Reflections, Reviews and Revisions

Ron Ross

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Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer If you’re seeking wealth and fame, journalism might not be your best choice. No one enters the field to get rich, and only a few ever become famous. An entry-level journalist will barely earn enough to survive if a job is even available in today’s shrinking journalism job market. Even experienced beat reporters don’t live in the rich part of town. The only people receiving truly handsome wages in the news media today are celebrity journalists seen on network and cable television news stations. Fame is also elusive for most journalists. Only a few become as renowned as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters from The Washington Post who broke the story of the Watergate break-ins in the 1970s. Their front-page articles were responsible for forcing President Richard Nixon to resign. But what other famous journalists can you name? Th... (more)

What Makes a Good Citizen Journalist?

Lots of folks ask us, "What makes a good citizen journalist?"   The short answer is passion. But a good a good citizen journalist needs more than just passion. Six proficiencies that a good citizen journalist needs to develop are: Curiosity. Situational awareness. If you have this quality, it means that at all times you are aware of what is happening around you. Lots of people don’t pay any attention to anything other than what is going on in their tiny world; they can sit through a train wreck or sleep through an earthquake and not know it ever happened. On the other hand, good... (more)

Why Be a Citizen Journalist?

“What are you going to do when you grow up?” you ask your kids. Most children don’t have a clue, so they answer with “fireman,” “policeman,” “doctor” or other such highly visible and seemingly exciting occupation.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard a child answer, “Journalist! I want to be a journalist!” The idea to be a journalist usually comes a little later as they experience their world and see the vast variety of career choices they actually have. But why be a journalist? Here are four possible motives for being a journalist, and more particularly, a citizen journalist. Motive #1... (more)

The First Martyr for Freedom of the Press

In 1826 Elijah Parish Lovejoy graduated from what is now Colby College Waterville Maine. He graduated with honors at the top of his class. After graduation he moved to St. Louis, Missouri and became the editor of an anti-Jacksonian newspaper and taught in a school. A few years later, influenced by the Revivalist Movement, he left St. Louis and went on to Princeton University to study theology. Back then Princeton was a very conservative theological institution established specifically for the training of Christian ministers. Upon graduation, he was ordained a Presbyterian ministe... (more)

Citizen Journalists Are Back!

New Media on Ulitzer Newspapers were published from the 1500s to the 1900s, not by professional journalists but by citizen journalists. Now, with the worldwide movement of citizen journalism, THE CITIZENS ARE BACK! The idea of citizens writing the news is not a new one. In fact, it is an idea that is as old as the newspaper itself. There were no professional journalists around 50 BC when Julius Caesar, serving as the First Counsel of Rome, ordered scribes to publish the Acta Diurna, a daily report of governmental activities. There were no professional journalists in the early 1400s... (more)