Citizen Media Camp

The people that brought us MinneBar hosted a Public Radio Barcamp at the offices of Minnesota Public Radio today. Bob Collins, one of MPR’s star bloggers, liveblogged the conference on News Cut. I won’t duplicated his efforts by describing what happened but it was an exciting experiment in opening the black box of journalism up for the public, or at least for those interested enough to act.

There was a lot of synergy between the two groups working on user-generated content and Nuevo Radio. So what I’d like to see next is another event like today’s. But instead of just brainstorming ideas we should get together to produce a news story.

Here’s how I think it could work.

Everyone arrives in the morning and things are setup as they were today, a bunch of white boards or paper on the walls, a few tables, and chairs. There’s a brief introduction where we explain what we’re going to do - create a news story in a day. For the first hour everyone brainstorms story ideas: who can we interview, what media do we want to use, how do we research the idea?

Then we divide the tasks up into teams and go out and do it.

This would work really well for a significant event, like the upcoming Republican National Convention. The drawback is that everyone else is going to be covering the convention. I don’t know if there is much more that an ad hoc group of citizen journalists will add to the cacophony.

An even better event might be the opening of the state legislative session in January.

Once we’ve pulled off a couple of citizen media camps then we can start looking for a permanent place to produce new media.