RonRoss's blog

More citizen journalists needed

A recent edition of Editor and Publisher, the oldest journal covering the newspaper industry, reported on a study by the University of Missouri School of Journalism that found that the number of citizen journalists is insufficient to meet the needs of shrinking newsrooms. Here is the lead paragraph of the story:

Citizen journalism isn’t stepping up sufficiently to fill the “information shortfall” caused by cutbacks in the newsrooms of newspapers and other traditional news organizations, a University of Missouri School of Journalism study finds.

Local news success story

The headline above is a direct quote from the body of a Monday, Aug. 16, 2010, blog posting by Pixel Creative Group Inc. titled, What now?  The headline is exciting for those who believe the future of journalism may rest in the hands of well-trained, well-motivated citizen journalists. However, the first half of the blog is a rather dour report on the increasing decrease of ad revenue for newspapers and other legacy media outlets.

Irish radio journalist versus bloggers


The author of the opinion piece is Malachi O'Doherty, who refers to himself as a "freelancing radio journalist." In a humorous, and I believe authentic way, he describes the relationship between bloggers and professional journalists.

A most interesting citizen journalist headline appeared in the Aug. 9, 2010, issue of the Belfast Telegraph (Ireland): "Citizen Journalism Will Never Stop the Presses." I had to read the article.

Navel gazing journalists

The International Press Institute is holding a World Congress in Vienna and Bratislava on September 11-14, 2010. The title of their congress is "Thinking the Unthinkable: Are We Losing the News?" It appears to be yet another hand-wringing event where journalists talk to journalists about journalism.

My Cure for Corrupt Journalists

Journalism in the USA is a totally unregulated profession. It always has been and it should always be so, even when it fails miserably to do its job.

The dirty little secret about journalism is that you don’t need any special training to call yourself a journalist. You don’t need a license, you don’t need to join a union, and heck, you don’t even need a job or income to call yourself a journalist.

Citizen journalists make news around the world!

Karla Santos of Asia Media Form filed a report on on July 20, 2010 on how citizen journalists in the Philippines herald "a growing form of public participation in this country of 94 million people."

A Call for Citizen Journalists in New Jersey

Citizen journalists in New Jersey have an unprecedented opportunity to report news about their towns, according to the editor of

"The website lists 14 communities where local news stories are published online and a few more are about to come online," said Editor Colleen Curry. "All of the editors actively solicit stories from citizen journalists."

Rescue Your Local Newspaper

Local newspapers are hurting. Though still the major source of news and information for most communities, many locally published newspapers are losing audience and ad revenue. This means they must cut staff – usually reporters – just to stay alive.

This provides an aggressive citizen journalist with a significant opportunity. Local papers, large and small, are actively soliciting the help of citizen journalists – people just like you – to help them cover a variety of news events.

President Obama's view of citizen journalism

Ron Ross

President Barack Obama told a meeting of students: "With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations – none of which I know how to work – information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. All of this is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy."

Citizen Journalist: Which of the “Four Informations” Are You Famous For?

When you write news, you’re supposed to provide your readers, viewers and listeners with useful and reliable information. Have you noticed that the information you get on television, in the newspapers and on websites is not always either useful or reliable? Some of it is biased, some incomplete and too much of it is just hot air.