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					Citizen Journalism
  “Citizen Journalism” Defined
 Blogs

 “News” sites written by non-journalists

 Hybrid mainstream-citizen
 (Photo albums, eyewitness reports filed to
 mainstream news org)
  Why Citizens Are Publishing

Improvements in tools to create web content

 Easy to use blogging software

 Digital cameras, recorders

 Disenchantment with mainstream media,
 aka, “MSM”
Publishing Tools: From this…
                      In the
                      beginning:
                      Hand-coding
                      HTML
Publishing Tools … to this
                        Easier:
                        Graphical
                        interface
Publishing Tools…to This:
                       Blogging:
                       Rapid-fire
                       publishing
 Elements of Citizen Journalism
 Blogs – mostly opinion, links to related
  info, other blogs

 Primarily a one-person operation

 Activist – no pretense of objectivity

 Personal
           The Movement
Dan Gilmore – major proponent of citizen
journalism (former SJ Mercury News
columnist)

“Grassroots journalists are dismantling Big
Media's monopoly on the news, transforming
it from a lecture to a conversation.”
               The Critics
 It’s not journalism – very, very little
 original reporting

 It lacks editorial process – no
 professional “filtering”

 No standards
                The Fans
 It’s not journalism – Good! We want
 something different

 It lacks editorial process – Good! Forget
 your filters. I’ll decide what’s news.

 No standards? – Participants will police
 each other and correct errors.
     Are Bloggers Journalists?
 2005: Judith Miller/NYT case
  Congress debated a shield law that would
  protect journalists from revealing sources.

 Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.): Bloggers would
  probably not be protected that law.

 Puts legal context into the debate. Will some
  blogs be deemed protected, others not?
                Content Analysis




Center for Excellence in Journalism Analysis, 2006
    Current State of Blogging
Center for Excellence in Journalism Study:

Blogs showed tremendous growth in 2004,
  spurred by the presidential election

 Growth has slowed.

 Audience has flat-lined
          State of Blogging
Feb. 2004 – Jan. 2005

 Number of people reading blogs jumped
 from 17% to 27%

 Grew from 32 million to 37 million

 Now stable. “Explosion … appears over.”
         Blogs: Overrated?
Small audience

 Gallup/CNN/USAToday poll:
 Only 26% of internet users “very familiar”
 or “somewhat familiar” with blogs.

 Opposing view: It’s a small audience who
 are big influencers
     Impact of Blogs on MSM
 Publishing their own staff-written blogs

 Adding citizen journalism tools to their
  sites

 One study showed that journalists are
  among the most avid readers of blogs
            Election 2006
 CNN on bloggers

 Fox on bloggers
      Impact of MSM on Blogs
The Great Debate: Selling Out?

 MSM hiring bloggers

 Andrew Sullivan’s popular blog moves under
  time.com.

 Advertisers showing interest

 Some blogs dependent on MSM for links
           Why the Fuss?
Bloggers occasionally break news:

 2002: Trent Lott makes comments
 offensive to African Americans.

 Andrew Sullivan and TalkingPoints Memo
 latched on.

 NY Times and Washington Post finally
 covered.
        Blogs Break News
 2004: Dan Rather, CBS News
 False story on Bush and National Guard

 Bloggers raised suspicions about
 documents posted on CBS news web site,
 calling them fraudulent.
Other Citizen Journalism Efforts
 WikiNews – written and edited by
 anybody interested.

 New West – founders launched to fill void
 in coverage in Rocky Mountain area

 YourHub – Rocky Mountain News
 “participatory journalism” site.
       Future: Still being written
Feb. 2005: Allen Weiner, former reporter/columnist San
    Diego:

1. Newspapers will to tap into citizens as extensions of
    their local coverage.

2. Newspapers will develop systems to allow individuals
    to develop and publish content for the newspaper.


3. Citizen journalists websites will emerge solely built on
    the talent of local writers, photographers,
    videobloggers and podcasters.

				
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