Citizen Journalism

Corporate-Assisted Repression of Expression

Microsoft shut down "a popular Chinese-language blog" by journalist Zhao Jing on December 30, on the grounds that it "has run edgy content potentially offensive to Chinese authorities." The blog "had criticized the government's firing of top editors at a progressive Beijing newspaper." Microsoft stated, "Most countries have laws and practices that require companies providing online services to make the internet safe for local users. ...


Tracking the Zigs and Zags of Issues

The Mirror (UK) reveals details of Bush's alleged plan to bomb Al Jazeera.By anybody's standards, the last few weeks have been unusual. The Mirror, a British tabloid, reported receiving a leaked government memo which purportedly shows that George W. Bush wanted to silence Al Jazeera's journalistic coverage of Iraq with a bombing strike on its Doha, Qatar headquarters. When a memo of the April 16, 2004 meeting between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair was leaked, Blair wanted the British media gagged to stop the public from finding out other details of his chat with Bush. While he doesn't want discussion of his meeting with Bush, Blair does want to foster public debate over his plan to expand nuclear power as a 'solution' to climate change.

If I Didn't Build It, They Wouldn't Come

"It seems strange, in our day of multiple 24-7 news channels, the always-on Internet, and RSS to say that we don’t have enough news," writes Lisa Williams. "But in most cities and towns that happen to be more than 500 feet outside a major media market, the local people suffer more from media anorexia than information overload. It’s hard to find good information about the place where you live." Williams describes her own experiences trying to fill the gap with H2Otown, her citizen journalism website for Watertown, Massachusetts.


Open Source Documentary

Kent Bye's "Echo Chamber Project" is attempting a new type of citizen journalism: an "open source, investigative documentary about the how the television news media became an uncritical echo chamber to the Executive Branch leading up to the war in Iraq." By "open source," Bye means that he is sharing both the transcripts and footage from his documentary with anyone who wants to use it or remix it with other footage as they see fit.


Edelman's Rescue Plan for the PR Industry

Over the last four months, Richard Edelman, the CEO, president and chair of the privately-owned PR firm Edelman, has been busy blogging away about how the public standing of the PR industry is in free-fall.

In a May 2nd post, he was incredulous that blogger David Weinberger - who has been a consultant to Edelman's firm - doesn't think that PR people have a role in the blogosphere, because they are, by their very nature, propagandists.

A few weeks back, Edelman blogged about spending a weekend smarting after CNN/US president Jon Klein referred to "sophisticated corporate PR departments, marketers and politicians" as "propagandists," during his speech to the National Association of Broadcasters.

While it might seem self-evident to most people that the PR industry is in the propaganda business, these incidents led an agitated Edelman to propose a five-point plan to rescue the PR industry’s tarnished credentials.


Subscribe to Citizen Journalism