If you visit ctzn.tv, you won't find anything beyond the company logo. But according to an e-mail I received from Ken Krushel, the president of CitizeNews, ctzn.tv will soon become a portal aggregating "the very best work of the very best video journalists in the world" while providing compensation for its content creators and developing itself as an agency for content distribution networks yet to be announced. Ctzn.tv expects to launch in August.
Prior to starting CitizeNews, Ken Krushel developed Proteus and worked as an executive for NBC. Alongside Krushel, controversial video visionary Michael Rosenblum will work to bring ctzn.tv to life. Rosenblum is best known for coining the term VJ (video journalist) and teaching the principles he developed to television stations large and small. His approach has completely changed the way local San Francisco station KRON gathers news, and these techniques have been adopted most recently by the Travel Channel.
I spoke to Michael Rosenblum two years ago about a similar project he was developing, and the idea seemed like an innovative way to help independent filmmakers and journalists distribute their work and to establish themselves in the professional sphere. Of course, two years ago there weren't dozens of video-sharing sites that allowed people to earn money from their content, and You Tube was still in its infancy. In order for CitizeNews to develop a presence in this field they will need to distinguish themselves from the competition, and the one thing that seems to separate ctzn.tv from other services is their intent to form the company as a video agency.
Only time will determine if CitizeNews is able to cut out a niche in the crowded field of online video. If video producers are able to sustain themselves by working with the company then they will likely rise to the top of the pack since these promises of financial rewards are rarely able to deliver.
For the time being, the company is solely looking to build up its video database and can't offer money to its participants. CitizeNews is asking those participants to upload their submissions through a third party right now, but keep an eye on ctzn.tv to see how the company develops. Who knows, you might even manage to make a buck one day.