Jason Gillikin recently posted an article Citizen Journalism: A Primer in OpenSalon. You can also find this article in his business blog (http://www.gillikinconsulting.com). In this article, he proposed thirty-four suggestions to help guide aspiring citizen journalists better understand the craft and practices of a the media world.
Let me introduce some items of Jason’s Journalism Primer here. Any other observation to add on the list?
- A writer’s best chance at distinguishing himself and making a genuine difference is to become a beat reporter.
- Journalism is about access – to people, to data, to authority.
- Be completely honest.
- Remember the traditional news values: Timeliness, currency, weirdness, conflict, proximity, personality, and relevance.
- Know and honor the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists.
- Understand the state of media law with regard to libel, public access and fair reportage.
- Scrupulously honor “off the record” comments, but be wary of going OTR in general.
- A good journalist will go to jail before giving up a source.
- The cardinal rule of fact – it it’s not documented, then it didn’t happen.
- The cardinal rule of fact-checking – It in doubt, leave it out.
- Consider the trustworthiness of sources and the origination of facts and statistics.
- Use the right story template.
- Opinion belongs in by-lined columns.
- Know the AP Stylebook and keep it holy.