Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Citizen journalism: What And Why??

he citizen journalism refers to a wide range of activities in which everyday people contribute information or commentary about news events. Over the years, citizen journalism has benefited
from the development of various technologies, including the printing press—which provided a medium for the pamphleteers of the 17th and 18th centuries—the telegraph, tape recorders, and
television, each of which offered new opportunities for people to participate in sharing news and commentary.

With the birth of digital technologies, people now have unprecedented access to the tools of production and dissemination. Citizen journalism encompasses content ranging from user-submitted reviews on a Web site about movies to wiki-based news. Some sites only run stories written by users, while many traditional news outlets now accept comments and even news stories from readers.
The notion of citizen journalism implies a difference, however, between simply offering one’s musings on a topic and developing a balanced story that will be genuinely useful to readers.

The citizen journalism sites is long and includes sites limited to nonprofessional reporting, such as NowPublic and CyberJournalist, and divisions of traditional media companies that feature citizen journalism, such as CNN’s I-Reporter.

Some people use blogs, wikis, digital storytelling applications, photo- and video-sharing sites, and other online media as vehicles for citizen journalism efforts. Many projects take a local
approach, centering on news about a city or even a specific neighborhood, or focus on special-interest topics, such as financial matters or gender issues.

Many academic programs combine the study of traditional journalism with new media, and these programs typically address issues of citizen voices in reporting. Some institutions sponsor initiatives that focus directly on citizen journalism and other forms of user-created content.

Scoop08, founded by students at Yale University and Andover, is a Web site devoted to coverage of the 2008 presidential election. It bills itself as “the first-ever daily national student
newspaper,” with hundreds of high school and college students across the country submitting stories about the election.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Citizen journalism And Accuracy

Media Fact CheckerGiven a list of myths and actual facts, users are given the chance to pick out the true information and separate it from misinterpreted data.'s Media Fact Checker presents journalists and writers with examples of media hoaxes and exaggerations that are easily debunked through fact checking.
Poynter Online: Getting it Right - A Passion for AccuracyPoynter Online offers not only many accuracy guidelines but also personal anecdotes and links to other websites to promote improved accuracy practices. In this article, Chip Scanlan offers practical advice to fellow journalists to increase the accuracy level of any piece.
O'Reilly Digital Media: 10 Journalism Tips for E-WritersEven online journalists and bloggers sometimes need pointers on how to write a better story. These tips offer advice on accuracy and organization as well as several other related topics
Is That a Fact?Though designed primarily for students, journalists of any age can stand to benefit from the pointers and advice offered by In addition, the site also offers 13 how-to examples of fact-checking and accuracy tests.
Accuracy in MediaAccuracy in Media strives "for fairness, balance and accuracy in news reporting" and posts several stories a week on various topics that illustrate this commitment. Unlike other sites, this page and its related content are best used as examples of accuracy in the media rather than as a collection of helpful hints and tips.
Delusions of AccuracyIn an article for the Columbia Journalism Review, Ariel Hart suggests we should become more comfortable with the fact that we make mistakes - and more open about admitting and correcting them.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Independence in the Citizen journalism gives creditability to your Reporting

Independence is perhaps the most under appreciated hallmark of good journalism. What does it mean to be independent? We put the question to thought leaders in citizen media and traditional journalism. This section also provides resources and guides to achieving independent reporting.

We do know this: Honorable journalism means following the story where it leads. When media are consolidated into a few big companies or are under the thumb of governments, this cannot happen.
It is simple to be independent online. Just start a blog. But no one should imagine that the same pressures from businesses and governments will not apply when a blogger tries to make a living at his or her new trade.

News Corp to tap US faith market with takeover of Beliefnet website

News Corporation, parent company of The Times, bought the leading American religious website Beliefnet yesterday in an effort to tap the faith market in a country where 88 per cent of the population say that they pray regularly.

Beliefnet, formed eight years ago, attracts 3.1 million monthly users. It was sold by its founder Steve Waldman, who wanted to find a big media company willing to provide investment that the standalone business could not afford. No transaction price was disclosed.

Mr Waldman said in a video posted on the company’s website that he had received several approaches from large media companies, which “have come to realise that there is a thirst for information and services about spirituality”, although he said that he was “in no rush to sell”.

News Corp is perhaps best-known for its newspapers, with titles such as The Sun and the New York Post, and mass entertainment through the 20th Century Fox film studio. However, the media group also owns a handful of faith-based businesses, including Zondervan, the largest Christian publisher in the United States, and Fox Faith, which makes faith-based films.

Their presence in the company’s portfolio helped to persuade Mr Waldman to sell. He described News Corp as owning a number of “high-quality companies that produce religious and spiritual content”.

Appealing to a Christian audience is big business in the United States, where films such as Walt Disney’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe are marketed, at least partly, at a Christian audience. Mel Gibson’s 2004 film The Passion of Christ earned $611 million (£295 million) worldwide despite an uncompromising narrative, of which $370 million was taken in the United States.

Beliefnet describes itself as the “largest online community” for spirituality and sends out daily e-mail newsletters to 11 million addresses. It aims to be independent of any religious organisation or movement and provides content aimed at more than merely a Christian audience.

The website will be absorbed into News Corp’s Fox Entertainment Group, owner of the Hollywood film studio, rather than its Fox Interactive Media division, which is the group that includes MySpace, the social networking website.

Dan Fawcett, president of Fox Digital Media, said that the company hoped to grow Beliefnet “across a broader media canvas”. Beliefnet is trying to develop its social networking technology aimed at the website’s users and in future the effort could see it sharing techniques with MySpace.