The Cyberbrains

Research and contemplation in new media

Taking CJ to the ‘hood’

What happens when citizen journalism collides with traditional journalism?

Bentley bookcaseLike any collision, you could expect a few injuries – at least damaged egos. But so far neither type of journalism has been fatal to the other. What is of concern, however, is that the bumper of the CJ Prius doesn’t mesh well with that of the Traditional News SUV.

Here at the Missouri School of Journalism, our citizen journalism efforts are narrowly focused on its relationship with traditional journalism. We are the world’s oldest journalism school and have served that profession for a century. My charter from Dean Mills was to find some way to keep trained journalists in the user-contributing future media picture.

Our first research planning meetings were marked by loud arguments over whether it was even possible, whether we would ruin journalism or whether it would make any difference at all. The first consensus was unexpected: Citizen journalism approached by a traditional organization must have a revenue stream.

The blogs, discussion boards and news groups that spawned citizen journalism had little profit motive. We quickly realized that the burden of paying a staff significantly changed a medium.

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April 24, 2008 Posted by | Clyde Bentley | 1 Comment