Google’s YouTube has teamed up with the Pulitzer Center to produce Project:Report – a project to inspire citizen journalists to create their own video news series and bolster YouTube’s journalism section.
YouTube is offering prizes of Sony VAIO schwag and a cash grand prize of $10,000 for the best submissions.
Sounds great, right? Maybe not.
Such a paltry prize may in fact disgruntle many of the Project:Report entrants who produce great documentary series and receive nothing in return, Mashable writes.
After pausing to think about it, I think Mashable is right. What do all those people who produce those great documentaries get in the end if they don’t win the grand prize or at least a new laptop? Some might get YouTube fame, but they probably won’t get much accolades for it in RL (real life :) ). And those in their local towns probably will never see the documentaries they produce.
And isn’t that what citizen journalists want? To be heard? To be acknowledged?
This presents an excellent opportunity for local news sites to piggyback off any momentum created by Project:Report.
YouTube is an excellent repository of video and can act as a database of local citizen news if stories are tagged correctly.
I’ve often encouraged newspapers to post interesting videos created by people within its coverage community. But Project:Report brings the opportunity to take that notion to a larger scale and actually instruct the everyone and their mother with a camera demographic in local communities to produce news pieces for use on the web.
And while news websites can’t all offer $10,000 grand prizes or even a one-year subscription to the print newspaper for producing great content, local news sites can provide exposure and acknowledgement. They can provide local celebrityism!
By promoting Project:Report, local news sites can not only solicit free content they can use on their website, but site producers can also uncover local talent that they may be able to call on for producing a series for the site.
What do you think? Worth a try?