CJs: Identify Yourselves Before Asking Questions

When citizen journalists are interviewing people for stories, they should be upfront with their sources about their identity.

In fact, that’s one of the first things I recommend that citizen journalists do – tell your interviewees that you are a citizen journalist submitting items to OhmyNewsInternational, YourHub.com, Associated Content, YouTube or whatever medium you use.

Identifying yourself as a citizen journalist is much like a police officer reading accused criminals their Miranda rights. It is something that should be done before each and every interview.

And it should be a natural thing to do. As a citizen journalist, you aren’t trying to hide what you are doing or trick people into making outrageous statements because they don’t know a “reporter” is in hearing range. You are trying to get the facts of a situation in a fair and unbiased manner.

So again, identify yourself as a citizen journalist before each and every interview.  It will earn you credibility, respect and hopefully a following among your readers and/or viewers.

Susan Cormier is the head coach in charge of training at the National Association of Citizen Journalists (www.nacj.us) and co-author of the “Handbook for Citizen Journalists” (www.citizenjournalistnow.com).

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About The Author

NACJ trainer

Susan Carson Cormier is a co-founder of the National Association of Citizen Journalists and co-author of the "Handbook for Citizen Journalists." As the head coach at the NACJ, Cormier is in charge of training citizen journalists the basics in how to report and write news, sports and feature stories.

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Author his web sitehttp://www.nacj.us


11 2010

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