Join our citizen journalist initiative at Caltopia (and after)

If you’re coming to Caltopia today or tomorrow, visit the Berkeleyside booth (we’re at E104). We’re happy to talk about Berkeleyside, but our big news is that we’re launching a major initiative to encourage collaboration between citizen journalists and our site.

We’re an early partner with OneNews, a Miami-based start-up that has developed a really seamless way for media sites to engage and deploy citizen journalists. You can become a member of Berkeleyside’s OneNews network by going to the sign-in site. OneNews works with iPhones and Android phones. Versions for Windows 7 phones are in the works.

Once you’ve signed up for OneNews, the editors at Berkeleyside can send out calls for coverage to people within a specific geography. Say, for example, there’s a protest in front of City Hall. We can identify OneNews users who are within a one-mile radius of the protest and send a message asking for photos or a story.

We’re excited to be early adopters of this technology. The first 50 people who use OneNews and send us a story or a photo will get a free OneNews T-shirt.

In the meantime, let us know in the comments below what you think about citizen journalism.