Dispatches From Blogistan

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the book
Dispatches From Blogistan
by suzanne stefanac
peachpit/new riders
voices that matter series
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from the book
> table of contents
> chapter 2 history of open discourse
> chapter 6 history of journalism
> 10 blog design tips
> what is this long tail?
> trackback demystified
> blog ethics primer
> glossary
> resource hotlinks


> cory doctorow

> farai chideya

> bruce sterling

> denise caruso

> craig newmark

> jamais cascio

> laura lemay

> christian crumlish

> jon lebkowsky

how fares citizen journalism?

10.10.05 @ 06:10:59 pacific

We hear the phrase “citizen journalist” bandied about quite a bit these days, but it is much easier to hypothesize about the future of this movement than to get a clear picture of what exactly is happening today.

The USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review’s Tom Grubisich provides an overview of ten community news sites titled Grassroots Journalism: Actual Content vs. Shining Ideal. He begins by pointing out that while Americans log onto the web by the millions, the relationships that grow up among individuals are largely based on shared interests rather than geography. With the emergence of local news sites, whether independent or associated with print or broadcast organizations, there is opportunity for true grassroots reporting and community dialogue. However, after analyzing the ten sites, Grubisich comes to the conclusion that, “…what you see when you take a closer look, apart from a couple of honorable exceptions, is the Internet equivalent of Potemkin villiages - an elaborate facade with little substance behind it.”

In response, Bayosphere’s Ryan Sholin asks “What are your “shining ideals when it comes to citizen journalism?” Sholin suggests that local newspapers have the readership, advertisers and audience already in place and so are the most likely candidates for true citizen journalist forums, but then he opens up the discussion to his own readers. The comments on both the Bayosphere site and Grubisich’s story help to round out the discussion. Perhaps you’d like to add your own comments there or here.


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