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Monday, January 30, 2006

Rich Skrenta On Citizen Journalism

Topix.net’s Rich Skrenta writes on the right approach towards citizen journalism. As he sees it, the key to understanding what is working in "Citizen Journalism" is that they're first-person accounts. Journalists are professional observers and interpreters; they watch, and report back to the wider audience. But just like stockbrokers and travel agents, the Internet is again cutting out the intermediary.
The best examples of CJ, such as Jeremy Hermanns reporting on a cabin depressurization on Alaska Airlines or things similar to the ohmy news phenomenon.

Some points that he makes are excellent read : "The quality of journalistic output today is, for the most part really really good. In fact it's too good. The product costs a huge amount to bring to market, and what the Internet enables is a an alternative product built for zero, and providing a different value proposition. Citizen journalism is going to be more Citizens and less Journalism. "
and "Creating a local news page for every town in the US provided us with a set of local audiences for thousands of towns... towns where people who use AOL and have never heard of Web 2.0 live. These people want to tell their stories too. You don't need to know what a blog is to want to tell your story online, and you don't need a journalist to tell you how either, it turns out
." Good read.

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