Citizen Journalism, on Your iPhone

Big news from the Steve Jobs keynote at WWDC. Here’s MacRumors’s one-liner:

10:41 am [The Associated Press] call it the Mobile News Network, and it gathers content from many trusted sources. It makes use of the location API by automatically showing nearby sources. Allows news video and photos to be viewed directly through the app. You can even report on news yourself by sending a first-hand report that includes photos and text. The app will be free at the launch of the App Store. (emphasis added)

This is cool on a whole different level than being able to play Super Monkey Ball on your iPhone. This is an amazing platform for citizen journalism, and it’s being delivered by one of the major names in news. Much will depend on what happens to those “first-hand reports,” but if the AP runs with this ball, it could be huge. Imagine an army of citizen-journalists, not just routing around the traditional media, but reporting with them. This is what happens when you give people general-purpose computers, portable anywhere, and hooked up to a worldwide network: amazing things are possible.