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Ron Ross

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Top Stories by Ron Ross

In the United States, evening television news broadcasts are losing audience. In the spring of 2008 2.5 million viewers switched off the evening news. Statistically, this is only a small percentage of the overall viewing audience; but among those still watching television, the amount of television they watch each day is declining. http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2009/narrative_networktv_audience.php?cat=2&media=6 See this graph by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism: Unfortunately, there is no end in sight for the declining numbers. According to TVByTheNumbers.com, network news continued to lose audience in 2009. http://tvbythenumbers.com/category/ratings/evening-news Now that it’s 2010, do you think the network news people have figured out the answer to this simple question, “Why does our audience continue to decline?” There are several reasons, but one glaring... (more)

Citizen Journalism Websites You Might Want to Imitate

Here are three examples of citizen journalism websites you might want to imitate: The first example comes from the UK – a blog called BloodandProperty http://bloodandproperty.blogspot.com/. This blogger was brought to my attention by UK Guardian blogger Dave Hill  who refers to him (or her?) as “a Londoner who is inquisitive, persistent, literate, sane, interested in local issues and very interested in politics.” Hill has added BloodandProperty to his list of Top London Bloggers. One reason Hill listed BloodandProperty was that the blog recently scored an interesting interview ... (more)

What Makes a Good Citizen Journalist?

Curiosity is the lifeblood of a citizen journalist Lots of folks ask us, “What makes a good citizen journalist?” The short answer is passion. But a good citizen journalist needs more than just passion. Six proficiencies that a good citizen journalist needs to develop are: Curiosity. Curiosity is the lifeblood of a good citizen journalist. It’s what keeps the mind alert and the stories coming. The mother of a childhood friend of mine once said, “All you boys do is go around turning over rocks to see what’s beneath them.” She was talking about our insatiable curiosity. A good citi... (more)

Are You a Pugnacious or Assertive Journalist?

There is more than one way to interview someone for a news story. Some journalists take the role of an unfriendly, disbelieving inquirer who wants to catch the interviewee in some moment of confusion or expose him/her as a hypocrite, ignoramus or buffoon. I refer to this as “gotcha” journalism. Some journalists take the role of a supportive, affable colleague so they don’t ask any tough questions that might embarrass the interviewee. This often called throwing softballs, but I call it “brownnose” journalism. The really good journalists take the role of an objective, neutral inte... (more)

Five Kinds of News Stories for Citizen Journalists

“I want to be a reporter, but I don’t know what to write about!” was the comment from a young lady in an audience I spoke to recently. Her dilemma prompted me to start work on my next book tentatively titled, “1001 News Story Ideas for Citizen Journalists.” Though the project has only begun, I do have a preliminary outline for the book. I got the outline from a 1978 magazine article by Paul Swensson reprinted in an old book* I picked up at a used bookstore recently. Swensson was a former newspaperman, journalism professor and newspaper consultant who wrote that there are five ki... (more)