Tagcitizen journalism

CJR profile of citizen journalist John Ciampa

Take special note of the fact that in addition to doing journalism, he provides services.

Ciampa says he got interested in blogging after reading a CNNMoney story about how blogging was “the next big thing.” He took it to heart, and started a blog about snowboarding. In the days before FCC disclosure regulations, he parlayed that site into a stay at Whistler Blackcomb for him and ten friends, with a heli-skiing outing thrown in, all in exchange for writing about the experience. He then became interested in search engine optimization after starting a fashion blog for his twelve-year-old niece. “FashionExpert.com” was taken, so he called it FashionExpertGirl.com. Now when you Google “fashion expert,” his niece’s blog and her critiques of Disney Channel actress’s red carpet outfits, as well as her take on New York Fashion Week looks, appears on the first page of results.

Three years ago, he started Bloggersschool.com (Tagline: You have a voice! We teach you how to use it), a Web resource full of podcasts and blogging tips on everything from how to use WordPress and keyword your site so it rises to the top of searches, to how businesses can take advantage of Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. Using the Bloggers School name, Ciampa and his business partner/fiancée, Carolina Frederico, consult with other businesses—including a Greek gyro shop in Astoria called BZ Grill and a florist in Ozone Park called A Little Shop of Flowers—on how to cultivate their Web presence, for a fee. They also hold a real-life class each month to teach mid-career types, business owners, and hobbyists how to create an online reputation that promotes their brand or expertise.

Columbia Journalism Review: The Man on the Street

(via Jay Rosen)

Mobile journalism production and news distribution in South Africa

Ethan Zuckerman writes:

The journalists behind the Lindaba Ziyafika project are largely unemployed adults in their early 20s. They’re producing content that’s ending up in the 140 year old newspaper that serves Grahamstown. The content is distributed first via online media – SMS, messages through systems like MXit (an incredibly clever hack that uses the cheaper data connectivity available on African cellphones to evade the huge expenses of SMS messages), Twitter and Facebook. Facebook is now the most used site in South Africa, and Twitter is the 9th. […]

What can we learn from the project? Making citizen media work in poor countries requires:
– heavy training and some cash incentives for participants
– mobile news first, print second
– embrace of mobile-friendly platforms

In the long run, revenue may come from time-sensitive advertising – coupons that expire quickly, requiring users to watch closely and act fact – 50% off bananas at the local market… now 49%, now 48%. They’re just starting to implement this and waiting to see what comes next.

Ethan Zuckerman: Lindaba Ziyafika – The News is Coming

What from that plan isn’t also applicable to the United States, with its failing old media business models, high youth unemployment, and high cell phone penetration?

Faster Times blurs the line between citizen and professional journalism

The Faster Times

The Faster Times, an online newspaper launched in July 2009 (tagline: “A new type of newspaper for a new type of world”), has introduced a new kind of investigative model for that new world. The initiative allows readers to vote on one of three topics they want to see taken up by a staff reporter, and then help shape the investigation itself. […]

After the readers select the topic, Apple aims for an open-source investigation unfettered by newsroom walls that, while it will not necessarily compel contributors to post their findings publicly if they’d rather e-mail the tips in privately, the fact that the investigation itself is ongoing will obviously not be top-secret. By making their reporting visible along the way, they hope to attract more reader-contributors.

Online Journalism Review: You Pick It, You Report It

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