Citizen journalism is a term that can refer to any form of journalism that is created by individuals or groups who are not professional journalists. It is a way for ordinary people to tell their stories and share their perspectives on current news and events.
In its most basic form, citizen journalism is simply the act of doing journalism on one's own, without having to work for or be employed by a media organisation. This type of journalism is often used in conjunction with digital media platforms, like blogs or social media, to create and share content.
The idea of citizen journalism has really taken off in the 21st century, with the advent of digital media and social networking sites. It has allowed anyone with access to the internet to become a journalist and share their opinion on a variety of topics.
Citizen journalists are increasing in number and have become an important part of the mainstream news media in many countries across the world. Citizen journalism has the potential to widen and deepen public perspectives on news events, reaching wider audiences and allowing diverse voices to be heard.
There are two main forms of citizen journalism: amateur and professional. Amateur citizen journalists are everyday people who are dedicated to reporting on news and current events, and professional citizen journalists are those who have at least a professional journalistic background.
The main goal of amateur citizen journalism is to provide a platform for individuals to discuss and share information about current news and events that may not be widely reported on or that fall outside mainstream media coverage. This includes stories from different perspectives and topics that are not typically covered in mainstream media.
Professional citizen journalists are generally more experienced, with either formal educational training or other experience related to journalism such as a professional blog. Professional citizen journalists should be proficient in the skills of traditional journalism, including accuracy, research and writing.
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Regardless of what type of citizen journalists a person may be, it is important to adhere to certain guidelines and best practices. A few of these key guidelines include:
1. Be responsible. When creating content, it is important to check facts, sources and information before disseminating it. Every journalist has a responsibility to provide accurate and reliable news that the public can trust.
2. Respect the rules of copyright. It is important to always credit sources appropriately and make sure you have permission from the original creator before using any part of their work.
3. Remain impartial. It is important to remain impartial and factual when reporting on events or issues. Opinions should be expressed in an impartial way, respecting different points of view without bias.
4. Know your audience. When creating content, it is important to consider who you are writing for and the purpose of your content. This will help ensure that you are creating engaging, high-quality content for the appropriate audience.
5. Use technology. Citizens journalists should be sure to take advantage of the technological tools that are available to them in order to create and disseminate content quickly and effectively. This can include blogging, video blogs, podcasts and more.