Futures Lab Update #68: Rethinking the Story Mix and Training Citizen Videographers

    by Reuben Stern
    July 25, 2014
    Witness is a nonprofit that reveals global human rights abuse by working with citizen video journalists.

    This week we find out how online news startup Ozy is rethinking news content, and we learn how human rights group Witness works with citizens to generate video reports from the ground.

    “One of the nice things about Ozy is that opportunity for people to see more of this world than just the same main 25 stories that everyone’s covering. At best, we stimulate people, we encourage them, maybe even provoke them to not just see more but do more.” – Carlos Watson, CEO, Ozy

    PART 1: Ozy’s story approach

    The 10-month-old news startup Ozy aims to appeal to smart, educated, curious readers who embrace things that are different. We hear what goes into Ozy’s story and feature mix from from founder and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Watson.
    Reporting by Tatiana Darie.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]


    PART 2: Training citizen videographers

    Witness is an international non-profit organization that uses video to reveal human rights abuse around the world. We learn how the organization works with people on the ground who gather footage from the scene.
    Reporting by Tatiana Darie.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information:

    Witness videos appear on The Human Rights Channel, a collaboration with social media news agency Storyful.


    As mentioned in our report, Witness has worked with technology companies on tools to help creators of user-generated content:

    • “Blur All Faces” is an option of the video enhancements tool on YouTube that allows users to blur people’s faces in order to protect the identity of victims or activists shown in the video. ObscuraCam is a similar tool for mobile phones that uses facial recognition technology to blur people’s faces.

    • InformaCam is a mobile app that collects user-generated content metadata with information like the user’s location, to verify the authenticity of the content.

    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.


    The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode. 

    Tagged: citizen journalism entrepreneurial journalism human rights channel journalism startup ozy video journalism

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