The Bakersfield Californian is working reader contributions into both online and print products through a feature it calls Your Words, and kpaul has an interview with Ray Hacke of the Californian about how that process works. They're avoiding the term "citizen journalist" and preferring "contributing writer."
I'm a sucker for international travel, so I've signed on to speak at the Citygate Forum in Stockholm at the end of April, and at the World Editors Forum in Moscow in June. In both cases I'll be talking about the new, participatory, Web-powered participatory community interaction thing ... and avoiding the baggage-laden "citizen journalism." And I won't mention "witness contributors."
The UK's National Union of Journalists has conjured up a thoroughly bizarre "Code of Practice" that attempts to throw wooden shoes into the gears of the new journalism that is growing around us. It's available only as a Microsoft Word file.
There's an ongoing conversation in online news circles about identity and community. Vin Crosbie's distinction between anonymity and pseudonymity is a good one. I think there actually are five identity models that I've experienced:
Success rarely reveals its secrets to us even when we attain it. Failure is more generous -- it shares its lessons with us, if we just listen. In his Letter to the Bayosphere Community, Dan Gillmor undergoes the rite of self-examination as he looks back on the short history of Bayosphere.
There's a temptation to look at the Washington Post blog blowup and perform a cost-benefit analysis on interactivity. Clearly you can't just toss interactivity technology -- comment systems, forums, chat rooms, whatever -- onto a website and get nothing but happy flowers and joy blossoms. User comments alone aren't interaction. Staff needs to be involved -- responding, leading, and occasionally mopping up spills. Human resources aren't free.