Tuesday 1 July 2008

Becoming a citizen journalist

Ever thought of becoming a journalist in your free time, well now you can with Instablogs!

Instablogs was brought to my notice by an email that arrived in my inbox asking me if I wanted to become a 'citizen journalist'. I have to say that the thought is quite attractive and this might be something to get students involved in on some level too.

I had a quick look at the site and it is interesting and looks like a credible news site. It splits the articles geographically by continent (good to find so many countries represented rather than just the US or Europe as is the case with so many sites) and also splits the news by topic, with the usual things like, entertainment, technology, sport, politics etc.

You have to register to actually write an article and in the email I recieved it did mention payment for articles, though the amount was very small, so I don't think this would be a motivating factor.

As I said, this could be quite a useful resource for students or for materials for your students, partly because it does cover such a broad geographical area, and it might well be interesting to compare some of the 'citzen' news with articles from more mainstream news sources like BBC or CNN.

It might also provide your students with some great motivation for writing too as they could possibly get their work published and people have been known to launch careers from such sites!

As for me, the main thing that puts me off writing for the site is that it doesn't have an education section. If it did well... I don't know.
  • What do you think?
  • Would you write for a site like this?
  • Is this site an attempt to empower people or just a cynical attempt to get cheap content?
  • Should citizens be journalists or should that be left to the 'professionals'?
I'd be very interested to hear your views, so please do post a comment if you have one.


Nik Peachey


Ravinder Makhaik said...

Being a professional journalist, I would not like to protect my domain by advocating that news should be just left to professional.

Technology, to the disadvantage of organizations, governments and the powerful has empowered the individual in a way that his lone voice, written word or pictures can contribute to altering the truth.

As a media man I rely heavily on reports of citizen journalists.

The field is evolving and Instablogs has provided a platform where one can gain a global viewership.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that I want to say right now is that Instablogs is not non-professional but is giving a platform to all those common citizens to express their views. Most of them are not professional writers or the journalists but have a keen interest in sharing their knowledge and viewpoint.
This concept is unique in its nature and is highly appreciable in my opinion.