A California daily has formed "The Oakland Press Institute for Citizen Journalism," in response to the "changing face" of the industry, according to an editor.
The Oakland Press is looking to its readers to help "tell stories better, quicker and more completely," according to executive editor Glenn Gilbert, by offering instruction in news writing, videography, basics of reporting for news and sports, and still photography.
Instances of citizen journalism are increasing throughout the industry and around the world, from small local news additions to large-scale updates on such instances as the Mumbai terror attacks, which used social media, fueled by citizen journalists, to help cover the events.
The course, instructed by Press staff, is open to anyone, "from high school students to retirees," and upon completing the course participants will be considered for freelance positions.
Citizen journalism is described by New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen as "when the people, formerly known as the audience, employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another."
It is a way by which the reader can participate in the journalism process, adding to stories with photographs or videos, or first-hand accounts.
In today's "digital age," Gilbert writes, photos and video can come from anyone with a cell phone. The paper is trying to "tap into this movement" for its website, www.theoaklandpress.com, adding the work of non-professionals for local news and sports coverage.
Citizen journalists lack the training of professionals, and use "the tools of modern technology and global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media."
Oakland Press courses will begin at the end of December and continue "in response to interest."
Source: Oakland Press