This is about more than just NBC; "citizen photo/videojournalism," in which footage and even text from non-professionals is given significant weight in major publications, is the future. Not necessarily a better future, or a good future, or, to be fair, a bad future! But it's the future. And Stringwire is NBC's attempt to get out in front. At least, we think that's NBC's big-picture reason. The likely small-picture reason? Media companies, especially older, larger ones, are freaking the hell out about money. (NBC, for its part, said in a press release that Stringwire has "immediate value to our on-air and digital businesses.") Web profits (let alone mobile) aren't anywhere near the level of print profits, but the future is web. How do you allocate an appropriate amount of resources to the web when it's not giving you much of anything back? Citizen photo/videojournalism is one way. Because it's free.