By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Media Nation on citizen journalism

Christian Avard of iBrattleboro and the Deerfield Valley News interviewed me at the New England Press Association convention last week. The topic: the role of citizen journalism in the changing news-media landscape.

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  1. NewsHound

    Citizen journalism is the heart and soul of news reporting. That isn’t to say that I don’t expect and appreciate well written, concise reporting that delves into issues when reading The Boston Globe, for example. Dan, you grew up in the shadow of the Brockton Enterprise and the Middleboro Gazette and many of these people were not professional journalists. Maybe just before your time when The Old Codger, Lorenzo Wood, was publisher and editor and Clint Clark the star reporter and photographer, and the paper had reports from numerous correspondents who wrote about such things as card parties, birthdays, illnesses people had in the neighborhood, reports on the herring run – that was citizen journalism, too. Darn good citizen journalism. One of the more successful newspapers in the USA is The Budget published from Sugarcreek, Ohio, filled with citizen journalism, and almost every column starts off with how the weather has been and who has been sick in places like Charm, Ohio or Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania.It’s not that hard to be successful in the newspaper business. Much of it requires that it be produced for the readers and advertisers. Overcharging for advertising is an easy, silent and successful way to commit suicide in this business, along with being to darn important to publish the good news about every-day simple happenings rather than go overboard for the redundant and most boring crime news, as just one of many examples.Clint Clark was a loyal, dedicated reporter-writer-photographer and his enthusiasm came from choosing that as his life’s work instead of being a truck driver rather than following through with a degree in journalism, and that isn’t meant in the least to diminish your devotion to teaching young people the craft.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    NewsHound: With all due respect, Lorenzo Wood and Clint Clark were professional journalists, making a full-time living from putting out a weekly paper. The dilemma we’re all trying to figure out is how future Woods and Clarks can making a living, whether they went to j-school or not.

  3. NewsHound

    Thanks, Dan. Your point is well taken.

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