The Digital Citizen Project builds upon the new digital capabilities of television broadcasting and the Internet’s advances in social engagement, to bring an unprecedented degree of citizen participation to news programming for the 2012 election period. The project is premised on the belief that, when offered the chance to appear in media as “informed citizens,” a large number of people will rise to the challenge.
How it Works: Digital Citizen 2012 is a cross-platform and converged media series that seamlessly connects people using social and mobile applications, to television programming of the 2012 campaign. Using well-established online engagement tools, public participants contribute video, audio, text and still images of themselves to the station’s website, stating their opinions and posing questions. Initially, the online community will vet contributions. Producers will join in, to assure the inclusion of representative groups in this process and to track contributors whose posts are popular among the community. Utilizing the digital capabilities of modern studio production equipment, a significant number of the pre-recorded contributor questions and comments will appear on the live programs.
A much smaller number of contributors, whose articulate positions prove popular with the community, will be offered the opportunity to appear live via webcam on the TV program. These participants will be required to take part in a carefully designed online facilitation process that bolsters their arguments with facts, and introduces them to others with different opinions. These “informed citizens” will then be able to speak directly with journalists, experts and candidates during the programs.