Citizen journalism is transforming into a new kind of reporting called hyperlocal journalism.
This kind of journalism gets everyday community members involved with the news. We Media‘s 2003 report, How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information, says citizen journalism is:
“The act of a citizen, or group of citizens, playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information.”
A new adaptation of this is called hyperlocal journalism. According to About.com, it is a very specific form of citizen journalism, focusing strictly on community based stories and neighborhood news.
Wisconsin is no exception to this trend. Lew Friedland, Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW Madison, is recognized for his involvement with citizen and hyperlocal journalism in Madison.
Madison Magazine recently recognized Friedland as one of the “32 People You Should Know” for his work with the Madison Commons Project. This website is a community based news source and focuses on citizens reporting on their own part of the city.
Through workshops and journalism “boot camps”, the Madison Commons Project found success in training a number of community members to contribute.
In addition to this, Friedland’s book, “Public Journalism Past and Future”, which discusses the progress of citizen journalism, is a good tool for anyone interested in this kind of reporting. Other important tools include websites like YouTube, Twitter, Zanby, and Cover it Live.
Here is a short video to help explain how anyone can get started in this field: