A team of journalists from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is currently travelling across the United States, crowdsourcing news stories from members of the public. The aim is to broadcast local stories to a global audience, the kind of news that really matters to people, but is not usually covered by major networks.
Typically, news organisations set the daily news agenda with editors and reporters deciding how to fill their programs and bulletins. The BBC’s crowdsourcing project democratises the news by allowing the public to have a say in what is covered.
It is called BBC Pop Up and during the next six months, a mobile BBC bureau will spend a month in six different regions. The first stop on the itinerary is Boulder, Colorado.
Throughout September, the journalists will seek story ideas from Boulder’s residents via community meetings and other public-facing events. Colorado was chosen as the first location for a number of reasons including the fact that many of today’s biggest issues and debates are happening right now in the state; gun control, abortion and the legalization of marijuana among other important areas of concern.
The first crop of reports to emerge from this crowdsourcing initiative mark the first anniversary of the 2013 Colorado floods. The natural disaster caused several deaths and millions of dollars’ worth of damage. The Pop Up news stories include tales of survival, and insights into how community spirit is helping to rebuild lives and homes.
The BBC’s Pop Up team also hopes to make numerous documentaries based on ideas suggested by the public, and of course with their input and support.