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Ron Ross

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An old college friend I have reminisces too much about our college days: How good we played basketball, how much the girls loved us, and all the crazy things only he recalls we did. His wife says, “He remembers lots of things that never happened.” The guy personifies the saying, “the older I get, the better I used to be.” There’s nothing wrong with thinking about the past. We all like to muse over the days gone by, but history is Notice the race of every person in this photo! Photo from National Review Online something else. When I was in High School, I thought history was a waste of time. Who cares what happened 150 years ago or worse yet 3000 years ago? I was interested in what I was doing after school, who we were playing on Friday night, and where I was taking my girlfriend on Saturday. My high school world history teacher didn’t help this lack of interest in ... (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)

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)

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Citizen Journalist?

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 becom... (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)