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Ron Ross

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Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer - The National Association of Citizen Journalists was formed out of a need that I discovered as the publisher of a weekly paper in suburban Denver. For more than a decade, I published a popular, free entertainment weekly tabloid in Douglas County, Colo., that had lots of fun stuff to read and to do and lots of ads, but very little news. In 2001, I started a section in my paper that featured news items concerning local people and events. I sought the help of several active citizens expecting them to provide news for these pages. Many that I talked to thought it was a great idea and promised they would send me news. No one did – well, almost no one. Most of the news in the section came from two or three public information officers bought and paid for by the offices they were serving. The rest of it I gleaned ... (more)

Citizen Journalist Alert: Beware the Kryptonite

Clark Kent, the mild-mannered crime reporter for the Daily Planet who often appeared as Superman, spent his career avoiding kryptonite, the radio-active element from Superman's home planet, Krypton. Even the slightest exposure to kryptonite would drain Superman of his strength and leave him as vulnerable as any normal human being. If you want to be a super citizen journalist and "leap tall buildings with a single bound" in your career, you too must beware of kryptonite. In your career as a citizen journalist, kryptonite can come in many dangerous and nearly invisible forms. Bew... (more)

What Makes a Good Citizen Journalist?

Lots of folks ask us, "What makes a good citizen journalist?"   The short answer is passion. But a good a good citizen journalist needs more than just passion. Six proficiencies that a good citizen journalist needs to develop are: Curiosity. Situational awareness. If you have this quality, it means that at all times you are aware of what is happening around you. Lots of people don’t pay any attention to anything other than what is going on in their tiny world; they can sit through a train wreck or sleep through an earthquake and not know it ever happened. On the other hand, good... (more)

Why Be a Citizen Journalist?

“What are you going to do when you grow up?” you ask your kids. Most children don’t have a clue, so they answer with “fireman,” “policeman,” “doctor” or other such highly visible and seemingly exciting occupation.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard a child answer, “Journalist! I want to be a journalist!” The idea to be a journalist usually comes a little later as they experience their world and see the vast variety of career choices they actually have. But why be a journalist? Here are four possible motives for being a journalist, and more particularly, a citizen journalist. Motive #1... (more)

The First Martyr for Freedom of the Press

In 1826 Elijah Parish Lovejoy graduated from what is now Colby College Waterville Maine. He graduated with honors at the top of his class. After graduation he moved to St. Louis, Missouri and became the editor of an anti-Jacksonian newspaper and taught in a school. A few years later, influenced by the Revivalist Movement, he left St. Louis and went on to Princeton University to study theology. Back then Princeton was a very conservative theological institution established specifically for the training of Christian ministers. Upon graduation, he was ordained a Presbyterian ministe... (more)