Recent \”I, Reporter\” Articles

Over the past week or so, Adam Glenn and I have posted several items to the blog for our new citizen journalism training project, I, Reporter. Many of these have attracted some thought-provoking reader comments.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most recent I, Reporter articles…

  • Notes from Tonight’s BBC Interview, June 27: “Just a few minutes ago, Adam Glenn and I were interviewed live on the BBC Radio 5 program Up All Night. It was brief (about 10 min) but fun. I was pleasantly surprised that they also included Jason Pontin, editor of MIT’s Technology Review, in this discussion. Here’s what we talked about, and some links that were mentioned…
  • Objectivity, Independence, and Transparency: Three-Legged Stool? June 27: “All journalism, but especially citizen journalism, faces ethical quandaries. Three of the thorniest issues in journalism ethics are independence, objectivity, and transparency. …There is general agreement that all three are noble goals for journalists. However, there is lively debate over whether any of these are fully achievable in the real world – and even more debate over what these terms actually mean. …Personally, I see all three goals as being complementary and mutually necessary for sound journalism, whether professional or not. It works like a three-legged stool. If any one leg is emphasized at the expense of another, the stool tumbles. (Yes, I have sat on enough bar stools to speak with authority on this matter…)”
  • Audience Literacy? June 26: “Forbes.com has an interesting, but somewhat pessimistic opinion piece on the business of citizen journalism by Sam Whitmore, who publishes his own blog as well. Whitmore worries not so much about citizen journalists themselves, but rather their audiences…”
  • Report: The MyTown Seminar, June 23: “This morning I attended a one-hour seminar offered by my local newspaper, the Boulder, CO Daily Camera, to explain its MyTown community news site and encourage public participation. I was pleasantly surprised that about 25 people attended at 9am on a Thursday morning – I think that actually indicates a fair amount of public interest. More about the session…”
  • There’s a Whole CitJ World Out There! “To many North Americans, citizen journalism (citJ) looks new. In fact, it’s been around for a long time — centuries, even. Furthermore, most of the best current citJ work is being created by and for people who don’t live in the US. Here’s what I mean…”
  • Objectivity …or Independence?, June 23: “My two cents on the critically important question of “objectivity.” It’s been tying journalists into knots for years. But as as I understand it, for most of journalism’s history in this country, it was a partisan craft that made no particular effort at objectivity (the same holds true to this day for much journalism around the world). Objectivity is a fairly recent construct, and a pretty artificial one at that, given the thoroughly subjective nature of the human experience. But, that doesn’t mean the idea hasn’t been extraordinarily useful…”
  • Who What When Where Why How? June 22: “Journalism is mainly a state of mind. Specifically, journalists are always asking questions – even just mentally. They walk through life with an attitude of deliberate yet natural curiousity. Here’s an example…”
  • Going by Gertrude, June 20: “In embarking us on this project together, Amy’s put her finger on a key point: ‘Good journalism mainly springs from asking good questions.’ And while I’m terminally sunny about most things, I’ve always turned to a famed deathbed for inspiration on that one. Gertrude Stein, in her last moment, asked companion Alice B. Toklas, ‘What is the answer?’ When Toklas remained silent, Stein added: ‘In that case, what is the question?’ That’s worth pondering for journalists and citizen journalists alike…