Head of News: This Week’s News
Anyone can become a citizen journalist, and Brexit proved that
At Newsflare, we’re not political commentators or newspaper columnists, but we are journalists, and it’s our job to provide verified video content to the world’s news organisations when major events take place.
There has been nothing more major on the news agenda in recent history than the UK’s surprise vote to leave the European Union.
A week has now passed since the referendum and we’ve been covering the story from start to finish, sourcing footage of protests, interviews with leading politicians and speeches by those on both sides of the argument.
But I wanted to write about two videos that we sourced on the Friday, soon after the shocking result was announced.
One highlights the importance of the relationships we have with our regular members, the other highlights the importance of user generated content when it comes to covering serious current affairs events.
Both videos also involve one man who has proved to be outstandingly divisive in the wake of the Brexit vote – Boris Johnson.
Due to an existing relationship with a long-standing Newsflare member, Urban_Pictures_UK, we were able to source HD footage of the former London mayor and leading Leave campaigner heading out of his London home on Friday morning to boos and jeers.
The filmer is a professional and was able to get incredibly close to the man we now know won’t be in the running to become the next Prime Minister of the UK, despite speculation to the contrary. The quality of the video, as you can see, is also of broadcast standard and for that reason we were able to sell it to a major UK-based news organisation and add to their extensive coverage of the unfolding Brexit aftermath.
It was also shared by over 12,000 people, had 7.5k reactions and over 750 comments on the Newsflare’s Facebook page.
The second video was sourced by one of our news desk journalists and was filmed by a member of the public who has not worked with Newsflare before.
It shows protesting cyclists blocking Boris Johnson’s car on a road shortly after he left his house. London voted overwhelmingly to remain within the EU and this video and this clip, captured by a member of the public, gave us an initial glimpse of what was to come – days of despair among many remain voters.
It was picked up by one of the largest newspapers in the world and a major news broadcaster meaning thousands of people would have seen the footage.
I think this video is important for Newsflare and I don’t think it’s too dramatic to say it’s important for society as well, as it really does show how anyone who’s in the right place at the right time can inadvertently become a citizen journalist and contribute to the coverage of a major news event in a big way, and thus have a little impact on people’s lives.