Citizen Journalism Defined

So you think you want to be a citizen journalist. These days with almost everyone having a cell phone with a camera it is pretty easy for anyone to capture the perfect photo or a telling video.

Many of our active authors at Citizen Journalists Live cut our teeth on CNN’s experiment in citizen journalism – iReport. Most of us are still members of that community as well.

In my former life I was a reporter/editor for a small town daily newspaper in the Cornfield of Indiana   – The Linton Daily Citizen. It was perhaps one of the best jobs I ever had before becoming disabled.

One day in 2011, I stumbled upon iReport by accident. I was hooked.

But what is citizen journalism?

cit·i·zen jour·nal·ism (noun): the collection, dissemination, and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the Internet.

Mashable puts it this way:

The concept of citizen journalism (also known as “public”, “participatory”, “democratic”, “guerrilla” or “street” journalism) is based upon public citizens “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information.” Citizen journalism should not be confused with community journalism or civic journalism, both of which are practiced by professional journalists. Collaborative journalism is also a separate concept and is the practice of professional and non-professional journalists working together. Citizen journalism is a specific form of both citizen media and user generated content.

About.com puts it this way:

Put very simply, citizen journalism is when private individuals do essentially what professional reporters do – report information. That information can take many forms, from a podcast editorial to a report about a city council meeting on a blog. It can include text, pictures, audio and video. But it’s basically all about communicating information of some kind.

The other main feature of citizen journalism is that it’s usually found online.

From Wikipedia were are told:

The concept of citizen journalism (also known as “public”, “participatory”, “democratic”, “guerrilla” or “street” journalism) is based upon public citizens “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information.

A premier authority on journalism in all its forms is Poynter. The organization and journalism school has a great article:

The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism

 

For a good primer before submitting your first article or if you are an old hand, this is very beneficial article.

 

Remember if you are only a subscriber, but wish to become one of our contributors:

 

Email me with some information about yourself, where you are from and if you have contributed before to such sites as CNN’s iReport, All Voices etc.

Happy Citizen Journalism!

Your Editor-in-Chief From the Cornfield,
Mark Ivy

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