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article imageDigital Journal TV: Exposing the Power of Citizen Journalism

By David Silverberg     Dec 24, 2008 in Internet
Citizen media has impacted every corner of the world, as user-generated news has flourished in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. In this special Digital Journal TV episode, we look at how citizen journalism is shaping the future of news media.
This year saw a lot of change in the media landscape: newspaper ad revenue is plummeting, some companies are declaring bankruptcy and more online projects are grabbing a piece of the digital-ad revenue pie. Throughout 2008, a burgeoning trend has inspired a legion of individuals committed to under-reported stories. Citizen media allows everyday people to write about their communities, about issues that matter to them.
It's been a good year for citizen media. For instance, citizen journalists gave the world a look into the Mumbai attacks, while also probing into the politicians behind the Obama-McCain presidential race. Readers were also treated to new online initiatives, such as the U.S. site (allowing people to sponsor stories pitched by citizen journalists) to Al Jazeera's Arab-language citizen media site.
On, where citizen journalists are paid to report news, growth has been unprecedented: the site now boasts more than 10,000 people reporting from 140 different countries around the world.'s reporters and members also represent a unique demographic, ranging from 15-year-old reporters to men and women in their 80s.
When it comes to content, has been a busy news network, with more than 72,000 news reports published, almost 300,000 comments from readers and members, and more than 30,000 images and photos have been uploaded. also includes a "Vote It Up" button on the bottom of every article, blog and image that gives readers the power to decide what is newsworthy. The site automatically counts all the votes and the whole front page of shows readers what other people want to see rather than what news editors want to show. We've seen more than half a million votes on content, helping shape how the world consumes news.
Many mainstream media outlets are also joining the fray. Practically every major outlet has a citizen media channel in some form whether it's CNN or Canada's CTV or CityNews. Print publications also see potential in allowing their readers to contribute directly to the paper's editorial. Does this mean citizen journalism will continue to complement the major players in the press?
If you've ever wanted to learn more about citizen media's influence and its direction in the future, then this episode of Digital Journal TV is a must-see.
Check it out and let us know how citizen journalism has changed your life.
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