The Guardian and EE partnership brings launch of GuardianWitness user-generated content platform as 4G rollout continues
The Guardian has partnered with UK 4G mobile network EE to launch GuardianWitness, a user-generated content platform which will "champion open journalism", it was revealed on Tuesday.
Bear witness: The platform encourages users to upload content
Marketing agency MEC Access brokered the deal and a marketing campaign created by BBH will promote the new product, the latest in a line of strategies from the Guardian designed to push the publication ahead on the digital journalism platform by involving the public in its content.
The latest initiative encourages people from across the world to submit news and content from wherever they are, significantly increasing the scope for coverage on the Guardian website and increasing engagement with users. The product will be promoted using the Guardian's existing digital platforms and through adverts the Guardian and Observer print editions.
"GuardianWitness, in partnership with EE, is a fantastic example of our open approach to working with brands to innovate and create new experiences for our digital audiences," said chief commercial officer of Guardian News & Media, David Pemsel.
"It was only possible because of how closely we were able to collaborate with EE and MEC, and pulling together a cross-discipline team of brilliant people and technology from our in-house digital development department. GuardianWitness is world class product, fully integrated across our editorial platforms, that will engage and activate our audiences."
Users can create a GuardianWitness account either through an existing Guardian account or through social media channels Facebook and Twitter. Guardian staff will then select relevant content for publication and a GuardianWitness YouTube account will host video footage. The creation of Android and iPhone apps has ensured mobile integration alongside the website.
Director of brand at EE, Spencer McHugh, said: "Smartphones have changed the way in which news is covered and shared around the world as ground-breaking mobile technology breaks down the barriers between journalists and the public.
"As the first providers of superfast 4G in Britain, EE is uniquely placed to support this transformation in the way news is reported, consumed and shared."
The superfast 4G network, which has launched in 50 UK towns and cities so far and is around five times faster than 3G, will enable the public to upload pictures, video and text to the platform on a rolling basis with more ease than the 3G network. EE plans to have the 4G service rolled out to reach 70 per cent of the country by the end of 2013 and 98 per cent by the end of 2014.
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