Virtual training for citizen journalists

Are you a citizen journalist? Do you regularly update your local blog with happenings in the community? Do you spend time covering assignments of local interest?

If so, YouTube’s Reporters’ Center may be a valuable resource for you.

The channel is aimed at being a source of information for citizen journalists. The channel brings together tools and tips from professionals and other citizen journalists.

Examples include videos such as “How to Capture Breaking News with Your Cell Phone,” “Newsgathering and Privacy” and “Tips for Video Journalists.”

There are videos about sourcing, production, technology, investigative reporting and more. It’s basically a primer on everything journalism related.

The currently featured video is CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric talking about what makes a good interview.

One of the criticism from media professionals about citizen journalists is a perceived lack of training. Often times citizen journalists don’t have the ethical training all journalists go through in journalism school.  There are also issues of bias and favoritism. (There aren’t my criticisms, just ones I’ve heard when discussing citizen journalism with colleagues.)

The YouTube channel isn’t a substitute for a journalism degree, but it does provide a nice toolkit for those who want to report the news in their communities.

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