Go on, make TV history
It may have an ugly acronym but UGC is the current media darling. It's not hard to see why user generated content is so attractive. With millions of potential newsgatherers wielding mobile phones and cameras, it means they can capture anything newsworthy or entertaining that moves. If, as a media organisation, you can get it to come your way - kerr-ching.
But in the related field of current affairs, UGC hasn't roared yet. Al Gore's Current TV has led the way in broadcasting films made by the public, but while 7/7 and the Buncefield fire have been the obvious big UGC hits in news, and whacky "You've been framed" type pictures do the rounds from YouTube, there hasn't yet been a really memorable and arresting bit of current affairs. Indeed, the first wave of TV democratisation - Video Nation - has had much more impact than anything from the new wave.
We're aiming to change that by launching the more smoothly titled Oh My Newsnight (homage to the Korean pioneers in this area. Newsnight already receives loads of high quality UGC in the form of text - check out for example Vikingar's almost nightly essays complete with sources and footnotes - but very little in a form we could put on TV.
So early next year we're offering slots on the programme for short films and pieces of video made by viewers. It doesn't have to be high quality (see Jeremy's effort ) but it does have to say something interesting about the world we live in. Given that large numbers of you tell us on a nightly basis how we should be tackling the war in Iraq, climate change, Madonna etc, it would be disappointing not to see and hear what you would like to say on the programme.
What do you get out of it? A chance to speak to a million viewers. A chance to make TV history. And, I hope, a warm glow.
For details of how to take part click here.