Citizen Journalism

The Free Press and the Fake Press

On World Press Freedom Day, Amnesty International celebrates "the mighty blog" as having "profound implications for press freedom and human rights." The organization states, "People in Iran and China have used blogs to expose violations by their governments and provide the outside world w


Looking for Leads on an Environmental Story

Here's your chance to help with an important journalistic investigation. Former New York Times reporter Philip Shabecoff and his wife Alice are doing research about the links between environmental toxicants and the epidemic of children’s chronic illnesses in the United States today, and they're looking for some leads. The research will lead to a book for the general public. Beyond documenting the evidence arising from the new sciences, the Shabecoffs intend to tell stories about families and communities affected by corporate behavior. The Shabecoffs will try to ‘follow the money’ to explain government laxity.

The following are questions for which the Shabecoffs would appreciate responses or leads to sources of information:

Firm Opens New Blogistan Embassy

Following similar interest from media moguls and PR firms, the consulting firm Issue Dynamics, Inc. "has launched a formal Blogger Relations Practice and a companion website," According to its press release, IDI has already provided "blogger relations" services to "Fortune 50


Citizen Journalist in the Mainstream Media?

"'Citizen journalism' is one of those buzzwords that's hot in our industry right now," writes Steve Outing. "While some journalists might hope it's a fad that will go away soon, I don't think that's likely. Inviting the public to participate in online news publishing by contributing articles and photographs is likely here to stay -- indeed, it might allow journalism institutions to renew some of the public trust they've lost in recent years by inviting the public in instead of keeping them outside the ropes."


New Voices in Citizen Journalism

A quiet revolution in journalism is taking place, according to Mark Glazer, with the emergence of "hyperlocal online publications that promise to publish nearly every article, opinion and photo that any Joe Blow might submit. In a small corner of small Bakersfield, California, a bold publisher launched the Northwest Voice online and in print in May and has already had nearly 500 people submit articles or photos.


Operation American Repression

"An Army Reserve staff sergeant who last week wrote a critical analysis of the United States' prospects in Iraq now faces possible disciplinary action for disloyalty and insubordination," reports Eric Boehlert. "If charges are bought and the officer is found guilty, he could face 20 years in prison. It would be the first such disloyalty prosecution since the Vietnam War. The essay that sparked the military investigation is titled "Why We Cannot Win" and was posted Sept.


Global PR Blog Week

The New PR Wiki, a website for PR pros, is organizing a "global PR blog week," scheduled for July 12-16. Public relations pundits will use the event to discuss questions such as "Why do you blog?" and "Why is blogging important for PR?" The event will cover topics including, "PR in the Age of Participatory Journalism," "Corporate Blogging" and "Crisis Management," and will be hosted at


"The Digestive Tract of the Disinfotainment Industry"

"If your calling is journalism, you enter the job market at the same time that that the long and honorable history of American journalism is traveling through the digestive tract of the disinfotainment industry," declared writer Howard Rheingold in his recent commencement speech at Stanford University. "But at the same time, you arrive on the scene just at the moment something broader, faster, and perhaps more democratic than the invention of journalism is emerging. ...



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