Video and Citizen Journalism - How this can affect businesses

Posted on: August 07, 2013 by Nettel Media

Category: General

Video and Citizen Journalism  - How this can  affect  businesses

Smartphones have changed news reporting forever. No longer are news crews the first ones on the scene of an event – it is citizens who are documenting breaking news where and when it happens. Most of us now carry around video cameras that can be switched on in a matter of seconds. One of the outcomes of this is more efficient reporting and solving of crimes and involuntary brand marketing– for good or for bad.


Take the London Bombings of 2005 for example, where many individuals were witnesses and victims of bus bombings. These individuals were snapping and uploading videos and photos online instantly, and these images served as the images news broadcasters and journalists used, since they were not at the scene, or could not access it themselves. Photos from this event appeared on the front covers  newspapers, were featured images in blogs and were sent across the world.


“Citizen journalism” has not slowed down since then.  YouTube is called so for a reason, leading news sources now have specific pages for community photo and video submissions, and comment sections are common among all news sites and blogs.


While this open form of citizen journalism has grown at a rapid pace and has greatly enhanced news reporting, it has proved unfortunate for the image of some companies. A YouTube video recently surfaced of FedEx employees carelessly throwing boxes into the back of a company truck. Since being posted, the video has gone viral, causing outrage among many FedEx customers to the point where an apology video was issued.


However, for companies whose employees are true ambassadors for the brand, citizen journalism can work in their favour. A Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant’s day at work became viral on the internet when a passenger took a video of them rapping the safety instructions, which included passengers clapping along with him.


These two case studies exemplify the power of the consumer. Brands must recognize that their consumers are always watching and listening, and can easily share what they see and hear with the world. Ensuring that your employees and products are of high quality now becomes extremely important. Furthermore, ensuring the content you produce is reflective of your company’s values, regulations and brand persona is key. So when the camera is turned on to your company, ensure what is captured can be viewed in a positive light.

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