Reflections, Reviews and Revisions

Ron Ross

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Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer If you’re seeking wealth and fame, journalism might not be your best choice. No one enters the field to get rich, and only a few ever become famous. An entry-level journalist will barely earn enough to survive if a job is even available in today’s shrinking journalism job market. Even experienced beat reporters don’t live in the rich part of town. The only people receiving truly handsome wages in the news media today are celebrity journalists seen on network and cable television news stations. Fame is also elusive for most journalists. Only a few become as renowned as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters from The Washington Post who broke the story of the Watergate break-ins in the 1970s. Their front-page articles were responsible for forcing President Richard Nixon to resign. But what other famous journalists can you name? Th... (more)

Getting Paid for Our Work

One way to get your message out is to post comments on blogs and news articles that discuss the subjects you are most interested in. I do that all the time. My blogging and commenting is very narrow. All I read or write about is citizen journalism. That’s about all I’ve been doing for the last two years. In my postings and comments, I always mention the National Association of Citizen Journalists and the book I co-authored, “Handbook for Citizen Journalists.”  I do that because active and aspiring citizen journalists need to be aware of the high quality of training tools that we... (more)

Five Kinds of News Stories for Citizen Journalists

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 new... (more)

More Citizen Journalists Needed

A recent edition of Editor and Publisher, the oldest journal covering the newspaper industry, reported on a study by the University of Missouri School of Journalism that found that the number of citizen journalists is insufficient to meet the needs of shrinking newsrooms. Here is the lead paragraph of the story:   Citizen journalism isn’t stepping up sufficiently to fill the “information shortfall” caused by cutbacks in the newsrooms of newspapers and other traditional news organizations, a University of Missouri School of Journalism study finds. To read the full story - CLIC... (more)

Nine Reasons Why Senior Citizens Make Great Citizen Journalists

As promised...here are nine reasons why senior citizens offer the fastest and best immediate answer to the shortfall of citizen journalists - There are many of them - and as the Baby Boomers enter retirement years, there will be many more. They are well educated. Senior citizens went through public schools when public schools still focused largely on the three Rs. Many went to colleges, universities, community colleges or are self-educated. US senior citizens are the most educated generation of seniors in the history of the world. They are under-utilized. Retirement no longer mean... (more)