Last week we had the pleasure of talking to two speakers from Citizenseye about what community news means and how it works. I am talking about John Coster, who is the managing editor and Tina Barton, an active member of the organisation. Although our discussion was a bit short due to some technical problems, it was very interesting because we had the opportunity to learn what Citizenseye is all about, how it appeared and some plans for the future.
In the first part of the conference John Coster told us how citizenseye appeared and developed in time, he told us about the huge number of volunteers that are involved in this project, around 800, who are working as reporters and editors in order to publish online news to the community of Leicester. From five-year-old children to teenagers and young people everybody is working on providing news for the people of their city. Although in the begging John started with a small idea after he got out of jail, in time it turned into a great success that is finally paying off. All the news are transmitted online on their website, but some times the publish a newspaper wich is almost every time sold out. In the end of the conference John told us that he has some big plans in the future. One of his plans involves hiring the new local multimedia center for a period of time in order to publish news.In the second part of the conference we talked with Tina Barton, a member of citizenseye who is working with children in media in order to protect them and to teach them which are good news and which are bad. She told us about some of her projects she is working on and some future plans. From the two speakers I learned a lot of interesting things about multimedia news and how members of a community can work together for one purpose, news.
From my point of view, this idea is a very good because it involves the young people in constructive projects for their community so I can say that citizenseye has strong social impact because it stops young people from becoming criminals and offers an alternative to regular life and also it offers good quality news to the city of Leicester.. It is a win-win situation for citizenseye and for the people. I wonder if this kind of organizations will appear in other cities of UK or , why not, on the continent.