Layers of Citizen Journalism

Since blogging and, so called, citizen journalism is on the wave here is an interesting classification of this kind of new media, which is suppose to help understand it and also help news organizations can employ the citizen-journalism concept:

1. The first step: Opening up to public comment
For some publishers skittish about allowing anyone to publish under their brand name, enabling readers to attach comments to articles on the Web represents a start. At its simplest level, user comments offer the opportunity for readers to react to, criticize, praise or add to what’s published by professional journalists.

2. Second step: The citizen add-on reporter
Recruit citizen add-on contributions for stories written by professional journalists. I mean more than just adding a “User Comments” link. I mean that with selected stories, solicit information and experiences from members of the public, and add them to the main story to enhance it.

3. Now we’re getting serious: Open-source reporting
Collaboration between a professional journalist and his/her readers on a story, where readers who are knowledgeable on the topic are asked to contribute their expertise, ask questions to provide guidance to the reporter, or even do actual reporting which will be included in the final journalistic product.

4. The citizen bloghouse
A great way to get citizens involved in a news Web site is to simply invite them to blog for it. A number of news sites do this now, and some citizen blogs are consistently interesting reads.

5. Newsroom citizen ‘transparency’ blogs
This involves inviting a reader or readers to blog with public complaints, criticism, or praise for the news organization’s ongoing work. A reader panel can be empowered via a publicly accessible blog to serve as citizen ombudsmen, of a sort, offering public commentary on how the news organization is performing. A milder form of this is the editor’s blog — typically written by a paper’s top editor and explaining the inner workings of the newsroom and discussing how specific editorial decisions are made — along with reader comments, so that the editor has a public dialog with his/her blog readers.

6. The stand-alone citizen-journalism site: Edited version
This next step involves establishing a stand-alone citizen-journalism Web site that is separate from the core news brand. It means establishing a news-oriented Web site that is comprised entirely or nearly entirely of contributions from the community.

7. The stand-alone citizen-journalism site: Unedited version
This model is identical to No. 6 above, except that citizen submissions are not edited. What people write goes on the site: blemishes, misspellings and all.

8. Add a print edition
For this model, take either No. 6 or No. 7 above (stand-alone citizen-journalism Web site, either with edited submissions or a hands-off editing approach) and add a print edition. A number of newspapers have tried this, using a print edition distributed freely once a week as an insert into a traditional daily or weekly paper, or as a stand-alone print product.

9. The hybrid: Pro + citizen journalism
A news organization that combines citizen journalism with the work of professionals.

10. Integrating citizen and pro journalism under one roof
Imagine a news Web site comprised of reports by professional journalists directly alongside submissions from everyday citizens. This is slightly different than No. 9, above, because on any one page there will be a mix of professionally written (paid) and citizen-submitted (free) content — labeled appropriately so that the reader knows what he/she is getting.

11. Wiki journalism: Where the readers are editors
Finally, in the “way out there” category, comes wiki news. The most well known example is the WikiNews site, a spin-off of the famed Wikipedia public encyclopedia, which allows anyone to write and post a news story, and anyone to edit any story that’s been posted. It’s an experimental concept operating on the theory that the knowledge and intelligence of the group can produce credible, well-balanced news accounts.

Read full 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.