A citizen-journalism upload portal has been launched by Qatar-based Arabic satellite network Al Jazeera, "seeking eyewitness news reports from its vast international audience."
According to an English translation of the project's website, posted by Yelvington's blog, Al Jazeera's aim is to "raise awareness" of issues of public interest and be a "bridge" between peoples and cultures by providing "unbiased coverage of events."
Yelvington speculates that Al Jazeera "will have quite a challenge protecting itself from fraud and manipulation," as citizen journalism can be skewed.
The network commits itself to "the principles of professionalism in the institutional framework" through a code of conduct, which requires it to present and "provide views and different opinions without bias or partiality to any of them."
The use of citizen journalism in such a volatile region could lead to the network's exploitation. However, despite the opportunity for false and slanted reporting, citizen journalism also offers an opportunity for the community to express its opinion.
Al Jazeera's code of conduct calls for "transparency" by the network, and requires that all sources be named and verified. Provided that the network follows through with its principles, this project could be a transforming force for the region in both its approach and progression to multimedia.