citizen journalism

Some questions and answers about citizen media

An editor for Ifra's magazine, Newspaper Techniques, interviewed me via email. Here's my response:

How can newspapers implement community sites?

I think the first step is to recognize the nature of community, and the constructive role played by journalism.

We typically don't do that. We typically think our job begins and ends with "covering the news," and we don't think carefully enough about what effects we have in the community.

Citizen Media in Asia

Upcoming in July: a citizen media workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, under the aegis of the international newspaper technology organization Ifra. From the webpage:

First Time In Asia! Citizen Media Summit

How to Ride on the Wave of the Digital Deluge

Date: 2 - 4 July 2007
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Language(s): English

Summary / Composition / Zusammenfassung

A 'good enough' replacement for journalism?

Lines from the past occasionally float to the surface. Here's one I have been thinking about lately: "OK open systems beat great closed systems every time."

That one came from Scott Kurnit around 1994-95, when he was VP/marketing for Prodigy. His company, originally a joint venture of CBS, Sears and IBM, had built a closed system (great in its day) that was in the process of getting its tail kicked by a bunch of little startup companies that run by people who had no clear idea where they were going.

These startups were pushing open standards: TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML.

Citizen journalism: Square peg, round hole

Howard Owens points to a Media Life story quoting UNC J-prof Frank Fee, raising questions about "citizen journalism:"

“It goes back to the days of country correspondents or stringers. They are limited in what they can do, and newspapers have never been very good about training those people. ... I have seen some horrendous mistakes made by people who don’t know what they are doing."

Revisiting local citizen media

Last year Tom Grubisch examined a number of local "citizen journalism" projects and declared that what he found, "apart from a couple of honorable exceptions, is the Internet equivalent of Potemkin villages -- an elaborate façade with little substance behind it."

A year later he reexamines these projects for He finds some signs of progress, but also has some harsh criticisms.