CategoryCitizen journalism

The mass media can consolidate all it wants, replaced reporters will still cover local news


Gannett’s ongoing pursuit of Tronc and its dominant daily newspapers in Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Orlando, Baltimore and elsewhere follows the industrywide trend toward corporate consolidation of news.


The company is likely to find even more room to cut at big metro papers that have more resources remaining than the smaller suburban titles from which Gannett has typically squeezed pennies. And the publicly traded corporation is under more pressure to do so because of escalating bids that drove the price up.

What comes next is up to the reporters and editors likely to be laid off, the communities who rely upon their work and the broader journalism community. A grassroots resurgence of local journalism is already filling the gaps left by many newspaper cuts. This growth will only accelerate as newspapers are consolidated into a few giant national companies focused on quarterly profits.

The news vacuum will be filled by dedicated journalists committed to local, independent, and primarily online coverage.

Citizen journalism IS community journalism

From The Fresno Nee:

Communities prosper with transparency. A writer can help ensure the voiceless have a voice. We need people to keep an eye on public life.

There is no substitute for coverage of locally produced news. Such information remains vital and continues to be extremely popular. The public is hungry for responsible storytelling. Larger media sources will not always cover the everyday stories from smaller communities unless there’s a sensational element, most often extremely negative and filled with turmoil and drama.

Yet more and more, the support for local journalism is declining. Smaller newspapers are barely hanging on, budgets to pay for reporters and local coverage are declining.

There are exceptions, but I rarely encounter  citizen journalism that does not seek to provide community-based transparency. And it almost always exists in an environment where the local (but not locally owned) mainstream media is is not cutting back on coverage and siphoning profits out of town.
Citizen journalism is people-powered media and is unconcerned with buying the CEO that second yacht.

Chicago’s City Bureau sounds like successful citizen journalism

No doubt Chicago’s City Bureau would object to being identified at merely citizen journalism. But citizen journalism would benefit from their lessons:

Police accountability in Chicago would have been a meaty, important story anytime. But when City Bureau, a nonprofit community newsroom rooted in the city’s South and West sides, launched last fall with city policing as its initial focus, the timing hardly could have been more apt.

In mid-October the bureau published its first story, about protests over the acquittal of an officer who shot and killed a 22-year-old woman. Soon after, it held its first community forum, tied to the release of a database on police misconduct complaint. Then in mid-November, a judge ruled that dash-cam footage of an officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014 had to be released as a public record, setting off an activist campaign that would lead to the defeat of Cook County prosecutor Anita Alvarez last week in the Democratic primary.

The events thrust Chicago back to the forefront of a growing debate over police reform and accountability for abuse—and City Bureau, a creative startup that aims to train young journalists and improve coverage of underreported neighborhoods, also had a national story in its sights.

City Bureau is the brainchild of four young Chicagoans: Darryl Holliday, Bettina Chang, Andrea Hart, and Harry Backlund. Part training lab, part response to an era of slashed news budgets, the bureau is more a network and platform for partnerships than a traditional news outlet. Collaboration—among bureau members, with local neighborhoods, and with publications and other institutions—is central to the model.



Is it time for a push for new BP members?

I’ve been sorta laying low with the Blog Peoria Project for many months.

But with the mass media continuing to die off and become irrelevant, and with our government about ready to be taken over by a well, a fascist, it may just be time for a new push to get people committing acts of citizen journalism again.

I’ve been busy with the citizen-journalism site,

But I’ve getting real worried about this country. Avery one is glued to their tubes watching yet another Donald J. Trump rally. Frankly, I have a firm’No Nazi’ policy that keeps me from covering The Donald.

But why all the Trump coverage? Money. And that’s due to corporate greed.

Here are some tips on how to revitalize your blog

Go read Ten 2-minute tweeks to instantly revitalize your blog.

Hat tip to Tammy Finch at Web Services Inc.

Google steps up its support for citizen journalists

From NBC:

Google on Monday introduced its newest site, News Lab, aimed at helping journalists craft and share their stories using the most relevant media and technology.

Google’s accessibility, global reach and popularity as an internet information source has made it the most used search engine in the world, according to Digital Trends.

With this new program, News Lab has introduced a variety of tools to make sure quality journalism is improved, not lost, in the digital age. As explained in Google’s blog post Monday, this new initiative offers tutorials that teaches journalists how to use online tools such as Google Alerts and Google News.

Google Trends is another tool that helps to find trends across the web.

Google News Lab is also focusing on eyewitness citizen journalism through news outlets such as First Draft, YouTube Newswire and WITNESS Media Lab.

YouTube ramps up its role in promoting citizen journalism

From TV Week:

YouTube appears to be going all in on citizen journalism. The company today announced three new initiatives “designed to expand the video-sharing site’s role in new media journalism, including eyewitness news,” TechCrunch reports. “Most notably, the company is launching a service called YouTube Newswire in partnership with social news agency Storyful, which will introduce a curated and verified feed of the day’s most newsworthy events being published to YouTube.”

YouTube’s Storyful partnership dates back to the protests in Tahrir Square in 2011, the report notes, with previous joint efforts including CitizenTube, YouTube Politics and YouTube Human Rights Channel.

Citizen journalism from Russia … with love

From News Times:

Greenwich native Charles Bausman has been living in Moscow for the better part of 29 years, raising a family while working as an investor in agribusiness in Russia. In the past dozen years or so, he’s developed a perspective on Russia he said he does not see reflected in western news reporting.

So six months ago, he created an alternative news website called that is getting millions of international viewers — and Russian attention as well.

“This is citizen journalism,” said Bausman. “It’s like an online movement, user generated, democratic. People are very devoted to the site. It’s gone beyond what I could imagine.”

NYC building collapse tests new Twitter livestreaming app

Via Bloomberg:

Twitter’s new video streaming app, Periscope, launched on Thursday morning. By the afternoon it was facing its first real test as a medium for citizen journalism.

Just after 3 p.m., a large explosion shook a building on Second Avenue in Manhattan. By the end of the day two buildings had collapsed, at least 19 people were injured, and at least one was missing. People who signed on to Periscope out of curiosity about Silicon Valley’s latest craze in self-documentation were given an intimate look at the confusing scene on the ground in the immediate aftermath of the explosion. Multiple users began streaming video from the streets, nearby buildings, and other vantage points.

Just like every previous golden age of citizen journalism, the may-be-upon-us age of Periscope journalism is beset by faulty and incomplete information, inane commentary, and technical setbacks. The first feed I saw of the fire said it was being filmed in the Bronx. The second one correctly identified the neighborhood but gave the wrong address for the building where the explosion took place. The visuals consisted of a man on the street asking other bystanders what was going on. A voice off-camera started screaming: “Everybody needs to pray!” Then the feed cut out.

I found another feed from a building that looked to be at least a mile away. Like most of the videos on Periscope, it seems, the narration was about the app itself. The reporters, as it were, lacked the gravitas that even the basest local news network knows how to fake. “I have my own channel!” shrieked the narrator, a woman who was presumably holding the phone doing the streaming.

“What’s that?” asked someone else.

“Periscope. Someone said I’m the new CNN! Just kidding, I don’t know how to work this thing.”

Citizen Journalism program and site launch in Massachusetts

From Cambridge Community Television:

Cambridge [Mass.] residents want more local news and Cambridge Community Television is giving it to them in a fresh, bold way with a makeover of, its citizen journalism web site.

Launched in 2007, NeighborMedia is a program of CCTV that trains Cambridge residents to become reporterscovering the people, places, issues and events of their very own neighborhoods., the URL containing these multimedia stories, had been housed on CCTV’s own site, Now, in an effort to give NeighborMedia a distinct identity, a newsier feel and a stronger community presence, CCTV is spinning off into its own web site with a design and interface that is all its own. The brand new officially launched this week.