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.
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.
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
There are several reasons, but one glaring... (more)
Here are three examples of citizen journalism websites you might want to
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)
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
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)
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”
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
“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)