Citizen Journalism

At a presentation on blogging and citizen journalism I gave last week at a media relations conference, I was surprised first of all that only one person in the room was a blogger and second that no one, even the experienced media relations experts present, had really given much thought to the impact of citizen journalism on news making, on patterns of information exchange , and on company/individual relationships, trust, connectedness and transparency. Since infomation, perception, relationships and influence are at the heart of news reporting -- and what public relations professionals do -- I would think we should have a point of view. So, here are some idea triggers:

Jeff Jarvis . . . "No one owns journalism. It is not an official act, a certified act, an expert act, a proprietary act. Anyone can do journalism. Everyone does. Some do it better than others of course. But everyone does it."

Richard Craig (assistant professor of journalism and mass communications at San Jose University) . . . "Good reporting is generally self-evident, and it is not necessarily the exclusive property of the journalism industry."

For those who read books, journalist Dan Gillmor's book We The Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People for the People (which can be downloaded free for personal use) is a great introduction to the concepts and issues. And Reporters Without Borders has a short book -- available as a .pdf, again free -- called Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents from which issue managers can learn a great deal about how citizen advocates can organize dissidence online.

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