Fishing for the News

03/20/2009 by

It’s quite amazing where one can find discussions about C.J. these days.

I came across the following article – “The rise of Citizen Journalism” – on Fly Rod Reel – of all places: what a catch! (and how appropriate in a week when one of our fellow C.Jers has been focusing on matters fishy).

The article is written by Mike Frome, described as “one of the great environmental writers of our time”, and by the look of it, someone whose writings on the destruction of our planet pack a fair punch.

It’s an interesting article and well worth a read.

Frome begins by making this point: namely that the news, as presented by the main media organisations, does not necessarily meet the standard of objectivity that we desire : – some of us within the group may well be familiar with this theme – it also being a bug bear of investigative journalist and author of “Flat Earth News”, Nick Davies.

He then goes on to say the following – “Public relations, the spin-doctors working for powerful corporate and government interest, constitute a preeminent influence on how news is covered and presented. But then the media themselves are corporate, driven far more by profit than public service.”

This remark, it seems to me, describes an issue close to one we raised in our presentation, namely “too much power in too few hands”.  As we may well remember, it was the rise of those all powerful media conglomerates that prompted the likes of Jay Rosen to seek to decentralise the gathering and production of news, down to the local level (hence the original concept of civic journalism).

In his own words, Frome reiterates Rosen`s thinking from those earlier times….

“….a new breed (of journalist) has come along: nonprofit online-only dailies dedicated to local journalism with strong focus on investigation, in-depth reporting and commentary”.

Civic websites are flagged up by Frome in the piece, as are local journals which he believes are helping to communicate his environmental message. Here are two examples : Voice of Sandiego : Crosscut (this link will bring up a blog entry on the closure of the Seattle Post Intelligencer print edition – not directly related to our blog topic but surely of interest to us all anyhow?)

It is the localised nature of news gathering flagged up by Frome that for me, yet again, gets to the heart of what citizen/civic journalism is (or should be) all about. I refer one more time to the Cambridge Community TV project as a prime example of this.

Here is Mike Frome, one more time:

“Clearly, the new technology has given rise to “citizen journalism”, manifest in (a) a variety of worthy, informative national newsletters and journals, plus (b) local and regional periodicals providing an interactive forum for dialogue, designed to bring new awareness to environmental issues and to create advocacy for them”.

Sure, Mike`s thoughts are centred on his environmental concerns.

Yet, in terms of describing what citizen journalism actually is, what can be achieved by the citizen journalist, and how – need we say more?

You`ll not find me in the newsroom for a while…..

Gone Fishing

Happy Easter.


A final word…

03/20/2009 by



So the group blog is almost over. I feel I have learnt a lot from the assignment, not only about regulation and ethics but also about working as a team. This sort of experience is invaluable in the world of broadcast journalism, where working independently is almost unheard of.


Balancing the blog with other parts of the MA course has been challenging. I always knew we would be busy this term (TV in 8 weeks???!!!), and thought that climbing up to sixth gear would not be possible after the Christmas term.


However, Charlotte, Denis and Guy have proved me wrong and I have relished every last minute of it. The pace and content of these past few weeks have mirrored what we will experience in the industry. One example of this is working in groups. I feel our group dynamic has been, at times, difficult as we all get on with different things (including different courses – Sophie and Robert having to contend with yet another medium…print, Scott off to London to collect various awards…). To fit in the regulation and ethics blogging element into the course as we all madly film and edit TV packs each week for Live at Five and The World Tonight has been very demanding. But as I say, with most journalists now having to blog as part of their profession, it has been excellent training for us.


Our complex topic, with no black or white answers but oodles of opinions has also proved a challenge. I still don’t know what I genuinely feel on the issue, I feel as if I have a different answer on it each week! But three things are certain, I know a lot more on the topic than I did before I started, our fiery debates within the group have been thought provoking, and there is certainly more to CJ and UGC than meets the mouse pad.

Tim Ley — Head of Programming Atlantic FM

03/20/2009 by

Tim uses twitter, they also have their own feed which is accesible via their website.

Jo Wood — How Twitter can benefit Professional Journalists

03/20/2009 by

Jo Wood shared her expertise with Rob, Francesca and I at Twestival.

Twestival — ~Package

03/20/2009 by

This event taught us alot. I never really thought about how twitter can be used in professional journalism.

Youtube FAD!

03/20/2009 by

Hi Guys,

You know how i looked into controversy for our presentation, well i have found another interesting video. I do like surfing youtube and i keep coming across these two guys who present for Digitaltv.

I would really be interested to here what people have got to say about this? Do you think AP has the right? Do you think all news agencies should charge?

Time is ticking

03/19/2009 by

Hey guys,

Only one more day to go before the group blog is over. We really need to get the presentation onto the blog. I’ve left my hard drive with the Twestival Live at Five package for Rob to upload tomorrow. Jo Wood and Tim Ley are also on there under ‘Twestival’.

Our Work — Your Ears

03/19/2009 by


This is our presentation if anyone would like another look at it. I know it was supposed to go onto slideshare, but instead of looking for it on that website, we have made it easier for you to access it.

Please leave us some feedback, you might look through and see things you may have missed on the day.

Thank you all for coming, and thanks to all for listening!citizen-journalism-presentation

“Now that`s what I call CJ” 2009

03/19/2009 by

Not sure whether this has been mentioned before, but here goes…..
Since 2008 the BBC World Service has been carrying out a project entitled Your Story and guess what, it`s all about citizen journalism.

Not sure whether you have come across the site yet, but I reckon at last i`ve found true C.J.

I appreciate that other sites, Sky and CNN for example, have pages dedicated to user provided content. They tend to be short videos though in the main. With “Your Story”, there is a clear difference.

These are ‘real’, detailed stories told through the eyes of the citizen, i.e. the telling of the story is by those affected by the issue at hand. Have a look at this piece on the economic outlook for michigan ; its the peoples story told by the peolple. It reminds me somewhat of the Cambridge Community TV Project, which I metioned in an earlier post.

As part of the  project, the BBC works “closely with individuals to nurture interesting story ideas, providing equipment where necessary, as well as general training and advice” – Senior BBC reporter Nina Robinson then personally edits the finished reports.

In an interview for  Robinson went on to say that she hoped to be able to count more on “grassroots” citizen journalists, particularly those based in remote areas of the world.

She clearly believes that this medium has an important part to play in a “democratic news process” -diluting the power of the big media organsiations. Robinson also said the scheme contributed to the overall democratic news process:  “Rather than the BBC as a news organisation dictating the news agenda, we’re listening to what people are telling us, taking in their opinions, thoughts, sometimes eyewitness accounts – whether they be in the form of photos, videos, or opinion pieces.”


Citizen Journalism – Discussed and Contested

03/18/2009 by

I have found a very interesting broadcast. I think it would clear up some grey areas for some people who may not really understand where we are coming from.

I have found this subject one of the hardest to analyse, given it is an ongoing and changing medium. It is good to see all of the great feedback we have receieved from the other groups. Those comments have made it obvious that it may not only be us that are finding it hard to define a citizen journalist.

In my opinion i’m not too sure if we should be defining citizen journalism, given the subject is really broad to begin with anyway.

I would like to post this link into my post for people to have a look at — I have read some of her articles before and i find Jemma Kiss very interesting.

Please click here on this link, or copy and paste it as normal url —