No, not some grotesque Orwellian identity tagging system but the latest scheme being run by BBC Coventry & Warwickshire. The new in-thing is User Generated Content and the BBC are leading the way (or at least catching up quite nicely) by launching the Citizen 1000 project and recruiting Citizen Journalists from across the local area to provide material and stories to be broadcast in one form or another on their radio stations, their TV programmes and their web site.
In other words, for some opinionated little oik like me – an absolute gold rush!
I went along to the induction evening yesterday and was gratified to see that, despite my visions of thousands turning up (thus ruining my elitist pretensions), there were only 12 of us at this evening’s event – and quite a nice bunch of people too.
The staff at the Beeb were incredibly warm and friendly and first impressions suggest that the Beeb would be a great place to work. Of course, I have no doubt that every other Citizen Journalist is going to be thinking along the same lines as me – “Ok, this might be voluntary work at first but who knows where it might lead...? It could be a foot in the door to BBC stardom!”
I expect the chances of that are in actuality extremely slim and, indeed, the BBC is making no promises along those lines at all. What they did say was that they were exceedingly open to any stories or ideas we may have and provided we followed their basic guidelines for content we’d stand a good chance of seeing our stuff broadcast on one of the Beeb’s many local services. All of which would look most impressive on the old CV.
Hence nothing to lose. Everything to gain.
All I need now is a story.
Hmm. Wonder if Cleo Rocos would be up for an interview...?