Amateur Footage: A Global Study of User-Generated Content


First, we would like to thank the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University for supporting this project—Emily Bell, Taylor Owen, and Lauren Mack in particular. With their help, a crazy idea over a Skype call has become something that will actually provide the news industry with concrete numbers about its use of user-generated content. We hope the research will act as a foundation for conversations and will provide support and suggestions for best practices. We would also like to thank the international cooperation team at NHK in Tokyo for recording three weeks of its broadcasts for us. John, Sam’s stepfather, was another who helped us by recording CNN when we had lost all hope of capturing it from our respective locations in Istanbul and Málaga, Spain. We would also like to thank many different people for conversations we’ve had over the last eight months at conferences, in coffee shops, and down the pub. It feels like we’ve been thinking about and talking about UGC constantly for the past year. Every one of those talks has shaped an aspect of this report. And, finally, thanks to all those who took time out of their schedules to talk to us about UGC and how they use it in their news bulletins. The interviews were newsworthy and thoughtful throughout.