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Peckham and Pilots

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Chris Vallance | 12:27 UK time, Monday, 19 February 2007

On Friday, Joe of the excellent Come Fly With Me podcast dropped me a note about a recent show. Joe is a former A10 pilot and his latest podcast is about the friendly fire incident in which a British soldier was killed by American A10's. It's a fascinating listen whether or not you agree with his conclusions. Former Pods and Blogs conspirator Kevin Anderson uses this podcast to argue that media organisations, despite their many appeals for "user generated content", often miss the point that the web itself is the best source of "user generated content" one could wish for.

As if to underline Kevin's point today I heard from one of the people behindRadio Peckham's podcast about gang life who told me that part their podcast was used by at least one major broadcast outlet. So the content is out there, the trick, of course, from a journalists point of view is spotting these stories; frankly there's just too much stuff and too little time. For us to make use of web content we often need its creators to give us a heads up. Which is why it's important that we as journalists stress that our use of citizen media is collaborative. Both parties benefit if this is done correctly, the podcaster/blogger reaches a new audience, the mainstream media organisation gets new content. Only if the creators of content feel there is a benefit to being part of our work will they let us be part of theirs.

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