“From Pamphlet to Blog” is a wonderful, short video about citizen journalism. It provides a good overview of what citizen journalism is, what potentials it has, and its possible future. Great use of interviews in this piece. I listened to a related NPR piece this week (but I can’t readily find the link) that mentioned the citizen-journalism website Dragonfire. This got me thinking a bit about citizen journalism. A few of my thoughts were and are:

  1. Schools of differerent types (not just journalism schools) need to be teaching students how to be citizen journalists.
  2. Community education groups should teach adults how to be citizen journalists.
  3. Individuals and groups in communities should setup websites like h2otown to report local news and galvanize support and awareness for local issues that matter to residents.
  4. I should teach a course at a local college on citizen journalism, esp as it includes blogging and podcasting. This would be a lot of fun!
  5. Citizen journalism is exciting because not only does it encourage the development of authentic literacy skills, but it also involves empowering people for participation in the democratic process in ways they might not have experienced previously. Like the video “From Pamphlet to Blog” suggests, this type of speaking out has a rich history in the US going back to Thomas Paine. We should want and celebrate the participation of citizens in the policymaking process! Just like I think it was great when many students participated in the immigration protests in the US several months ago (many teachers and administrators apparently had different views) it is exciting to think about helping young people (and older folks I suppose) get empowered to share their voices and make a difference in their communities and in our world.

Thanks to Tama for the link to the video!

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