Your Guide to Citizen Journalism

    by Mark Glaser
    September 27, 2006

    i-56a988f28e36c618e586cf53ce675553-Dan Gillmor.jpg
    From time to time, I’ll give an overview of one broad MediaShift topic, annotated with online resources and plenty of tips. The idea is to help you understand the topic, learn the jargon, and hopefully consider trying it out — even if it’s all new to you. I’ve already covered blogging and RSS feeds; this week I’ll look at citizen journalism.

    What is Citizen Journalism?

    The idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others. For example, you might write about a city council meeting on your blog or in an online forum. Or you could fact-check a newspaper article from the mainstream media and point out factual errors or bias on your blog. Or you might snap a digital photo of a newsworthy event happening in your town and post it online. Or you might videotape a similar event and post it on a site such as YouTube.

    All these might be considered acts of journalism, even if they don’t go beyond simple observation at the scene of an important event. Because of the wide dispersion of so many excellent tools for capturing live events — from tiny digital cameras to videophones — the average citizen can now make news and distribute it globally, an act that was once the province of established journalists and media companies.


    There is some controversy over the term citizen journalism, because many professional journalists believe that only a trained journalist can understand the rigors and ethics involved in reporting the news. And conversely, there are many trained journalists who practice what might be considered citizen journalism by writing their own blogs or commentary online outside of the traditional journalism hierarchy. (See more on this in the Terminology section below).

    One of the main concepts behind citizen journalism is that mainstream media reporters and producers are not the exclusive center of knowledge on a subject — the audience knows more collectively than the reporter alone. Now, many of these Big Media outlets are trying to harness the knowledge of their audience either through comments at the end of stories they post online or by creating citizen journalist databases of contributors or sources for stories.

    You probably know the expression, “If you look in the dictionary for such-and-such definition, you should see a picture of so-and-so.” Well, if you look in the dictionary for the term citizen journalism, you should see a picture of Dan Gillmor, who’s pictured above. Gillmor wrote the first blog at a newspaper website, while he was a technology columnist at the San Jose Mercury News; wrote the seminal book, We the Media on the subject of grassroots media; and now runs the Center for Citizen Media, a joint project of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.



    In “We the Media,” Gillmor traces the roots of citizen journalism to the founding of the United States in the 18th century, when pamphleteers such as Thomas Paine and the anonymous authors of the Federalist Papers gained prominence by printing their own publications. Further advances such as the postal system — and its discount rates for newspapers — along with the telegraph and telephone helped people distribute news more widely.

    In the modern era, video footage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in the ’60s and footage of police beating Rodney King in Los Angeles in the ’80s were both captured by citizens on the scene. Plus, the rise of talk radio and even the D.I.Y. stylings of cable access TV and ‘zines gave average folks the chance to share their views with a much larger audience. In newspapers, there were letters to the editor and op-ed pieces submitted by citizens, while pirate radio stations hit the airwaves without the permission of the FCC. The advent of desktop publishing in the late ’80s allowed everyone to design and print out their own publications, but distribution was still limited.


    With the rise of the World Wide Web in the ’90s, anyone could set up a personal home page to share their thoughts with the world. Chris Anderson, a doctoral student at Columbia University, wrote a useful timeline for citizen journalism that includes the advent of personal websites as well as the launch of the Indymedia site in 1999 after the WTO protests in Seattle that year. At Indymedia, anyone can share photos, text and video with other activists and the world.

    Also in the ’90s, NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen helped spearhead the public journalism or civic journalism movement, focused on getting mainstream reporters to serve the public. But right as that movement started to fade, the citizen journalism meme caught on after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

    i-afb189f3dede86f3da07bec4f6b8c022-Glenn Reynolds by JD Lasica.jpg

    At that time in 2001, the earliest weblogs were more focused on reacting to the news and were written and read by a tech-savvy audience. But after 9/11, many ordinary citizens became on-the-spot witnesses to the attacks and their stories and images became a major part of the story. Popular libertarian political blogger Glenn Reynolds (pictured here), who writes Instapundit, rose to great influence in the charged atmosphere after 9/11.

    Other important milestones in the recent history of citizen journalism include eyewitness bloggers in Iraq such as Salam Pax giving stunningly detailed early accounts of the war. Plus, at the 2004 U.S. political conventions, bloggers were given press passes for the first time. Later, in 2005, the earliest photos on the scene of the London bombings on July 7 were taken by ordinary citizens with their cameraphones. Mainstream media sites run by the BBC and MSNBC accepted photos, video and text reports — a practice that continues to this day among many major broadcasters.

    Citizen journalists and bloggers also helped in the worldwide reaction and relief efforts to the tsunami and flooding in Southeast Asia in late 2004 and to damage wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the U.S. in 2005.

    Eventually, it wasn’t just Average Joe citizens running blogs and independent media sites online. Big-time entrepreneur billionaire Mark Cuban ran his own blog to share his viewpoints directly to the public, and celebrities helped put the group blog Huffington Post on the map — leading to a similar effort in the UK by the Guardian, Comment Is Free.


    The terms citizen journalism and citizen journalist are not popular among traditional journalists or even the people who are doing citizen journalism at the ground level because they are imprecise definitions. Aren’t professional journalists citizens as well? What if you’re an illegal alien and not really a citizen — does that invalidate your work?

    The New West website has chosen to use the term “Unfiltered” for its citizen journalism contributions, and runs the following instructions for people to contribute: “Don’t let the ‘citizen journalism’ title scare you. Your post doesn’t have to be a structured article. It can be a rant, a rave, a rhyme, a short comment, a novel — anything you feel like writing. We just want to hear what’s on your mind.”

    Other media thinkers have suggested alternate terms for citizen journalism. Here’s a list of some of those terms, with links to definitions or arguments for their use:

    grassroots journalism

    networked journalism

    open source journalism

    citizen media

    participatory journalism

    hyperlocal journalism

    bottom-up journalism [check question #6]

    stand-alone journalism

    distributed journalism

    Max Kalehoff, an executive at Nielsen BuzzMetrics, wrote this comment on Jeff Jarvis’ BuzzMachine blog on a post about changing the term citizen journalism to networked journalism:

    Why not just call journalism “journalism” — a word the citizens, amateurs, networks, distributors and professionals can understand? Journalism can be “practiced” in all sorts of ways, and by virtually anyone. You don’t even have to be a citizen or a professional; you could be a foreigner, or even an alien from outer space. But I do agree with your overall beat: journalism is not some exclusive club; it’s something that takes many forms, including all the ones you describe.

    Ad Hoc Examples

    When a traditional media outlet covers a story, the editor usually assigns the story to a reporter, the reporter does the work and turns in a story that gets edited and published. But in the case of ad hoc citizen journalism, a blogger or observer might see something happening that’s newsworthy and bring it to the attention of the blogosphere or the online public. As more people uncover facts and work together, the story can snowball without a guiding editor and produce interesting results — leading to the mainstream media finally covering it and giving it wider exposure.

    Here are some older and newer examples of ad hoc citizen journalism:

    > Trent Lott resigns as majority leader of the U.S. Senate in December 2002 after blogs keep up pressure over a racist remark he made.

    > Conservative bloggers helped discredit documents related to President Bush’s National Guard service used in an episode of “60 Minutes II” in 2004. This became known as Rathergate.

    > Various people worked together online to help identify the star of the Lonelygirl15 videos on YouTube as a New Zealand actress.

    > A former Lockheed Martin engineer takes his story about security flaws with Coast Guard ships straight to YouTube= after the mainstream media ignored his entreaties. Later, the Washington Post wrote about it.

    Big Media and Hybrid Examples

    While you might think that citizen media is only the province of people outside the mainstream media, that’s not remotely the case. In fact, one of the pioneering efforts in citizen journalism was the OhMyNews site in South Korea, launched in early 2000, which has become a popular mainstream news source in that Asian country. The site is a hybrid of professionally reported and citizen reported stories, with citizen journalists being paid small sums for the more popular work they do.

    i-13ce31754a3ad256851afdbc142fc366-Northwest Voice.jpg

    Mainstream newspaper publishers have created some of the more viable citizen media sites, from the Northwest Voice in Bakersfield, Calif., to the series of Your Hub sites out of Denver. Plus, Minnesota Public Radio has built a database of citizen contributors to help give reporters a more informed view of society with a project called Public Insight Journalism.

    More hybrid projects have launched recently or are in the works, where paid professional editors, reporters or “network wranglers” help shape the story ideas while interested citizen journalists help do the research and dig up facts they know locally. Liberal political blogger Josh Marshall has launched one such effort called TPMmuckraker, and various groups collaborated on the recent Exposing Earmarks project to help reform “pork” add-ons to spending bills before the U.S. Congress.

    Though many old-school journalists have been wary about the power wielded by citizen journalists, some of the more enlightened members of the journalism elite are starting to catch on. Kenneth Neil Cukier, a technology correspondent for The Economist in London, told the OpenBusiness blog these eye-opening thoughts on citizen journalists:

    I acknowledge the problems but welcome the development of the ‘amateur journalist,’ akin to the ‘gentleman scientist’ of the 18th century, which did so much to advance knowledge. I believe journalism is undergoing its ‘reformational moment.’ By that I mean that the Internet is affecting journalism just as the printing press affected the Church — people are bypassing the sacrosanct authority of the journalist in the same way as Luther asserted that individuals could have a direct relationship with God without the intermediary of the priest. The Internet has disintermediated middlemen in other industries, why should journalism be immune?

    The tools of broadcast media have gone from owning paper mills, presses, million-dollar transmitters and broadcast licenses, to having a cheap PC or a mobile phone in one’s pocket. That gives everyone the ability to have a direct rapport with the news as either a consumer or a producer, instantaneously. This is like the advent of literacy: it threatened elites and sometimes created problems. But it empowered individuals and led to a far better world. The new literacy from digital media will do the same, even as it creates new problems. Ultimately, I believe it is a positive thing for journalism, because it enables something journalism has lacked: competition from the very public we serve.


    To learn more about citizen journalism, check out the following websites, articles and blogs:

    We Media Report for The Media Center at the American Press Institute

    We the Media book by Dan Gillmor

    Citizen journalism definition at Wikipedia

    CyberJournalist.net’s List of Citizen Media Initiatives

    The New Voices: Hyperlocal Citizen Media Sites Want You (to Write)! at OJR

    The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism by Steve Outing

    What You Had to Say About Citizen Journalism by Steve Outing

    Tools for Citizen Journalists

    Citizen Media Cookbook by Hartsville Today [PDF file; requires Acrobat Reader]

    How to Report a News Story Online by OJR

    Center for Citizen Media

    J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism


    A few prominent citizen media sites:






    As with all citizen media projects, this Guide will continue to be updated with your helpful input. If you’d like to add more resources to this list, or share your thoughts about citizen journalism in general, please do so in the comments below.

    [Photo of Glenn Reynolds by JD Lasica.]

    Tagged: digging deeper journalism video weblog youtube
    • Hi Mark:
      First, I swear I’ve spoken with you before at some point in my past.

      Second, this is a first for me: a mainstream news organization citing a comment I made in someone else’s blog…”Max Kalehoff, an executive at Nielsen BuzzMetrics, wrote this comment on Jeff Jarvis BuzzMachine blog on a post about changing the term citizen journalism to networked journalism…”

      I get quoted occasionally through my blog and through work and other writing, but I guess comments on others’ blogs are equally fair game. It’s sort of like attending an event, raising your hand, countering the presenter, then getting quoted by a scribe in the room.

      I suppose this would happen more often if more search engines were equipped to mine blog comments. Google is usually the first thing journalists turn to when researching or tracking down sources (at least according to my wife, who’s an editor at Conde Nast). You likely discovered my comment not through search, but through reading manually reading the comments on Jeff Jarvis’ blog, which a lot of people pay attention to, especially when it comes to the intersection of blogging, journalism and new media.


    • Journalism or reporting is about who, what, where, when, why, and how. It does not take a special education to be a journalist. Training, yes, education, no. The hardest part is getting the story down in simple, declaritive sentences. What is even harder, today, is getting the story down without biased or racial/ethnic language. Reporting is nothing but getting facts and writing simple sentences. You really do not have to go to a J school for that.

      Anyone with a decent high school education could and should be a reporter. Add some photography skills to the mix and one can be a jack of all trades in the journalism field. There is too much of a mystique built around reporting and so called professional journalism. It is simply answering the questions of who, what, where, why, when, and how, and putting it down in simple sentences and paragraphs. High School stuff.

    • David Swaim

      You should be ashamed of yourself for comparing Thomas Paine’s writing to the drivel and nonsense which you call “citizen journalism”.
      I realize everyone has to have a job, but can’t you find something more constructive to do with your time?

    • You mention pirate radio stations. You might also look at the rise of licensed alternative radio in the ’60s and ’70s, including the Pacifica stations in New York. LA and SF, as well as the stations that grew out of KRAB in Seattle, such as KUSP and KPPR.

      Second, you might consider the effect of the “mediocre middle” in empowering citizens. Most journalists are average, while an intelligent and motivated “citizen” can easily bring more experience and situational awareness to a report. For example, Paul Krugman’s writings largely consist of fact-checking: someone says “X” about something economic and Paul looks at the evidence. As an economics professor, he has expertise that no reporter is expected to have. A reporter reports the “fact” that something got said. A subject matter expert can report the thing that got said and add-value by pointing out where the statement varies from evidence.

      Thus the time is ending that a J-school degree qualifies one for top-tier reporting jobs. More education is required because people don’t just want the event, they want the facts behind the surface of the event. Educated scepticism is what 21st century journalism should work towards.

    • TrueGritz is now credentialled to cover the GA State Fair, surely the social media equivalent of nailing paper to doors.

      Stop wonking and blog. Jeez.

    • I think the biggest problem journalists will have in the future is getting people to realise that their writing is worth more than the average blog writer. As a previous poster says, journalists are not really experts in anything. I am pleased that I didn’t take the standard route of doing a degree in English literature and instead took a science based course before taking a short course in journalism.

    • Hello Mark: I read MediaShift most weeks and love what you do. Thank you for this piece about citizen journalism (CJ). I’m a little late reading MediaShift this week because I’ve been isolated from my Net connection. Do please do remember that CJ is an international phenomenon. Apart from three UK references (The Economist, London bombings, Guardian blogs), and a nod to OhMyNews in South Korea, almost all of your examples were from the US. CJ is happening in a host of countries … which would make an excellent article, BTW.
      Stephen Quinn, Australia

    • In Lakewood, Ohio we have created a hybrid citizen journalism project. We have created what we call the Lakewood Observer. It is a civic/citizen journalism project that has a website that receives 2,000,000 hits a month/574,000 page views. Where over 3% of the city of 50,000 has taken an active part.

      What I believe makes us slightly different is we also produce, 17,000 16-28-page newspapers, which is distributed for FREE throught the community. As the city only has 20,000 front doors the coverage is pretty good, and compliments the website nicely.

      This fall/winter we will be enlarging the project to Television, and to other cities. Based on our success we have made our advisory board, staff notes, and software available to other cities that would like to create a similar project.

      What makes this unique is that using our software a group as small as three could duplicate the project for a city. Our next projects will be cities of 7,000 mostly at the poverty level, 9,000 mostly upper middle class, and one city with 1,000,000. Our software also generates income, which we turn into civic projects, concerts, parties and learning events.

      Check it out. All printed versions are online.


    • Hello everyone!

      Just to add to this clear article another website innovating in the field of citizen journalism in… Europe!

      This is cafebabel.com (www.cafebabel.com), the first European current affairs magazine entirely translated in 7 languages. It relies on a network of 500 voluntary contributors (authors and translators) all around Europe.

      In Paris, a team of 9 full time journalists from each language edit all the articles received to make them fit with high journalistic standards.

      The objective : giving birth to the first true European media, moving away from national perspective.

      Today cafebabel.com counts over 300 000 visitors per month.

      The website is here : http://www.cafebabel.com

      If you want more info, feel free to ask, I’m one of the founders ;)


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    • I just finished participating in a Citizen Journalism Academy offered by our local journalism school and our local news company. Since it was the first one they offered, there is a lot of room for improvement and I think future classes will be much better organized. However, I did learn a lot about the media and how convergence works in a newsroom.

      My main concern is that Citizen Journalism is more of a hobby than a career opportunity. How do bloggers pay their rents? The internet is an exciting place, I don’t disagree, but the “virtual effort” of pressing ones opinion on the masses could easy consume ones life.

    • Citizen journalism an innovative and powerful tool to knowledge based society
      Information is the basis of knowledge. When any information we know is processed and lodged in our minds became knowledge. We are rapidly proceeding towards knowledge society in information era. To acquire verities of knowledge on different subjects, the future dreamed knowledge society will require multi levels information delivery systems. The Contemporary media and other information channels and sources could not alone meet the demands of information, so knowledge societal ethics ask every citizen to contribute his or her share to make this society reality.
      In contemporary journalism gate keepings are done at every level in name of editorial reviews, and premium membership. But citizen journalism is trying to remove all such gate keepings from journalism because in knowledge society every citizen is a torch carrier of information. In true spirit lesser gate keeping will be the guarantee of high valued citizen journalism .Knowledge society can not will be developed in computers or other electronics gadgets but only and only in human minds, so without equal participations of each and every minds, big or small. We couldnt dream of our future .The free, fair and fast (3F) 4 all should be the main ethics of citizen journalism.
      To understand the definition and scope of citizen journalism one should go to the roots of traditional journalism. The journalism was developed and lived with human from Stone Age to computer age but its nature and scope were different in every age of human development. In stone age journalism was in form of verbal intrapersonal as requirements of that age were geographical and anatomical .Than came the mechanical/technological age, when wheel started to turned the development of mankind, in this age print and electronic journalism had made its presence because machine produced products made free economics traveling around the world cutting across the geographical barriers. The information era popularly called information revolution, knowledge based society will be its bio product. To meet the future demand of information revolution, journalism has to change its contemporary form to basics, from where it had started participation of all as it were in Stone Age when every human had to act as journalist to make information flow in his or her society. Again in information revolution every citizen has to make his or her informatory contribution. The citizen journalism has emerged as an innovative and powerful tool for common citizens to deliver their shares in shaping knowledge based society in or around them.
      Young Indian Research Journalists has launched their community news portal

      where any kind of gate keeping is not applied.

    • For information :

      http://www.alternativechannel.tv – an independent television-over-internet news channel – launches the 2007 International Citizen Journalist Contest.

      This contest is open to everyone who feels they have something worth saying using video & producing a 1m30s to 3 minute video (report or testimonial).

      Please pass this information on to everyone who is likely to be interested!

      $100,000 in prizes. 5 categories.
      The Alternative Channel audience will nominate their top 30 favorites in each category.
      The final will take place from September 15th to November 15th, 2007.
      A jury made up of professional journalists will choose the 3 winners in each category, and prizes will be awarded on the 1st of December 2007 during the first International Citizen Journalism Summit

      The five award categories:
      1. Best subject English language
      2. Best subject French language
      3. Best subject Spanish language
      4. Best Alternative Channel International news subject
      5. The Audience Choice Award

      The prizes are the following
      1st Prize of each category: 10 000
      2nd Prize of each category: 3 000
      3rd Prize of each category: 2 000

      The Alternative Channel
      Television over Internet offers a real opportunity to build an alternative news media by and for worldwide citizens. The goal of The Alternative Channel is to offer a complementary voice to this global movement, by web casting quality TV content over the Internet produced by citizen journalists. Unconventional and non-conformist, The Alternative Channel is a true alternative to the stereotypes currently found in todays traditional media. It is a response to what is becoming one of the definitive features of the way we understand our world: citizen journalism.
      The Alternative Channel offers the capacity to deliver first-hand, frontline journalism without depending on corporate services. Our uniqueness is our democratisation of information and our ability to bypass mainstream agencies. This uniqueness also underlines our major challenge: to deliver credible information. This mandate of quality and credibility has been entrusted to The Alternative Channel Editorial team, whose responsibilities include accrediting our Alternative journalists as well as applying our Code of Ethics, our Journalistic Policy and our Quality chart to all videos submitted by our contributors.
      The Alternative Channel isnt a place for dumping clips from CNN and Al Jazeera. We are looking for journalists – people who can zero in on something and share exactly what they see. We are looking for communicators. The videos we are looking for on A-Channel manage the miracle of putting forth perspective without bias.

    • Brittany

      I feel that citizen journalism is not necessarily a new concept. Growing up we all wrote stories about our families, our lives, events going on in the world and we even had our own little diaries where we wrote about how we felt. Is this not a form of journalism? Maybe at the time we did not publish what we had written on the internet, in a magazine or internet, but we wrote it and other people read our thoughts. I think that everyone is capable of writing information, news and stories (journalism). I believe that it is great that people who were not able to go to school and become a qualified journalist have an opportunity to express their outlook of a situation and that there is such a great medium (the internet) to hold their works. Citizen Journalism allow people to have a voice and that makes them feel special.

    • Bryan Dorr

      I enjoyed reading your story. It is too bad that that I did not catch it sooner, but I do find it interesting and with a wealth of information. I also appreciate the additional links following your story.

      I wonder if “citizen journalism” exists in China?

    • thepapr.com is a brand new citizen journalism website that combines Digg and blogging. Anyone can post a story instantly and their story is voted on by their peers. High ranked stories end up on the front page, low ranked stories fade to the bottom. It also keeps a “Hottest Reporters” list so you can get recognition for being a great writer. Check it out and perhaps add it to the list of sites on this page.

    • thepapr.com is a brand new citizen journalism website that combines Digg and blogging. Anyone can post a story instantly and their story is voted on by their peers. High ranked stories end up on the front page, low ranked stories fade to the bottom. It also keeps a “Hottest Reporters” list so you can get recognition for being a great writer. Check it out and perhaps add it to the list of sites on this page.

    • We’d love to cover stuff for you on our trip. Let me know if we can work something out.

    • We’d love to cover stuff for you on our trip. Let me know if we can work something out.

    • I’m happy to see people acknowledge that citizen journalism isn’t a brand-new thing, although the internet has certainly helped it grow and reach the mainstream.

      One more site to add to your list is the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge (www.newschallenge.org) – it’s a contest for community journalism projects.

    • If anyone wants to contribute to our South African music magazine, we do citizen journalism, we cover events and review websites, art and music and what have you. Our theme is anything that is outside of the norm, anything alternative. So far our speciality has been covering metal gigs and such, but any new ideas are most welcom, so those with an eye for the alternative, write about your experiences, or place your photos on our site. Our website is (www.alteye.co.za) – check it out newbie writers and artists!

    • Amazing post, great work.

    • Very intriguing post. We’re working to create a site devoted to citizen photojournalism. Our goal is to become a daily slice of life through the millions of cameras everywhere. A visual diary of today’s world.


    • Nick

      I like to critisize and read others who do the same. I saw http://www.NewsMeBack.com where you can find sincere written stuff and comments which is rare nowadays.

    • Mill

      Firstly i would like to add that you do need to have Education to do Journalism. it upsets me to think that people like myself who has worked hard at a degree and done internship and everything have been degraded because now everybody can supposedly do it.
      i dont think writing a blog is being a journalist, people are just writing their emotions and thoughts. and yes that is cool to share your thoughts but i dont think it is journalism.
      journalism is where the journalist does not have their input they write with out emotion. and you do have to be educated how to do that.
      I think that people should write about their feelings. feel free!
      i just dont believe that those people are journalists. it is making my degree worthless.

    • Troy

      If you are thinker this is the place for you. http://www.newsmeback.com is site with different subjects and some critical views. Worth to try.

    • Tamaal

      Reading PressThink’s About encouraged me to have a rave so this is all Jay’s fault. When people leike Bernstein & Woodward or the BBC’s “Horizon” team were going abou the world with magnifying glasses and very fine toothcombs, they called them ” reporters”, now their heirs, who do little but parrot what they’ve heard or report what they’ve been told, are called journalists – some even call themselves “investigative journalists”.
      Ain’t English weird?

      And, yes, it does indeed take education to become a ‘journalist’; far too often on the TV have i seen the dumbest typos not only get through but become generally accepted; what, in the name of all that’s holy,is an “oriention” towards/against something.

      It’d also be nice if whatever drek I was served up to read by media mavens was actually in some kind of comprehensible, readable, properly-paragraphed, -punctuated -spelled prose.

    • I intended to have some citizen journalism contributions on my
      Electric golf trolleys website
      but I had too many problems with stupid posts going into my forum so I’ve just
      changed to a blog for comments and some social bookmarking etc.

    • ismail

      hi Mark
      I am iranian.I am journalist.I reserching in Citizen Journalism .Do you can help me?
      tanks for article

    • This account while comprehensive as it may be for the US completely ignores the role that foreign bloggers and citizen journalists played in carving out a role for CJs. In Egypt, for example, bloggers have been at the forefront of using new media developments from blogs and YouTube to Twitter and Facebook to report on and investigate issues in their society, often filling in for the mainstream media when it can’t or won’t cover a story. I would encourage you to include the role played by Egyptian citizen journalists in showing what CJ can do in a less-than-democratic society. I wrote about this in Core to Commonplace: The evolution of Egypt’s blogosphere and in the Sage Encyclopedia entry on Arab Citizen Journalists forthcoming in 2010

    • Citizen Journalism is NOT a new concept as many in this forum have made abundantly clear in their posts.

      The concept of individuals partaking in what becomes the fabric of their own culture is central to humanity itself. What has changed (with technology) is the ability to scale.

      The “push back” from professional journalists and print publications is more proof that we need to forge ahead. Not because the local news is always “earth shattering” in a day to day sense; but because it matters to the individuals who take the time to submit their point of view digitally.

      At iChagrin.com we give the Chagrin Valley communities: Chagrin Falls, South Russell, Moreland Hills, and Bentleyville the opportunity to connect. And yes, we are sustainable and profitable.

      This concept is not going away.

    • I just read some articles about the real essence of what we agree to call as “Citizen Journalism”. At the same time we have many other names, such as “democratic”, “Independent Media”, etc, and those refers the same essence of “new kind of how” the trend of the relation between the readers and the writers.

      In the past, it means that the era before Citizen Journalism run, public or every person get “any information from news paper, radio, or television just “taken for granted” as “right without or just a little wrong or an accuracy.” The relation between The (formal) Media and the readers or watchers is between “the true information givers” and “the passive consumptions of them”. If I cite the concept of Martin Buber on “The Relation Between Man”, I want to said that in the “old relation”, the readers/watchers and the journalist have the relation in the sense of what Buber called as “The I and It Relation”, a non ideal relation. And an ideal relation between men is “I and thou relation” or inter-subject relation.

      Shortly to say, in the Citizen Journalism, the I and thou relation is what we want to build. So, the participatory of the readers in new media enable a largely participation of all man before the medias. The new kind of HOW the readers take criticize to every information and (more than that) an opinion or interpretation to any facts. Even, they take their own participation and contribution NOT WITHOUT normative journalism demanded.

      As long as I knew, just the authority of Papal to teach dogma and moral faith as an exclusive attitude to catholic church members. And, in this perspective, and in the same thing other religions groups have an exclusive dogmas and moral teachings to their followers. Out of this exclusive reason, all citizens have same position to take distance and criticize all information and interpretation they should to take.

      Last but not least, thanks for your brilliant ideas Mark G.

    • LaRita Shelby

      The Rodney King beating occurred April 29, 1992, not in the 80’s. I was in LA and will never forget it. Great article though. Great info.

      Signed- grad ‘student’ journalist turned ‘citizen journalist.’

    • Joe

      There is no such thing as a citizen journalist. That’s just another name for no talent hack with a phone camera who takes pictures and resorts to name calling on web-sites. Mr. Glazer and his Narrisisism articles strike again in the name of no brain statements.

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