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HuffPost Live Ushers In New Era of Citizen Journalism




HuffPost Live is now. . . Live!

And with that, online news guru Arianna Huffington ushered in a new era of citizen journalism that could change how news networks conduct themselves going forward.

HuffPost Live is a daily news, live webcast that relies heavily on social media engagement. Monday through Friday, from 10 am to 10 pm, Huff’s news correspondents take turns manning the anchor desk, to chat about what’s happening in the world. To keep the conversation going, they’re pulling in comments and Tweets from the scrolling chat box to the right of the video. Then, they mix it up by inviting viewers to join them as guests.

In order to worm your way into the broadcast, you need to click the Join This Segment bar, promise that you’re over 18, then convince them that you’re worthy with your background and take on the issue. It looks like you can volunteer for upcoming segments as well, just scroll across the topics in the top bar and choose your issue.

If having a live conversation scares you, you can leave a video comment down in the old school comment box.

Says Huffpost:

Location doesn’t matter. Anyone with a smartphone or tablet can instantly join us live. Picture a conversation about parenting with mothers in Kazakhstan, Kenya, and Kentucky, talking to us and to each other and to our users live via Skype or Google Hangout.

There’s not a news channel on the tube or the web that doesn’t use viewer comments, video and even Tweets. HuffPost is just taking that to the next level and it’s pretty smart. Some people are going to tune in to hear a variety of real-life opinions on an important topic. Others are going to tune in to see real people embarrass themselves in public (it’s going to happen, you know it is.) Either way, HuffPost wins.

Right now, the site is designed to discuss a range of topics over the course of the day including entertainment, tech, business and sports. Today’s lineup includes “Keeping Rich Kids Real,” “What Drag Queens Teach Us About Gender” and a piece on Mitt Romney’s appeal with minority voters.

It will be interesting to see how they handle a hard news day when we’re dealing with a major disaster or crime story. Makes me wonder how much control they’re planning to exert over their guests? Do they have a delay for foul language? What about false information or pranksters looking for their 15 minutes of fame?

Anytime you open up your microphone to the world, you’re bound to have both moments of brilliance and moments you wish you could take back. If HuffPost Live is lucky, they’ll get a little of each every week and that will keep viewers tuning in on a regular basis.

What do you think of HuffPost’s new take on citizen journalism? Power to the people or better left in the hands of the experts?