What is citizen journalism?
Citizen Journalism is community news and information shared online and/or in print. The content is generated by users and readers. It can be text / blogs, digital storytelling, images, audio file, podcasting or video. Feedback and discussion on issues raised is received in the same way. Citizen journalism is a form of citizen media – where individuals write and or comment on issues they feel are left out of the mainstream media. Many issues addressed in citizen journalism tend to be covered in a superficial way by the mainstream media. A number of professional journalists have their own blogs. Blogging has become a powerful and non-expensive tool for non-journalists to share their stories and views. A number of news web sites are encouraging people to comment on issues raised in their stories. Many people have chosen to use blogging as a way of expressing themselves. This also allows them to raise the issues without the fear of being ‘cut short’ by the editor. Some journalists have the
NOTE: At I, Reporter, we get asked this question quite often. So I thought I’d take a stab at providing a definition. This represents my view only — feel free to disagree, question, or elaborate in the comments. I intend this to be the starting point of a discussion, not the last word. “Citizen Journalism” is a clunky term that manages to be as open to interpretation as it is controversial. I tend to think of it this way: Any effort by people who are not trained or employed as professional journalists to publish news or information based on original observation, research, inquiry, analysis or investigation. Here’s what that can mean, more specifically…
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 on
Citizen journalism is a concept that advances the idea that consumers or everyday citizens take a more active role in the news. It is often referred to as the “new media” and includes everything from passionate letters to the editor and comments on blogs and news sites, to bloggers scooping stories or exposing doctored or omitted facts from mainstream media reports. Citizen journalism also points out bias by particular reporters or news outlets and attempts to give voice to the both sides on hot button issues. Sometimes called grassroots journalism, citizen journalism is seen by some news outlets as a threat to journalistic integrity. Citizen journalists, however, believe that their methods hold news organizations to higher standards. While news organizations don’t really have a problem with citizen journalism when it’s a case of citizens bringing in useful footage they’ve personally captured, some may not always appreciate citizens offering a viewpoint. Citizen journalism has been res