Tag Archives: citizen journalism

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

Off to a Great Start

Citizen Journalists Live opened less than a week ago. To date, the reaction has been more than I imagined.

Thank YOU!!!

Here is how the first few days have gone with the posts and the views:

statstodateAgain – Thank you, for without you, this would not be possible.

Here is to our continued growth.

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Look at what I was able to pull up thanks to a bookmark I had saved.


I did not realize I had bookmarked this. It was in my unsorted bookmarks in Firefox browser.

I was able to click on each of the link tabs. I could see my followers. My recently viewed was there as well.

Of course when I clicked on explore or main it went to the funky new page which is of no use to most of us. Putting this under History, since iReport as we knew it is now just that – history.

Feeling the Loss of the ‘Old’ iReport


At times I wonder why I persist.

Yet, no matter the struggle, the skirmish, like the Energizer bunny, I keep going and going and going.

With the changes with CNN’s iReport web site, my connection with the outer world has been brought to a new low. No longer am I getting feedback, getting interaction with other humans.

Yes, I continue to write my posts here Inside My Mind.

Yes, I continue to offer my opinion at From the Cornfield.

Yes, I continue to recap the headlines and current events with Kernels From the Cornfield.

But to what end?

For some reason, people do not comment on my blog posts. People do not seem to read those posts.

The interaction, the reaction, the back and forth came when I shared my thoughts, my writings on iReport.

Now that is gone.

It is not known if it will ever be again.

Though I have been told a new uploader will be added in December to iReport, will it actually allow for posts or will it only be those handpicked by CNN for stories it is covering and only a slight snippet?

Will it eventually once more allow users to comment and interact with one another?

Yes, an online friend, a fellow iReporter, a Facebook contact has begun a group to allow us to continue to share as we did on iReport, but through the social media’s Facebook.

Though only in its second week, the feedback, the commentary has yet to develop. Nor are there signs that will come to pass any time soon.

While my writing tends to be therapeutic for me, without the tete a tete, how therapeutic can it be?

I am becoming more and more an island unto myself, a solitary figure more alone as each day dawns.

That is one of the reasons fro setting up Citizen Journalists Live. The purpose is to try and fill the void left as CNN has abandoned its experiment with citizen journalism as we knew it. What is left at iReport is a quick picture here or there with no interaction, no commentary.

My hope is that others will join Slick Nick, our erstwhile Bureau Chief in Rochester, New York, with posting. We do have some other former iReporters who have registered, but yet to share. I hope they will soon become the contributors I know they can be with excellent reports and paradigms of citizen journalists whom I know they are.

Thus I sit on this fist day of December in Mark’s Den pondering what the future may be of citizen journalism.