Reflections, Reviews and Revisions

Ron Ross

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When a citizen journalist trainer in Malaysia inquired about presenting a copy of our book, “Handbook for Citizen Journalists,” to each person attending their training session, my co-author and I wanted to make it happen. Their event was imminent so shipping the books from the USA to Malaysia was not possible. I Googled "digital printers Malaysia" and contacted the one that looked best and sent in a request for a bid with information about the deadline. The printer responded immediately and after several exchanges of emails, the deal was done. The printer printed and packed 200 books for Maran Perianen, a trainer of Malaysian citizen journalists, just in time for his weekend conference. "The citizen journalists were impressed with the book," Perianen, told us by e-mail. "I also plan to give the book in my future training for their reference," said Perianen, who a... (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 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/davehillblog/2010/mar/16/guardian-top-london-bloggers-blood-and-property-hackney)  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 Londo... (more)

The Last Wishes of Alexander the Great

Whether or not the following story is true, the lesson it teaches surly is. On his death bed, Alexander summoned his generals and told them his three ultimate wishes: 1. The best doctors should carry his coffin; 2. The wealth he has accumulated (money, gold, precious stones…) should be scattered along the procession     to the cemetery, and 3. His hands should be let loose, hanging outside the coffin for all to see!! One of his generasl who was surprised by these unusual requests asked Alexander to explain. Here is what Alexander the Great had to say: I want the best doctors to carr... (more)

Seven Reasons We MIGHT Open The Doors of Our Lives to Others

I'm showing my age here, but there is an old country song performed by the late Tennessee Ernie Ford titled "Sixteen Tons." The song is about a miserable coal miner who could never seem to get ahead no matter how much Number 9 coal he could haul out of the mine. The chorus went like this: "You haul Sixteen Tons, whadaya get? Another day older and deeper in debt Saint Peter don't you call me cause I can't go I owe my soul to the company store." We could update that song now and call it "Sixteen Hours". For many, it seems that no matter how hard or how long we work we still end up owi... (more)

Citizen Journalists are Passionate about Freedom of the Press

Citizen Journalist on Ulitzer The American Revolution produced many notable newspapermen who wrote passionately in support of independence and who injected into their writings the idea of a free press. Many of their writings helped develop the press freedoms that were written into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That is why the United States has been the world leader for press freedom for well over 200 years. The US press earned the title of the “Fourth Estate” because it positioned itself as a watchdog over the government. This privileged press status is unique to the US a... (more)