Archive for the ‘Resources’Category

Mobile Phones are a Powerful Tool for Citizen Media

Information is a powerful commodity for human rights defenders. Receiving and sharing information is at the heart of human rights work. Modern technology, such as the mobile phone, and the global distribution of the internet, provides new opportunities for citizens to actively participate in journalism. The mobile phone is arguably the most accessible form of information communication technology and a popular tool for receiving and sharing information.

via New Tactics | Using Mobile Phones for Citizen Media.

From “What is citizen journalism?” to “How do you design citizen media?” plus a growing list of resources that you can use and add to are available starting July 27 from The New Tactics in Human Rights site and its
online dialogue.

Working in citizen media can mean that you are isolated from  people doing the same kind of work. Whether you are thinking of getting started as a citizen journalist or if you’ve been working with citizen media, you can make use of the site.

This site will let you connect with a group of “featured resource practitioners” from all over the world. Ask questions, read about what they’ve been doing. You can ask questions, and offer to be featured resource practitioner yourself.

As far as what is citizen journalism, I liked what Amy O’Donnell from FrontlineSMS contributed to the online dialogue,

“I am coming to understand citizen media to begin when individuals feel compelled to share or report information which might not otherwise enter the public domain and use the media as a tool so that communities are enabled to contribute and participate in discussions which affect them.”

There’s lots to this site, and I’m going to check it out and add my views, so see you online.


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07 2011

Gift Ideas for Citizen Journalists

I thought I’d suggest a couple of last-minute gift ideas for those citizen journalists or want-to-be reporters that you know. These books offer great information and a historical perspective on the citizen journalism movement:

“Couch Potatoes Sprout: The Rise of Online Community Journalism” was written by Jack Driscoll and can be found at

“Handbook for Citizen Journalists” was written by Ron Ross and Susan Carson Cormier and can be purchased as an e-book at

“We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People” was written by Dan Gillmor and can be bought at

Happy holidays!

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12 2010

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