Interesting to read the news yesterday that the BBC is planning to launch a citizen journalism app. They’ve clearly wised up to the benefits of contributions by the many. According to the European Journalism Centre,

“Theoretically, the ‘news gatherer app’ will be able to feed user-generated content into the BBC’s content-management system, which is then edited by editorial staff and aired within minutes of submission’.

One of my first thoughts was how perfect this set-up could be for online neighbourhood networks and other citizen-run local websites. I can’t help thinking about the great opportunity for the BBC to collaborate with local sites here. It’s likely that this app will generate a quantity of material that can’t be used by the BBC but may still be of interest at a local level, or indeed to special interest groups. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the BBC offering to use it’s brand strength to call for and collect local stories as well as ones of national interest and to act as information broker and opening up access to citizen-submitted stories. Even on a limited basis, it would be a wonderful interpretation of the organisation’s public service remit.