Citizen-reporters can contribute to the production of information with documents, statistics, images, audio and video. For example, they can be involved in the news chain reporting facts, with surveys and interviews. They have a kit available on the Internet.
1.1 Reading / Writing
Information is available on the Internet, in daily newspapers, weeklies and other periodicals. Moreover, citizen reporters can use search engines to find individual articles and posts, or build their own personal journal through an RSS feed aggregator. Document archives are online libraries containing essays, short stories, reports, surveys, manuals, ebooks and other texts.
1.1.1 daily press reviews
- press releases of newspapers and periodicals identify articles published in the national press. Here are, for example, some of the institutional web sites. The MinistryInternal Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Defence
- Italian and foreign newspapers on the Internet.
Kidon shows a list of digital editions of national newspapers and foreign newspapers.
1.1.2 Search Engines
- search engines for news: specialize in news published in Italian: Google News, Yahoo Notizie.
- search engines for blogs explore the posts written by bloggers in Italy: Blogbabel, Google Blog Search.
1.1.3 Personalised News
- aggregators of rss feeds (rss reader). They enable the construction of tailor-made newspapers that receive automatic updates from news sites and blogs. The first step, therefore, is access an rss reader, for example, Google reader or Bloglines. Then one finds the rss links, usually marked by an icon with the words "RSS" or "feed" on the pages of newspapers and blogs.
- Applications for mobile and tablet computers: these are platforms that collate information sources such as newspapers, blogs and social networks. Flipboard , Pulse.
1.1.4 Document Archives
- they contain essays, stories, reports, surveys, manuals, ebooks and other documents which are shared with different levels of privacy and user licenses. They allow members to publish their works on the Internet.
Scribd, Issuu. For restricted sharing, that is also suitable for images and other files, Dropbox.
Other writing aids for citizen reporters include:
- Tools for writing text, making calculations and creating presentations (slides).
Google Docs, Zoho. Or download Open Office software.
- blogs: facilitating daily updates, with pictures and video
wordpress, blogspot, tumblr.
- wiki: to enable collaboration between people to build up working group wikispaces
- Web sites: anyone can open his own space on the Internet for publication. One must register a name for the website .
Aruba, Google Sites
-Archives including movies and pictures shared online by others:
Video: Youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Blip.tv, Seesmic
images: Flickr, Demotix
- WebTV. Broadcasters that broadcast live over the Internet or publish their videos online
in Italy: Rai.tv. Mediaset, La7. As well, in Italy there is a microwebtv network: see the Altratv list
abroad: you can watch live broadcasts of international broadcasters. Livestation, wwitv
Recording. Camcorders, cameras, cell phones and tablets enable the production of images and videos in the process of entering information.
- live broadcast (streaming) Qik, Justintv, Ustream, Mogulus
- editing: Stroome, Jaycut
- editing online (editing): Picnik, Splashup, Photoshop. or Gimp, an open source software to download:
- Image gallery: Animoto , Flickr
1.3 Listening /Recording.
Data bulletin boards collate news, radio reports and sounds and are a source of information for citizen journalists.
-sound archives: collect podcasts, music, investigations by journalists, news.
Internet Archive, YouTube
- search Engines for audio helping to find audio files on the Internet
- Webradio. Radio stations that broadcast live over the Internet or have an archive of their programs.
Radiorai. A list of news broadcasts in Italian: Audiocast
Cell phones, tablet and mp3 players are tools for gathering evidence and sound. Some software lets you edit audio files.
- Live recording platforms.
Soundcloud, Audioboo for iPhone and Android
- Editing sound files:
Audacity: is a software package that can be installed
- Internet telephony: software and headset with microphone to talk over the Internet:
1.4 Viewing information
The citizen journalism toolbox includes tools for organizing text and figures. Maps facilitate the representation of spatial data and sort the events according to a timeline history. The subject clouds (tag clouds) show the keywords and their frequency in a document. The intuitive diagrams simplify calculations. Some platforms enable advanced management of datasets.
Maps: Google maps,
Tag cloud: Wordle
Visualization of datasets: Google Public Data , ManyEyes
1.5 Social networks for citizen journalists
- Twitter is a microblog: members report events, reviews and links in messages that are shorter than a text message. Aggregators simplify the search for information on Twitter and other social networks. For example, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck
- Facebook the largest social network in the world . In Italy it has 18 million active users. It brings together groups of citizens. The major newspapers have their own page on the online social network.
- Storify News aggregator through social media.
- Zamzar File converter.
Universities and non-profit organizations are engaged in the development of citizen journalism. They are promoting information ethics and the adoption of innovative publishing platforms, enabling citizen journalists to work with professional reporters and supporting investigations and reports. Here is a brief list.
Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). Specializing in investigative journalism reports, it was established in 1977 in Berkeley by three journalists. In cooperation with leading newspapers in the United States. It recently launched a non-profit organization for citizen journalism called California Watch.
Center for Public Integrity (CPI). Established in Washington, it is committed to supporting projects of national and international newspapers. Started operations in 1999. Chaired by the 'International consortium of investigative journalism." It is aimed primarily at professional reporters.
Global Voices. It is an open platform for bloggers launched by the "Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, but became an independent non-profit organization. It has launched projects to encourage participation online (Rising voices) and transparency on the web (Transparency). It was founded in 2005 by two researchers from the Berkman Center, Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon.
J-Lab. Supports projects for participatory journalism on the Internet. It is involved in the development of community news and training of citizens, through the publication of manuals. It helped launch platforms for local media. It is run by the School of Communications at American University in Washington.
Knight Digital Media Center. It specializes in training for the production of information on the Internet. Started operations in 2006 in two universities, the USC Annenberg and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. It is funded by the Knight Foundation.
Nieman Foundation. Follows the evolution of online journalism through analysis published in a blog, Nieman Lab, and identifies investigative reports via Watchdog. It has a long tradition at Harvard University, which began after a donation of one million dollars during the Great Depression.
Pascal Decroos Fund. Promotes investigative journalism and cross-media narrative. In 2008 it launched the European journalism fund: supporting projects for information on European issues. It is a non-profit organization based in Zellik, Belgium.
Poynter Institute for Media Studies. It has a popular online magazine, Poynter which describes the frontiers of online journalism. It hosts articles by Jim Romenesko, a pioneer of the reporters on the Internet. In 2005 it launched the University News. It was founded in 1975 by Nelson Poynter, publisher of a local newspaper in Florida, the St. Petersburg Times. www.poynter.org
ProPublica. It is a non-profit organization: the motto is "Journalism in the public interest" and it publishes investigative features. Launched in 2009 in New York, with managing editor Paul Steiger. It is currently implementing programs for the development of platforms for online information.
Citizen journalism is citizens getting involved in the production of information enabled by the spread of the Internet and collaboration between people. In recent years, it has found applications in some areas. Neighborhoods, cities and regions are fertile ground for blogs and news sites organized in harmony with the local area: hyper-local journalism is supported by contributions from the inhabitants of an area. The public will receive information about events taking place in different nations of the world that are barely visible through global platforms of bloggers, as shown in the network of Global Voices. Citizens can also help with recommendations, figures, pictures, video: build databases that enrich the supply chain of news. Participatory journalism has ancient roots, but expanding access to the Internet has broadened the participation in the last decade, even in developing countries. Dan Gillmor, Director of the Center for Citizen Media, a journalist and blogger, was among the first to describe the emergence of information generated by citizens in his 2004 essay “We the media”.