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Citizen Journalists Share, Don’t Cover Stories

The Journalism that Matters DC session is now officially over. About 140 people attended the two-day session. Here are some ending reactions I wrote down from the people in attendance. More will be posted later at the official site: JTMDC07 071.jpg

One person said initially he didn’t believe independent organizations could change journalism. Then he watched the effect independent organization had on organized politics in this county. Now he sees the possibilities that independent organizations have for making change. (Witt aside: When I attended the Media Reform conference in Memphis in January, the energy was palpable and the reformers had moved beyond the talk stage, they were, by their work on the ground, changing media.)

Reporters can go from reporting about problems to reporting about how problems can be solved.

Citizen Journalism is too broad a term. It must be subdivided, for example, 1. Opinion 2. Crowdsourcing 3. Investigative outside of mainstream media.

Citizen journalists share the story, they don’t cover it. JTMDC07 045.jpg

We ignore internet policy to our own peril; we must engage in net neutrality issues.

The role of journalists must be conveners of conversation.

There is a general divide between educators and students. Educators see the Woodward, Bernstein model of speaking truth to power. Students see journalists who bring people together in conversation.

Three issues face journalism 1. The ad model is broken 2. Journalism itself is flawed; it has been rejected by audience. 3. The values themselves must change as we move from a one-to- many model to a many-to-many model.

To invest in a civically engaged public, we must invest in young people as leaders.

Reporters won’t go out and cover a story about, let’s say, generosity; the male dominated press sees it as too feminine. We need more feminine perspectives.

Ethnic media has to be better represented, we must acknowledge ethnic media.

See more JTM photos are Flickr.

We may not be able to save newspapers, but we can save journalism. JTMDC07 030.jpg

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