The New York Times has announced that they will begin featuring “citizen journalism” videos focusing on the upcoming presidential election. (That’s right, start your countdown clocks now, only 50 weeks left. Joy.)
The videos will feature non-professional journalists and will run on the Op-Ed section of the site until February 5, so-called “Super Tuesday” when a large number of US states hold primary elections.
RWW also points out that the NY Times has run clips from Bloggingheads.tv since October.
However, I think this constitutes a new level of involvement from the New York Times. If you were never a comms major in college (ah, freshman year), the New York Times is an institution in print journalism. This the newspaper that’s won the most Pulitzer Prizes, the one with “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” the one that can get away with its own style guide (which does mean that they’re supposed to print things like “U.R.L.’s”). It’s one of the three largest print dailies in the US.
But they don’t have a TV station. They don’t have original, professional video content. They have published letters to the editor for decades, but don’t have comments on their website. So I think it’s a bit of a big deal for the Times to issue basically an open invitation to contribute to their website.
The question is, who will?