Friday, February 23, 2007

Citizen journalism ... with wedding bells ...

Or quasi-citi-j hits the NYTimes, sorta.

You too can submit a homemade how-we-met wedding video to the Grey Lady.

"Beginning Wednesday, February 21, couples who submit announcements to the Weddings/Celebrations pages of The Times will be able to submit their own homemade videos. We ask that these videos focus on the story of how the couples met and ultimately decided to make the relationship permanent.

Please note that only couples whose announcements have been selected to appear in the Weddings/Celebrations pages of the newspaper will have their "How We Met" videos run at"

The site goes on to talk about the guidelines for submitting video.

At least they have a vetting process for how the videos will be selected (sort of) - "A Times staff member will review the submission and, if approved, the submission will appear at on the same Sunday that the couple's wedding announcement is scheduled to appear." So, who's going to review? And on what criteria?

Is this going to spawn a new industry - "we'll help you create the best video ever to submit to the New York Times"?

I don't know how I feel about this. I know the wedding section is always heavily read and important to a lot of people, and I admit to scanning through it once and a while. And "how-we-met" stories are always popular.

And in a way, I think this process is better than the one currently in place - where videos done by NYT would feature one couple each week. See this week's happy couple.

But, is this where journalism is headed? Are we going to see more of this? Will it work? Or, is it not really journalism but still something that's viable?


At Saturday, February 24, 2007, Anonymous LA said...

uh, yeah, i was so pleased that i got this done yesterday that i forgot to say who i was - LA

At Saturday, February 24, 2007, Anonymous cy said...

well... i honestly don't see anything wrong with having couples submit videos about their relationships. though i wouldn't call it JOURNALISM, by any means. it's another, "here's who we are and we'd like to announce this" sort of thing. I don't see any problem with the NYT doing this, as long as they keep up their standards with actual news. it's probably just another moneymaking idea that somebody cooked up.

At Saturday, February 24, 2007, Anonymous TD said...

oh my everything going youtube?? I think wedding announcements are sweet but this is a very silly/bad idea.
With all the cuts going on in major newsrooms arross the country the Times is really going to pay someone to go through and approve these home movies??
I love a good "how we met story" but I say reserve that stuff/fluff for TLC or the Today show.

At Sunday, February 25, 2007, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

I gotta disagree with everyone. I think it is journalism. I think journalism has a kind of hard-to-soft scale and this form of citizen-journalism contribution would definitely fall on the softer side...why not be more inclusive. I am intrigued by where we're headed and by the public's ability to not just have a soundbite or quick-clip but a true and real kind of access to a domain largely dominated by people who are trained, yes, but who whose vision of news and whose audience-critiques could use a little friendly competition and comraderie from "the outsiders". It'll force people with professional full fledged journalism titles to step up their(our) game...


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