Defining “citizen journalism”

I’m not a big fan of the term “citizen journalism”. As I’ve said, adopting the label “journalist” will inevitably annoy those who think they are the “real journalists”. And we’re all citizens anyway, even curmudgeonly journalists.

But I haven’t though of anything better. Neither has anyone else yet, so we’re stuck with it. We might as well agree on what it means.

As usual, Wikipedia provides some good background. But Jay Rosen recently repeated his Most Useful Definition of Citizen Journalism:

It’s mine, but it should be yours. Can we take the quote marks off now? Can we remove the “so-called” from in front?

When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.

There are other definitions, but they will have to be discussed in the comments.

I used quote-marks in my headline and first paragraph because I believe that’s how you denote the item of language you’re discussing. But from now on, I’ll use the term “citizen journalism” without quotes — except just then, because I was denoting again.

Does this definition work for you? Got a better name for it?

Which are the best Australian political blogs?

Since I was asked, where are the good Australian political blogs?

During Australia’s federal election in 2007, for me Possum’s Pollytics was invaluable for its analysis of opinion polls, as was Peter Brent’s Mumble. Larvatus Prodeo provided interesting commentary from a centre-left perspective. I didn’t get into any of the right-wing commentators, because once Howard’s End became inevitable they became more shrill, even less rational.

However the election overloaded me. I prefer to read essays and analysis with a longer timeframe, not the daily news focus on political mud-throwing.

What, for you, are the best Australian political blogs, and why?

[Update 10 January 2012: Minor edit to remove the identity of who asked the question.]

Bloggers: the biggest whingers since journalists

Crikey logo

I’m well pleased that my rant for Crikey about journalists elicited a witty response from Jonathan Este, the journos’ “union thug”. He’s kindly allowed me to republish it in full below. My comments afterwards.

He’d also like me to draw your attention to the MEAA’s own project, The Future of Journalism, done in conjunction with The Walkley Foundation.

Bloggers: the biggest whingers since journalists

Jonathan Este writes:

Your blogging correspondent, Stilgherrian, seemed like such a nice bloke at the Future of Media Summit in Sydney on Tuesday. On the way from the venue to the pub afterwards we shared a few yarns and war stories and I bought him a beer.

He could have been a real journalist.

But his piece in yesterday’s Crikey [local copy] betrayed his outsider status in his very first par:

What is the future of journalism? To judge by the discussion at this week’s Future of Media Summit… it’s endless bl–dy whingeing.

Whingeing, old son, is the past, the present and the future of journalism, as you’d know if you’d spent much time in the newsroom. It’s what we do. Journalists love whingeing and we’re pretty damn good at it.

Continue reading “Bloggers: the biggest whingers since journalists”