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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 Journalists Have Global Platform for Video News Reports

If you’re a photojournalist or a citizen journalist activist like me, you’ll find it a most interesting website. Have you been to http://www.mayomo.com/ yet? Be sure you have lots of time, because you can get lost for a couple of hours watching fascinating footage from around the world. MaYoMo is short for Map Your Moments. It is a video-centric social network for citizen photojournalists and multimedia news content providers from all around the world.  MaYoMo was one of the first news sources to provide raw video footage of the Haiti earthquake and is increasingly becoming a credib... (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)

What is Your Beat, Citizen Journalist?

Most aspiring citizen journalists I meet have a favorite topic that interests them and they want to write almost exclusively about that subject. For instance, a good friend of mine writes solely about hunting and fishing in Iowa and Nebraska. Another submits articles to his local newspaper about the activities of his Rotary Club. Another citizen journalist I know submits articles about green issues and the climate change debate. All newsrooms at one time structured things that way; they would assign reporters a certain beat to cover. One would write on business issues, another s... (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)