In an era of explosive global stories and shrinking news budgets, Al Jazeera is the latest broadcaster with plans to create training for citizen journalists.
The tutorials will enable citizens to report on events, especially in areas that are not covered by mainstream media. The network is creating tutorials for citizen journalists focusing on multimedia including Flip cameras and other devices. No dates were announced for the program launch.
"People are at the heart of it," said a member of the network's social media team, Esra Dogramaci, during the BBC Social Media Forum. "It is up to us to give them a microphone and amplify their voices. In Syria, for example, we have no correspondents on the ground. We are relying entirely on people to send the content to us to send out."
Al Jazeera is the latest broadcaster to launch training for citizen journalists. As networks recognize the value of having reporters on the ground when events erupt, they are stepping up training efforts to turn anyone with a mobile phone or a camera into a news provider.
The BBC World Service offered training and equipment for citizen journalists in 2009; other initiatives include Small World News, launched in 2005, which has recently been arming citizen reporters on the ground in Libya with Kodak Zi8 cameras and 6 HTC Wildfire mobile phones.