The collection, dissemination and analysis of news by non-professionals among the public
What is it?
A vision of online journalism courtesy of Tatianadarie's Blog
What's good about it?
- Citizen journalism is the gathering, writing, editing, production and distribution of news and information by people not trained as professional journalists.
- Citizen journalists are non-professionals who collect, disseminate and analyze news on blogs, wikis and sharing websites using tablets, laptops, cell phones, digital cameras and other mobile and wireless technologies.
- Citizen journalism is also known as:
- public journalism
- participatory journalism
- grassroots journalism
- hyperlocal journalism
- democratic journalism
- networked journalism
- open source journalism
- bottom-up journalism
- stand-alone journalism
- distributed journalism
- unfiltered journalism
- guerrilla journalism
- street journalism
- crowd-powered media
What's bad about it?
- People without professional journalism training can use the latest technology tools and worldwide distribution via the Internet to find new and different news stories, and augment and fact-check mainstream media.
- The latest media technologies, social networks, media-sharing websites and the increasing presence of smartphones everywhere open news reporting to people who sometimes can discover and report breaking news faster and less expensively than mainstream news organizations.
Some well known citizen journalism sites Lists of citizen journalism websites
- Citizen journalism has been criticized by professional journalists because citizen journalists have not been oriented toward the standards and practices of professional journalism. They say reports from citizen journalists are subjective, amateurish, inaccurate and haphazard. They see citizen journalism's quality as, well, not professional and its coverage spotty.
- Professionals often view citizen journalists with skepticism, especially when citizen journalists are proponents of the topics they write about. This leads professionals to say citizen journalists don't uphold the traditional journalistic value of objectivity. They say only professionally-trained journalists can understand the ethics required of reporters.
Definitions and tools for citizen journalists
- Open Directory Project participatory news media sites
- Yahoo! citizen journalism websites
- SourceWatch citizen journalism websites and tools
What tools are needed by citizen journalists?
- Citizen Journalism Wikipedia
- What Is Citizen Journalism? PBS
- Tools For Citizen Journalists SourceWatch
What skills are needed by citizen journalists?
- tablet or laptop computer
- digital camera that shoots stills and video
- digital audio recorder
- software apps for editing text, audio, photos and video, and for creating visual data graphics
- blog, wiki, website or other content management system for texts, audio, photos, video and graphics
- social networks for staying connected
Mainstream news sites for comparison
- critical thinking, proactive curiosity, noticing critical details, piecing facts together, understanding of behavior
- writing with accuracy, clarity, relevance, brevity, readability, consistency
- editing and revising for accuracy, clarity, relevance, brevity, readability, consistency
- an eye and ear for still and motion images, informative graphics, natural sounds, layout, design
- visual storytelling, visualization of data, visual design and presentation
- competency with new digital media and Internet tools, social media, crowdsourcing and participation
How do the citizen journalism news sites listed above differ from these mainstream news sites?
Resources for Courses »
© 2012 Dr. Anthony Curtis, Mass Communication Dept., University of North Carolina at Pembroke email home page