Tag Archives: citizen journalism

How to become a journalist: act like one

Every time someone asks me how IĀ got into journalism, I usually trot out the same words of advice: write, submit, write, submit, write…you get the picture.

My point being that no matter what your qualifications or experience, if you write an article and the editor you submit it to likes what he or she reads, then you’re in.

Formal qualifications do matter in some lines of specialist reporting (ie having a science degree clearly helps when writing for New Scientist). But if you have a talent for writing must read copy, then you’re most of the way there.

Students I speak to tend to stuck on the ‘submit’ bit of my ‘write, submit’ mantra. Pre-2000, I always recommended emailing, posting or faxing (remember that?) content in to editors for consideration. Since 2000, I’ve added forum posting and blogging to the list.

The power of how contributing to blogs alone can boost your career prospects in journalism is emphasised by people like Cath Elliott, who was first ‘talent spotted’ on the Guardian’s Comment is Free portal as a commenter. According to the Guardian, her comments has such insight and thoughtfulness that she was invited to become a contributor.

Of course, some may argue that Cath isn’t a journalist but a blogger. But what is a journalist these days? Two things might sway this debate: a) the blog platform is owned by a major national newspaper and b) at any time, her content has the potential to make it into the print newspaper or ‘official’ Guardian news site. So – is Cath a journalist?

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Networked journalism – the viable face of citizen journalism

Citizen journalism websites can’t survive according to a post by journalism.co.uk’s John Ndege, the founder of start-up ScribbleSheet.

Instead, Networked Journalism sites which integrate users into their professional set up have more than a fighting chance. Why? Because they provide the collaborative appeal of CJ websites, while retaining the quality of professional publications. Read more about Networked Journalism at Buzzmachine.

Read John’s full post on journalism.co.uk

Business Week invests in citizen journalism and user engagement

Well, peel me like a beetroot and pickle me in brine – a publisher has woken up to the value of developing long term relationships with blog post commenters.
Backed up by a dedicated strategy and senior member of staff, prime commenters are to be cultivated and paid (yes, paid) to not only write articles, but also take part in wider news production. Hello user centred design!
I’m also excited aboout this content strategy because it has a good chance of taking off, thanks to the calibre of the commenters they’re looking to work with – namely high profile CEOs and directors. Users will actively seek out their content. B2B publishers should take note, as should consumer media owners: citizen journalism doesn’t begin and end with the Guardian’s Comment is Free.
Read more about Business Week’s citizen journalism content strategy [via paidContent]