Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Citizen Columnists

Many bloggers have been called and some even like to banty about the term "citizen journalism" or "citizen journalists."

I don't think that's an accurate, or best term to describe it. (Technically, maybe, but I'll get to that later.)

Actually, bloggers are "citizen columnists." Right?

Blogs are mostly opinions and comments on news. Not really primary news. Isn't that what columnists do? Comment? Opine? Speculate?

The other main classification of how bloggers blog is by providing links to news media and other blogs. (In keeping with the journalism jargon, let's call these "calendar of events" blogs.)

Granted, since columnists are a subset of journalists, technically, bloggers can be called citizen journalists. But, "citizen columnists" is more accurate. For a citizen journalist, you'd expect some news. Something that you can't really find elsewhere, correct?

NOTE: I've never heard the term before, and initially thought it was my own brainstorm. But, I'm wrong. Regardless who coined the phrase, it still it more accurate than citizen journalists.

The only exception to the rule is when bloggers post interviews. I've done it (okay, just once). POP! PR's Jeremy Pepper has done it often. Even Microsoft's Robert Scoble has done it. And, I know other bloggers have, too.

Really, other than these interviews, the only true citizen journalism site I know of is OhMyNews.com.

Am I dead on? Or, am I slicing hairs and being picky?


Technorati tags: Citizen Journalism, OhMyNews, POP! PR, Scoble

1 comment:

Robert said...

There are two examples that contain some citizen journalism:

NowPublic.com and Ourmedia

Still, all too often, those sites are just re-posting news from traditional news sources.

The other examples that would likely best fit, but don't get a lot of press, are those local papers that are starting to offer local bloggers on their sites.