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As you may already know, we (City2) are very interested in community empowerment, citizen media, and improving the ways by which folks experience their town. So, in addition to giving the occasional 'City2 Update', we thought it would be a good idea to do an ongoing series about 'Citizen Journalism' for our fellow Santa Barbarans (and beyond) who might not be very familiar with the term. You can find previous posts related to this subject here & here.
So what is Citizen Journalism? And what does it mean for Santa Barbara?
This week, we're going to be briefly discussing two definitions of 'what citizen journalism is' via YouTube. First, a brief video from Jay Rosen. We've been following Jay Rosen (writer, major citizen journalism advocate, and professor at NYU) on Twitter recently. He had a recent tweet that pointed to a post from his blog with a good discussion of the subject (especially in the comment section), as well as this video (that is less discussion, and more answer).
If Jay seems a little sharp, I'm guessing that it is because of a vigorous (and sometimes unfair) debate that has been orbiting the subject for some time. Jay has pointed out (rightly) that there are some institutions that are attempting to 'smear' citizen journalism as being somehow 'second rate' or 'out to get traditional journalism'. So his intensity is understandable.
I showed Jay's definition video to a few friends of mine who are not yet familiar with the term, and they were a little intimidated by his presentation. So I went on the hunt for another definition and found this piece from Cambridge Community Television:
While Jay's video very concise, this video (also embedded above) provides historical context, and inspires curiosity about what citizen journalism is, and what it could become. It even gives several emotional reference points to help folks - who might be new to the idea - something to grab onto, and identify with. The video is actually an edited version of a longer (15 minute) piece that I highly recommend. It gets right at the heart of why City2 came into being in the first place.
Naturally, these are just two examples, (that are arguably directed at different audiences, though equally findable to anyone searching YouTube for an explanation). So fellow Santa Barbarans.. what do you think? Feel free to do some digging for yourself. Let us know what you find, or share your own thoughts on the subject.