Need for Citizen Journalism Training Reinforced
bumped by roxy - cuz this is what we do!
National Association of Citizen Journalists’Co-founder Ron Ross and I took our training and concepts about citizen journalism on the road in late April.
We were inspired when we heard from others who understood and applauded the importance and mission of the NACJ, which is to educate, motivate and support citizen journalists.
During a workshop in Berthoud, Colo., on April 24, we told attendees that citizen journalists must be responsible, they must identify themselves as citizen journalists, and they must abide by laws and a code of ethics.
We then discussed how to conduct an interview, including the importance of doing research and coming up with questions in advance of the interview. After that, we asked them to interview one another and write stories and headlines, which were then critiqued.
In talking with participants after and during the workshop, we were told repeatedly how important this type of training is for citizen journalists.
Among the comments we received were:
“A vital insight into what citizen journalism can and should be.”
“As newspapers disappear and reduce the number of reporters on the beat, the citizen journalist will fill an even more important niche.”
“I think any person writing online or adding content to a local newspaper should take this course. It is so important for citizen journalists to realize they have an obligation to tell the truth and follow the ethics and codes of journalism, even if they didn't go to journalism school.”
I believe citizen journalism is here to stay, so it’s nice to have participants in the process agree that proper training and education is essential to make it work.
The NACJ offers training for citizen journalists at www.nacj.us.