• From New New Media, Levinson
    • Bloggers are often referred to as "Citizen Journalists," because you don't have to be a professional to write, publish, or comment about news on a blog. You don't need to be a citizen of the US or even adult. Basically bloggers can literally be anyone that has access to the computer and internet.
      • For example, professor and blogger Paul Levinson notes in his book New New Media that he can post his opinions on politics although he is not a political scientist. Within an hour of saying that Obama would be the Democratic candidate of the presidency during the May 2008 primaries, thousands of people had read his post.
    • Paul Levinson also notes, "The adjective "citizen" is still insufficient to convey the scope of liberation that blogging- and all new media- has bestowed upon us."
      • This opening paragraph of Chapter 2 makes an interesting claim that while we think that "citizen journalism" means that the only requirement is to be a "citizen," citizen journalism really transcends that criteria. All one really needs is access to a computer, whatever age or race they may be, or whatever profession they may hold (or not hold). The phenomenon is that anyone can blog, whether it is a renowned professor at a university or someone who never even attended college.
    • 'Blogging takes the dissemination of news and opinion...by allowing "reporter's" - that is, people, everyone,- to file their stories instantly not with their newspapers but on their blogs and, therein, with the world at large. And because blogs are under the personal editorship of the writer, they can be about anything the writer pleases- unlike the newspaper or magazine. ... Blogging combines the best of both- the personal control of email and the long and wide reach of mass media" (Levinson 19).
  • As noted in Rettberg pg. 86, although bloggers are not usually considered journalists, blogging often intersects with journalism:
    • Bloggers can act as eyewitnesses to sudden or ongoing events and therefore provide firsthand accounts of these events
    • Bloggers can investigate and tell stories that mainstream journalists might overlook, somewhat acting as independent journalists
    • Bloggers can act as "gatewatchers" to the mainstream media by monitoring media outlets.
      • This is in contrast to the "gatekeeping" role that mainstream media has traditionally played in society
  • Citizen journalism can also be thought of in terms of the process of symbiosis. "Blogs need mainstream media, but the mainstream media also needs blog" (Rettberg 110)
  • Many bloggers do not think of themselves as journalists. A 2006 survey found that 65% of bloggers did not thing of their blogs as a form of journalism (Rettberg 87)
  • CNN has taken notice of the growing interest in everyday people to report their own eyewitness account and created iReport which is a user generated portion of the CNN news site that many people trust and turn to for information. Users can upload pictures, share their first hand accounts, upload videos, and get assignments from CNN and create their own story with their own unique opinion and viewpoint.
  • The New York Times website has also started using citizen bloggers as conveyors of everyday news and opinions. Through the highly trusted journalistic space of the New York Time, bloggers are able to get their posts out to an extremely large audience.
  • Rehema Ellis, NBC correspondent who spoke with the Fordham community in Flom Auditorium on April 29 warned of citizen journalism during her lecture. Ellis explained the danger of trusting just any person for information online and urged journalism students to be informed when researching and looking up news online. Ellis elaborated by saying that essentially any person can blog from one's home and not have any sources to back up one's facts. She stressed the importance of fact-checking if one is interested in blogging and becoming a 'citizen journalist'.
  • Citizen journalism is also known as public, participatory, democratic or street journalism.- In What is Participatory Journalism? , J. D. Lasica classifies media for citizen journalism into the following types:
    • 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, 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)


An article found on the website "OJR: The Online Journalism Review," which focuses on the future of digital journalism, talks about "The pros and pros and cons of 'citizen journalism.'

Rettberg further explains "Citizen Journalism" with help from the term Gatewatching
  • Gatewatching is a term "that plays upon the idea of gatekeeping in traditional media 'At its most basic', Bruns writes, 'gatekeeping simply refers to a regime of control over what content is allowed to emerge from the productions processes in print and broadcast media; the controllers (journalists, editors, owners) of these media, in other words, control the gates through which content is released to their audiences." (p.103)