Blottr is first and biggest UK citizen journalism website which showed wonderful strength and capability to inform world public about important events. We have great privilege to introduce to you Blottr through an email interview with Adam Baker, founder of Blottr.com with additional words from Ravin Sampat, editor and Jerry Boston, PR.
Enjoy the interview :
Q: What Blottr offers and requires from users?
A: As a citizen journalism news service, Blottr enables anyone to capture, report and collaborate on stories they witness. Our users set the daily news agenda as it happens, almost always ensuring Blottr breaks news before other news services. By reporting stuff they witness, users help their local communities expose stories that would otherwise remain undiscovered. As a citizen journalism service, stories published on Blottr are not editorially biased. Our vigilant community can collaborate with each other to update articles as events unfold, as well as report content that may be potentially libelous, offensive or malicious..
Using all forms of social media to engage and crowdsource information, citizen journalists use Blottr as a channel to break and share news stories.
Uniquely, Blottr is able to deliver a news agenda, created by citizens, that is fast, unbiased and engaging.
Q: Blottr. Interesting name, say more about it.
A: We were looking for something original. The premise that writing something down with an ink pen can, sometimes, cause “blots” on the page was something we latched onto.
To be honest, that’s the nearest to a relevant link to journalism we can muster.
Q: How do you see citizen journalism in your country?
A: Citizen Journalism is the fastest form of news in the UK. Everyday we see more and more news shared and broken by citizens as opposed to journalists. Whilst journalists look around for stories, trying to discover that major scoop, citizens are already at the scene, ready to break stories as they witness them. This has seen mainstream news organisations use social media to source photos and video gathered by citizens, as opposed to having journalists on the ground themselves.
Q: Is citizen journalism connected with traditional media in UK?
A: Traditional media in the UK is essentially made up of print media and broadcast media. Citizen journalism is connected to both but not in the way one may think it is. In recent times and through the emergence of technology, print media has struggled to keep pace with “new media” which is able to break stories as they happen. As a result, by the time you pick up your newspaper the next morning, their coverage has already been broken many hours earlier through web and social media.
Broadcast media has the advantage over print by being able to deliver their agenda 24 hours a day. 24 hour news stations, such as SkyNews, demonstrates that we are all news junkies.
Citizen journalism sits uniquely in the middle of both of these forms of media. It has the ability to break news, be constant and timely, yet provide a proper, unbiased account and analysis of events. Blottr.com has a unique position within this media space because it enables citizens to break news, edit news and share news faster than print or broadcast media.
Q: Influence of social media on citizen journalism in your opinion.
A: The influence of social media has proved pivitol in the way citizen journalism has flourished.
Interestingly, individuals break news on social media sites without even realising they have broken news. A picture taken by someone in London went viral on social networking sites after they posted a photo of the first outbreak of riots in London on their Twitter feed. Nobody in the mainstream media realised what had happened at the time. Social media plays a unique role in ensuring citizen journalism flourishes.
Social media has a big influence on citizen journalism. It provides citizens the chance to break news themselves. Sites like Twitter, Storify and Tumblr are being used by citizens to spread news quickly.
This has led to an increase in crowdsourcing by news outlets. However, often the detail is lost through sites like Twitter, who restrict users to 140 characters per tweet. This is where Blottr differentiates. Not only does Blottr break news early (often first), their coverage is detailed and comprehensive.
Q: Blottr position in media.
A: Blottr acts as a news breaking source to its ever growing audience. By enabling anyone to capture and report news they witness, directly from their mobile device to web (using the Blottr app), we often break news long before mainstream media.
Q: How do you see citizen journalism in the future?
A: The future is here already. Citizen journalism is the fastest growing form of news reporting in the UK. Of course, print media provides a fantastic analysis of events the day after the event, but citizen journalism provides news at it happens by those people witnessing it at the scene. Eventually, you will see blogging and citizen journalism combine, where news broken by citizen journalists will eventually become more analytical.
Print media will always exist, but there is a possibility we will see an eventual departure of newspapers with everything going online as consumers appetite for news as it happens increases. Expect to see citizen journalism become more credible and gain prominence over the next few years as it changes the way news is gathered and reported, with Blottr.com at the forefront.
Q: Blottr future plans and goals.
A: Our mission:
To change the way news is gathered and reported globally through the empowerment of citizens to capture and report incidents they witness.
Blottr aims to become the catalyst of citizen journalism in every city and every country we serve.
Blottr recently broadened its footprint in the UK, focusing outside of London for the first time by launching into 5 new cities; Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester.
Launches in Cardiff, Belfast, Newcastle and Liverpool will follow soon.
In October this year, Blottr will launch into 3 other European countries.
By the end of 2012, Blottr will be available in over 10 countries.