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Principles of Community Journalism

Welcome to Principles of Citizen Journalism. In this special section, our goal is to detail the bedrock foundations of journalism to help citizen reporters master the fundamentals of the craft in a networked age. We’ve interviewed citizen media publishers and thought leaders in an effort to flesh out the core values and tenets of quality journalism at the grassroots level. We’re not saying that bloggers must follow these guidelines. We are saying that if you’re committed to practicing journalism online, these principles deserve your attention. We hope you’ll participate in this ongoing conversation.



Getting your facts right isn’t always so simple. Thought leaders in citizen media and traditional journalism offer their guidance in a slide show on best practices, interviews, a screencast on how to make corrections online, a tip sheet and a confession corner where journalists admit some gut-wrenching gaffes.



Before the wisdom of the crowd kicks in, thoroughness shows readers that you’ve done your homework and gone the extra mile. We offer offers insights from a fact-checker for the Atlantic magazine, a talk with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, a proposal for updating breaking news in a different way, and more.



Playing fair is a central precept of both citizen journalism and blogging. We show how to present a story or argument fairly, where to turn for diverse viewpoints, and how media bloggers think about the topic.



A core principle of the craft is simply this: Disclose, disclose, disclose. We hear from citizen journalists on the front lines, an essayist about anonymous bloggers, the creator of Rocketboomabout accepting a payment from a presidential candidate, and more.



What does it mean to be independent as a citizen journalist or blogger? We explore the topic with pioneers in the field, hear from a top official of OhmyNews, talk trust with Jay Rosen and Doc Searls, examine business reporting on the ethical edge, and more.


Citizen media interviews

We hit the bricks and conducted video and audio interviews with more than 20 thoughtful people about the issues addressed in this project — folks like Jimmy Wales, Jay Rosen, Mary Hodder, Ethan Zuckerman and many others.


Resources directory

Photos across top of page (from top to bottom) by Rob MilsomTom MaglieryElaine YeungStefan JanssonGeren W. Mortensen, Jr.John Cumisky

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