As we are discussing this week, a lot of aspiring writers are discovering that the Internet is a good place to publish and be read. One way some are doing this is to participate is "citizen journalism," which includes (according to USC Annenberg):
- Audience participation (such as user comments attached to news stories, personal blogs, photos or video footage captured from personal mobile cameras, or local news written by residents of a community)
- Independent news and information Websites (Consumer Reports, the Drudge Report)
- Full-fledged participatory news sites (NowPublic, Third Report, OhmyNews, DigitalJournal.com, GroundReport)
- Collaborative and contributory media sites (Slashdot, Kuro5hin, Newsvine)
- Other kinds of "thin media." (mailing lists, email newsletters)
- Personal broadcasting sites (video broadcast sites such as KenRadio).
A good example of a Citizen Journalism website is DigitalJournal.com, where contributors are paid according to the number of hits received. Examiner.com is another great example - this is a global website which caters to local audiences. SourceWatch has a rather comprehensive listing of many of the currently-active citizen journalism websites.
About.com has good suggestions and resources for how to get involved in citizen journalism, here.
Also see: The pros and cons of 'citizen journalism'
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.