The Citizen SPORTS Journalist

Much has been written about the role of the new citizen journalist. Many big news outlets now have units designed to encourage people to submit tips, stories, photos and video images. The Sun for years has been running a phone line and the BBC and now CNN openly publicise their willingness to take material from viewers. Kevin Bakhurst editor of BBC News 24 described how this works to me a few weeks ago but now we have the citizen sports journalist making an impact.

This weekend saw Scotland score a famous victory over the French in the qualifying rounds of the European Championship and if you looked at YouTube last night you could choose from a number of videos shot from the terraces as the Scottish fans celebrated a famous goal and victory. Inside the Hampden roar indeed.

It really conveys the excitement and the fans perspective in ways that traditional TV cameras cannot. So think about future games and how we might within seconds of seeing a future England go out to a future Germany on penalties, be able to see the crowd reaction from a position on the terraces. This year’s World Cup was one of the most technologically advanced, but still most of the stadiums were finding it hard to get clear mobile reception to 80,000 people. That will change soon and the ability of many mobile phones to email or text video images and upload them to a blog site is already with us and the file size (and therefore picture quality or video length) will only increase.

For brands wanting a more authentic link to fans, facilitating this sort of new media approach is a big opportunity. For brands buying access to sporting events in the more traditional way, this is an issue that if they are not looking at now, they will have to soon because my guess is some of the most memorable and viraled images of future sporting events will not be owned by event organisers or official broadcasters, but will be shot on a phone from the terraces or stands and freely available via social media.

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