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Telegraaf in citizen journalism initiative

9 June 2007 - De Telegraaf intends to launch a test version of a website publishing user-generated content in the second half of June. According to the newspaper, four hundred potential correspondents have signed up, eighty of whom attended an information meeting.

The new ‘Wat u zegt’ page will collaborate with SBS’ popular Hart van Nederland television programme. Like the television programme, the website intends to bring stories that are close to people’s homes: “from neighbourhood barbecues, traffic nuisance, animal suffering and local politics to the children’s four-day evening walk”.

Correspondents are not just to report on what happens, but also to express their feelings about it.

Lately, there has been an increase in citizen journalism websites:,, and - the latter specialising in photos and videos.

However, citizens are not responding. Most articles on the sites are from regular news sources - although Skoeps is an exception. If articles from ‘ordinary citizens’ are published at all, these often fall into the ‘wanted: book club members’ category.

However, media organisations seem to be afraid to miss the boat, and keep trying to launch a successful citizen journalism initiative.

Illustration: Four-day evening walk 2005, photo Cadat


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