Citizen journalism refers to any type of news gathering and reporting -- writing and publishing articles about a newsworthy topic, or posting photographs or video of a newsworthy event -- that is done by members of the general public rather than the professional news agencies commonly referred to as "mainstream media." Citizen journalism has been in existence at least since Thomas Paine wrote self-published pamphlets like Common Sense that stoked the fires of independence in 1776 [source: Glaser]. But any conversation about citizen journalism in the modern age is mostly a conversation about the transformative effect of the Internet on the democratization of information.
Before the Internet, only professional journalists had access to the technology and organizational infrastructure to publish their work to a large audience. If the average citizen wanted to contribute to the news cycle, he or she could write a letter to the editor or circulate a homemade newspaper or "zine" through the mail. But today, armed with a PC and a high-speed Internet connection, absolutely anyone can share newsworthy information and opinions with a worldwide audience.
New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen offers this definition of citizen journalism: "When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that's citizen journalism [source: Rosen]." Thanks to technological innovations, these "press tools" now include desktop publishing software, digital cameras and video camcorders, and blogging software and social media Web sites for publishing material online.
Amateur journalists have been responsible for a number of notable "scoops" in the past decade. In 2004, a team of conservative bloggers exposed fraudulent documents used in a "60 Minutes" story about President George W. Bush's military service. The controversy, known as Rathergate, led to the firing of several CBS employees and tarnished the reputation of respected journalist Dan Rather, who left the network in 2006. Photos and videos shot by eyewitnesses during the the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, 2005 London Tube bombings and the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings also provided vivid imagery that brought those stories home [source: Mediabistro].
The rise of citizen journalism has been controversial, because it raises the question: what does it mean to be a "professional" journalist if everyone is a journalist? Critics of citizen journalism argue that real journalists, professional or amateur, adhere to certain standards like fact checking, naming sources, searching out opinions on both sides of an issue and avoiding libelous statements [source: Hogg]. You don't need to have a degree in journalism or carry press credentials to practice these principles, but publishing a personal opinion about a politician or posting a grainy cell phone video of a celebrity does not necessarily make you a journalist.
Interestingly, in the wake of mass budget cuts to U.S. newspapers, largely due to the rise of the Internet as a communications tool, mainstream media outlets have quickly (and somewhat ironically) moved to incorporate elements of citizen journalism into their news programs and publications. Cable news networks solicit viewer photos and videos of breaking news stories. Newspaper reporters write blogs and update Twitter accounts, inviting reader interaction and participation. After all, if the local paper doesn't have the staff to cover City Hall, then bloggers will step in to publicize issues that matter to local readers [source: Stverak].
November 2020 UPDATE: The Jefferson County, WA page has now been marked as a 'fan page' by Facebook, indicating it is NOT an official county page.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, WA - There seems to be growing controversy over the unofficial Jefferson County, WA Facebook page which appears to be run by Clallam County resident Joe D'Amico and former PT Leader contributor Patrick Sullivan.
With a plethora of low 1-star reviews, the Jefferson County, WA Facebook page appears to be more about promoting the agenda of Mr. D'Amico (his proposed gun range in Quilcene, his discontent for County Sheriff Dave Stanko, etc.) and less about promoting that of Jefferson County or its citizens.
Recent and previous reviews on the page highlight just what the community thinks...
This page is NOT an official page for Jefferson County, Washington. It was created by a man who is a disgrace to our county, Joe D'Amico. Joe doesn't even live in Jeffrson County. He and his friend Patrick Sullivan administer this page. Don't be fooled into thinking this page has anything to do with the county administration.
“This page's byline is "Jefferson County Washington is manage [sic] by the citizens of Jefferson County Washington" but it is, in fact, managed by one particular resident and his business interests. This page is fraudulent, has no relationship to the government of Jefferson County, is not reflective of the views of the other residents of Jefferson County, and is a giant conflict of interest for Joe D'Amico and his private security company. He should turn the page over to Jefferson County.”
“Don't spread slanted news & views. Don't claim to be an official mouthpiece for the county.”
Not an official page. Whoever is running this should turn it over to the county officials
by Zach Royer | firstname.lastname@example.org
Three local businesses from Jefferson County have made it as semi-finalists in this year's $20,000 edg3 FUND competition offered by Kitsap Bank.
Fifteen small businesses from around the state made it to the semi-finals this year but just five will advance as finalists and compete for $20,000 at the edg3 FUND Live Event on November 15th!
Voting ends on September 28, 2018 - so be sure to cast your vote now.
Kayak Brinnon specializes in biologist guided kayak tours of the Hood Canal. Environmental education is their emphasis. In addition to tours they rent kayaks and SUPs and teach people how to shuck oysters and catch crab. They feel that educating families about the wildlife of the Puget Sound is important to the future of its health. Furthermore, harvesting one's own food gives people an appreciation for the environment from which it came.
With EDG3 funding, Kayak Brinnon plans to expand their services to include guided overnight camping trips, high bank waterfront delivery, and have the ability for on-water and secluded area rescues.
Kodama Farm is a small, permaculture-inspired farm started in 2016 by a trio of farmers in their mid-twenties. They grow over 300 varieties of vegetables, fruit (including citrus), and herbs that supply their personalized Full-Diet CSA and the Port Gamble Market.
Their vision is to create a welcoming destination and eventually start a farm-to-table restaurant at Kodama, all while developing and maintaining a healthy, vibrant ecosystem.
With conventional agriculture being one of the leading contributors to climate change, and the average age of farmers nearing 60, the need for sustainable farms, led by young farmers, is more urgent than ever.
To seek out the world's most enchanting, rare and extraordinary Theobroma Cacao. To reverently and gently create this, "Food of the Gods". To respectfully present it to you in its purest form possible.
The Aztecs believed this remarkable and precious gift of cacao was brought to earth on the beam of the morning star. With thoughtful attention and practices, starting with genetics and farming through the long journey to become chocolate, The Cocoa Forge returns cacao to its rightful place of honor and appreciation.
Only by awakening our curiosity and awareness of these fine-flavored varietals will they be preserved.
PORT HADLOCK - Bayside Housing Services, a temporary housing program that provides short-term housing to those in need, recently completed their first successful fundraising drive on October 2nd. $65,000 was raised all together; $35,000 being raised by donation plus a $30,000 match pool.
After sitting empty for years, the Old Alcohol Plant was a great choice to be used for temporary housing as well as a community gathering place.
BHS rents one floor of the historic building to be used for this transitional housing model. The model has been used in other areas of the country and has worked well giving people the opportunity to transition out of homelessness and into permanent housing. Bayside’s mission is to provide safe, temporary supportive housing so people in need can secure permanent housing.
Guests of the program sign agreements of 28 days and are able to renew with program director approval. Priorities are given to veterans, seniors, and low income or low wage earners in Jefferson County.
The non-profit accepts donations of time, money, and supplies. You can visit them on the web at www.baysidehousing.org for more information.
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The Tri-Area Times is a local independent news source for Port Hadlock, Chimacum, Irondale & surrounding communities.
Tel: (360) 328-1217
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