Citizen Journalist Initiative
The Citizen Journalist Initiative is tool for all citizens who want to express their opinions about the issues they find interesting or worth to be discussed in public.
The general aim of this tool is to present a good example of an initiative that can be launched everywhere. Citizen journalism is becoming more and more important part of journalism, in general since the way people receive news and share information is changing. However, traditional media still prevail on the Balkans, as most of the people prefer getting news from news agencies and TV. Thus, it's important that we recognize initiatives like this as positive practices and introduce them in our local communities.
This Citizen journalism initiative can be adapted into an initiative that can be used in projects that include youngsters or people from several different countries or regions to promote participation and share information on a given topic.
For instance, organizations could think of this approach when they want to work on awareness raising. At the same time, this will be a significant tool for the enthusiasts who want to write about the issues that bother them, thus improve their skills and be part of the change.
The tool is not an example of a specific methodology. It's a new approach that could be a good method for promotion of citizen participation, but also in awareness raising campaigns. In addition, this tool is easy be implemented online and via social media.
To create and implement a Citizen Journalist initiative, the following steps are suggested:
- Organizing training for selected citizen journalist in order to provide them with the knowledge and skills that they will later use to produce content;
- Creating an online platform where the content of the citizen journalists would be published;
- Creating a social media campaign for promotion of the content of the citizen journalists;
- Finally, you can summarize the shared information in one publication on the given topic.
- Online platform for the content
- Social media accounts for promotion
An initiative like this can prove useful for awareness raising and promoting a certain purpose of a given project. It also encourages citizen participation and enables diverse people to be included in the same initiative, even people with disabilities and people living in undeveloped areas.
The tool can be really powerful. In the Citizen Journalist Initiative, more than 40 citizen journalist from all around the world are included. Some of their contributions include important interviews with influential people, such as the youngest reporter in the world and the Secretary general of Amnesty International.
On the other side, a limit of the tool can be the lack of monitoring. Thus, if the citizen journalists are given complete freedom to write about and post on anything, some of them might touch upon a sensitive thematic or lack objectivity in their writing. So, a certain level of monitoring can be a solution.
Some may consider an adapted version, one in which the citizen journalists would be engaged for a certain period and then a training for professional writing and reporting would be a reward for the most engaged participants.
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