Journalists. Do the right thing WRAL and compensate everyone who provides you content. Prove to us that having video on your site has advantages over just putting it on our own blogs.
Great job with the new site WRAL! Keep it up.