The biggest obstacle to a torrent of citizen journalism in podcast form is gathering content. A good podcast needs a lot of volunteers out there collecting material and sending it on to the editing/production team.
The available pools of volunteers for progressive podcasts are usually enthused about an issue and involved for that reason. Not because they are all geeked-out over the technical aspects of production and such.
With a little coaching anyone can learn to do a reasonable interview and it doesn't take much experience to record a rally or a speech or a talk. So the barriers to greater participation are almost always tech and/or financial.
The threshold on both has been high. Getting lower, but not fast enough.
This little gizmo is one of several now available that allows anyone with a recent release iPod to get out there and start recording. Making anyone with an iPod in a potential citizen journalist.
By 'anyone with an iPod' I mean everyone in my family from the grandkids on up the age ladder, plus everyone at my local Y, plus everyone I work with, plus everyone on every flight I take or bus I ride on, plus...
There are some reviews out on the Thumbtack mic already. I first heard about it from some Italian comrades at CGIL who were very enthused, but have yet to receive mine. But soon, very soon.