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Citizen Journalism Gets Its Own Definition

Jay Rosen took it upon himself to define Citizen Journalism. Here it is:

When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.

As you probably know Rosen was one of the founders of the Public Journalism movement. I just finished writing a book review of The Pursuit of Public Journalism: Theory, Practice, Criticism by Tanni Haas. The review will be published eventually in the International Journal of Press/Politics.

Haas writes that public journalism’s:

…founding scholarly and journalistic advocates — Rosen included — have arguably failed to clearly articulate public journalism as a journalistic philosophy in its own right.

So Jay, is this definition the first step in clearly articulating citizen journalism as a journalistic philosophy in its own right? It would be nice.

By the way as I pointed out in a comment at Rosen’s site: Type in the URL and see who owns it. Go ahead type it in now, I will see you back here in a couple of seconds.

Also in an earlier response to Jeff Jarvis, who was promoting “networked journalism” and wanting to kill off the phrase “citizen journalism,” I wrote:

I like the networked journalism concept, but to me the phrase networked journalism is a cop out, a phrase used to offend no one…

When we founded the Public Journalism Network, I did not want us to give up the name public journalism, even though, it was a hot button issue and had lots of baggage….

I also pushed for the former AEJMC Civic Journalism Interest Group to become the Civic and Citizen Journalism Interest Group.

If we remove the words citizen, public, civic from the equation, it will be too easy to forget that this is about public, civic, citizen participation. This is not just about helping news operations to get a free staff or even developing better coverage, it’s a way of getting an engaged public to help build a bigger, better and stronger democracy.

One Response to “Citizen Journalism Gets Its Own Definition”

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