Archive for the ‘Update’Category

Citizen Journalists Cover Multitude of Issues

If you spend a couple of hours browsing citizen journalism websites and blogs, you’d be amazed to learn the variety of topics being covered by citizen journalists these days.

Citizens around the globe are covering everything from community affairs to automobile trends and from auto accidents to celebrities.

Take Grahamstown, for example. Citizen journalists in this small town in South Africa have informed their communities about 300 things they would never have known, according to a blog written by Professor Harry Dugmore, MTN Chair of Media and Mobile Communication at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University.

While some of the stories included big breaking news, others pieces came from small blog-like posts. The stories ranged from plans to close a poor performing school in Grahamstown to a report about an automobile accident.

“Almost without exception, these stories are about issues that Grocott’s Mail, the local paper that is also South Africa’s oldest independent newspaper, would not have been able to cover due to meager resources,” Dugmore wrote.

On citizen journalism sites such as Merinews, Cplash and STOMP, you’ll find stories about the report from the White House Commission the BP oil spill, factors affecting your CMS web design costs, the status of certain car manufacturers, a dog being beaten and rescued, and Pamela Anderson being named PETA’s person of the year.

Immigrants in the United States are even getting into the act.

In New York, operators of the queens7.com website hope to bring immigrant communities along the 7 train together with a mix of local news and advocacy. With the help of citizen journalists, the site covers issues of interest to immigrants in three communities, according to Noel Pangilinan, the site’s executive editor.

In California, Catherine Traywick, an immigration blogger for the Media Consortium, writes about the Mobile Voices program, through which immigrants in Southern California are using their cell phones to document their stories.

Then, there those very narrowly defined citizen journalism websites, such as citizen-news.org, which focuses mostly on health issues, and GlutenFreeVoice.com, which “was born out of a need to build a community of gluten-free persons … who understand what it means to be gluten free.”

The sites and the citizen journalists who contribute to them run the gamut. So I’m guessing if you have a specific interest and a desire to report, write and inform, you can find a site that’s right for you.

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

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07

01 2011

Tilting the new Google News toward citizen sources

With today’s relaunch of Google News, the site offers new ways to customize your news consumption experience.  The Neiman Journalism Lab offers a good overview of all the changes, and summarizes noting that:

Google News: Pick your favorite citizen-powered sites

The new Google news

“… the new site is trying to balance two major, and often conflicting, goals of news consumption: personalization and serendipity.”

One of the main personalization features lets you select your favorite news sources — including citizen-powered sites.  Clicking “News Settings” in the upper-right lets you tilt the scales of the Google News algorithm toward sites like: NowPublic, the Huffington Post, and others.

Let us know how (or if) you’re using the new Google News.

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01

07 2010

AP Stylebook for citizen journalists

The AP Stylebook has been regarded as the “journalist’s bible” and a staple for professional news-reporting for years.  Now citizen journalists have their own bible too.

Yahoo will debut its style guide for the web, “The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World” on July 6. According to TechCrunch:

“The company targets professional journalists, bloggers, technical writers, editors but also web developers, designers, small- and medium-size businesses, advertising and PR agencies and … newspapers folks.”

It is available in print for $21.99, or online for $14.84. Subjects range from proper punctuation and grammar to writing style for mobile devices. It appears to be an excellent addition to citizen journalists’ toolbox, and a boost to their credibility in the world of professional journalism.

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29

06 2010

Huff Post wants more citizen journalists

Music junkies unite! The Huffington Post is calling on anyone and everyone to add content on the summer music scene for The NYC Beat.

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29

06 2010

Oil spill crisis map

Report the effects of the oil spill as you see it via text message, e-mail, Twitter, android phone, iPhone or web form. Students at Tulane University are using the Ushahidi open source software to make a live tracking-system with a map, graphs and news feed.

This map utilizes public testimony to visualize the impact of the BP oil spill over time and geography. By using information that comes from participants we will be able to track, document and make public the effects of the BP oil spill. By making all information public we will facilitate transparency, accountability and effectiveness in the oil spill response and clean up.

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25

06 2010

Using the iPhone for video reporting

Rachel McAthy writes for Journalism.co.uk on the industry’s attitude toward the iPhone’s video capabilities.

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24

06 2010

Broadband's influence on Iran

Earlier this week About.com profiled the woman behind Tehran Bureau, a web site that garnered attention for its coverage of the 2009 protests in Iran. Founder Kelly Golnoush Niknejad noted the value of broadband access and speed (something I discussed on Monday) as important tools for the coverage in Iran.

“But the government has done a very effective job of squelching the press,” she adds. “They’ve cracked down on the protesters, executed people, rounded up journalists. There are far fewer opportunities to document what’s happening. And the Internet speed in Iran has been reduced greatly so you can’t upload videos or pictures.

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23

06 2010

Will Google and YouTube be the journalism of 2020?

Sourced by Blogging Innovation:

Americans are so used to freedom of speech that it’s easy to forget what the concept launched in the USA. 200 years ago anybody who could access a printing press, of any size, could produce a newspaper. That [w]as revolutionary. Citizen journalism was the norm, and there were literally thousands of newspapers. That situation remained very true well into the 1900s. Eventually acquisitions led to consolidation and a dramatic reduction in the number of newspapers.

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22

06 2010

HBO’s ‘For Neda’

The HBO documentary, a poignant reminder of citizen journalism in the Iranian protests, debuts this summer.

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22

06 2010

The death of Japanese citizen journalism

The NY Times today addresses the closure of a citizen journalism site in Japan with a nod to our own OhmyNews. The article offers keen observations about the role of the state, the citizen and the medium, as well as the history of all three, for news’ future.

JanJan News closed three months ago, citing recent years’ financial morass as the final blow to its weak advertising revenue.

Reporter Martin Fackler notes:

JanJan was the last of four online newspapers offering reader-generated articles that were started with great fanfare here, but they have all closed or had to scale back their operations in the past two years.

He specifically references the OhmyNews experiment that launched in Japan in 2006, only to close about 18 months later. He also draws a comparison between the Korean and Japanese media environments, highlighting differences in culture and government.
Read the rest of this entry →

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21

06 2010