The Business of Supporting Citizen Journalism
Does a new form of journalism require a new business model? That's the question many people experimenting with the notion of "citizen journalism" are asking these days.
Is "citJ" (as I'll abbreviate it through this package of articles)
similar enough to traditional we-tell-you journalism that we can simply
borrow old models of advertising and sponsorship? Or are there new
approaches that are appropriate to a participatory model of publishing
that should be tried?
Let's try to answer those questions. For this package of articles,
I'm going to break down the discussion into the principal types of
citizen journalism as currently seen on the Internet. Just click on the
articles below to dive in to an exploration of this newest form of
- Traditional Media Adopts CitJ: Some news organizations are overcoming fears and opening up to citizen journalism.
- CitJ's National Networks: Will They Bloom?: Entrepreneurs and media companies eye the opportunities in aggregating local sites.
- Independent CitJ: Web sites and Networks: Citizen-media practitioners can do it on their own.
- It's Not About the Money: CitJ is a valuable community service -- and for some people, it's too important to turn it into a business.
- CitJ Start-ups' Models: Entrepreneurs try to figure out the business; learn from them.
- Ideas From CitJ Gurus: Get creative to succeed with citizen media. Advice from Amy Gahran and Chris Willis.
A personal note: I wrote this package of stories before I
left The Poynter Institute at the beginning of March. I left to devote
my full time to a citizen-media-based startup company, the Enthusiast Group,
which applies the concept that people are perfectly capable of telling
their own stories and sharing them with the world to adventure and
participant sports. EG is building a network of Web sites, each
covering a different sport; the debut site is about mountain biking.
When we go public and as the network evolves, you'll see some of the
things I talk about in this package deployed.