Comments on the “Handbook for Citizen Journalists”

Carolyn Classen of Carolyn’s Community on recommends the Handbook for Citizen Journalists by Ronald Ross and Susan Carson Cormier.  She values it as giving the training a citizen journalist needs having not gone to journalism school, including how to edit oneself, the importance of sources and how to avoid libel.

Jack Driscoll of the MIT Center for Future Civic Media also endorses it, saying it’s “half motivational and half tutorial.”

He points out that the book is honest with the state of citizen journalism, proclaiming its energy and entrepreneurial values and pointing out its tendency to attract legitimate criticisms.

Driscoll makes note of the controversial stance the book takes on “accidental journalism” and “advocacy journalism.” The book claims that accidental journalists, normal citizens caught in the middle of events who record them, are not true citizen journalists.

It also takes a neutral stance on advocacy journalism, where reporters promote a certain issue through their reporting, saying that as long as it’s transparent it’s fine.

A handy “Handbook for Citizen Journalists” (Carolyn’s Community)

The Handbook for Citizen Journalists: Catching the Journalistic Attitude (MIT Center for Future Civic Media)

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08 2010


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