Tagcitizen journalism

Some Impressions: Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum


Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, Panel about Citizen Journalism

Just coming back from Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum (GMF) – and on my way to Barcamp Cologne 3 – I’m in a little cafe in the middle of nowhere (sorry dotdean), where Cappuccino still tastes like early 90s cappuccino, and where laptop dwellers in cafes are still greeted with curious stares. It is, to be short, the opposite of GMF – a truly global, international, intercultural event, and a remarkable one at that.

Why the praise? It’s the people of course. I can hardly remember another conference where so many folks working on such courageous projects get together not to have themselves celebrated (like we occasionally do at all those web conferences), but to talk, on eye level, with each other, exchange ideas and experiences, and seemed to be humbled by each other’s presence. When I was sitting on the panel with four bloggers, activists and citizen journalists in the old German parliamentary buildings (full disclosure: I was invited as moderator by Deutsche Welle, paid gig), I couldn’t help but feeling awe in the face of what these folks pull off in their day-to-day lives. Who was on the panel? Nancy Watzman, investigative journalist, consultant to the Sunlight Foundation, and author of Political Party Time; Israel Yoroba who writes Le Blog de Yoro; Oliver Nyirugubara, Program Coordinator for Voices of Africa; and a blogger/activist from Iran who asked not to be named because it would put her under unnecessary risk.

These are the prototypical bloggers and activists we read and talk about all the time, the ones who fight within or from the outside for freedom of expression in the repressive regimes in their countries (or in one case: corruption in their not-so-repressive regime). These are folks who take real risks every day to do what they’re doing. And I can’t overstate how much that demands our respect and support.

The Global Media Forum will be on again next year. If you get the chance, don’t miss out. It’s inspiring, and impressive.

For more impressions, Nancy Watzman also shares some of her thoughts on the conference, as does Kevin Anderson.

Photo by Deutsche Welle: Panel on Citizen Journalism and Freedom of Speech, with Gabriel Gonzalez (center) giving a brief introduction

Traditional media goes mobile streaming: Gannett & Mogulus?


Mogulus logoAs Techcrunch announced today, video streaming service Mogulus just got a big of extra cash ($10 million). What interesting here is who that money is coming from: Gannett, a major U.S. based publisher and very much a traditional media outlet:

[Garnett] publishes 85 daily newspapers, including USA TODAY, and nearly 900 non-daily publications. (…) The company is the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S.

Neither Mogulus nor Gannett mention anything on their blogs, websites or in their press releases (yet), so handle Techcrunch’s info with care. But if this is true, then Gannett’s investing in a video streaming service like Mogulus is a good indicator of how media is evolving. And indeed, giving your readers, users or citizen journalists the tools to capture their own news would make a lot of sense particularly for traditional outlets. So it should be interesting to see how this plays out.

Update: Both companies confirmed the deal: Gannett’s press release, Mogulus’ press release, Mogulus’ blog post. Please note that neither company discloses the amount of the investment.

CNN launches iReport, gets serious about Citizen Journalism?


CNN will launch a new Citizen Journalism portal, reports Mediaweek. Going by the name iReport, the project will be a portal for user-generated video news.

The CNN has been accepting photos and videos (called, in CNN speak, I-Reports) by their viewers since 2006. So the TV channel has a little bit of experience with user-generated content.

However, as Mashable points out, it’s pretty unclear where the CNN will try to go with iReport.com. Susan Grant, executive vp of CNN News Services, is quoted quite contradictory. On the one hand, Grant claims that iReport will be “completely unvetted.” On the other hand, she says: “We’ll be telling people in lots of different ways that it’s a post-moderated site.”

Now that’s quite a difference, I’d say. However, I’ll be more than happy to give the CNN a chance here. If they get it right, a smart video news portal by citizen journalists for citizens could be quite an ambitious project. Which leaves me hoping – but not quite believing – that Mashable’s Mark Hopkins is wrong when he claims that “CNN is completely blinded by the dollar signs” involved in citizen journalism.

Die Bedeutung von Weblogs für die Arbeit von Politikjournalisten: Meine Magisterarbeit ist online


Gerade habe ich die Nachricht erhalten, dass meine Magisterarbeit bewertet wurde. Das heißt auch, dass ich sie jetzt online veröffentlichen darf. Für die Arbeit habe ich Politikjournalisten interviewt, die bei deutschen Tageszeitungen (Print und Online) sowie bei Nachrichtenagenturen arbeiten. Thema: Welche Bedeutung haben Weblogs für ihre Arbeit und wie nutzen sie Weblogs? (Sie nutzen Weblogs kaum.)

Die Magisterarbeit ist veröffentlicht unter einer Creative Commons license (by-nc-sa). Weitere Informationen über die Arbeit gibt es hier.

Kurzfassung Ob als Konkurrenz oder Partner der traditionellen Medien, Weblogs wird eine wachsende Bedeutung für den Journalismus zugesprochen (vgl. u.a. Gillmor 2006, Neuberger 2006b, Bucher/Büffel 2006, Benkler 2006): Im US-Wahlkampf sind Blogger als politische Kommentatoren längst eine ernstzunehmende Größe geworden und auch in Deutschland setzen Unter-nehmen und Parteien zunehmend Weblogs als Kommunikationsmittel ein.

Doch welche Bedeutung haben Weblogs für die tägliche Arbeit von Politikjournalisten in Deutschland? Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit wurden Politikjournalisten aus den Redaktionen deutscher Tageszeitungen (Print und Online) und von Nachrichtenagenturen dazu befragt, welche Bedeutung Weblogs für ihre Arbeit haben.

Die befragten Politikjournalisten bescheinigten Weblogs mehrheitlich eine geringe Bedeutung für ihre tägliche Arbeit. Für die Auslandsberichterstattung wurde Weblogs eine größere Bedeutung zugeschrieben als für die innenpolitische Berichterstattung.

Schlagwörter: Weblogs, Blogs, Blogosphäre, Politikjournalisten, Citizen Journalism, partizipativer Journalismus, Web 2.0, Journalismus

Die Magisterarbeit ist im Volltext hier abrufbar: Die Bedeutung von Weblogs für die Arbeit von Politikjournalisten (Bihr 2007) (PDF, 1MB, 227 Seiten)

Außerdem habe ich für eine Seite über die Magisterarbeit angelegt, auf der alle relevanten Informationen gesammelt sind.

Ich bin gespannt auf dein Feedback. Falls du also etwas zu der Arbeit zu sagen hast (und da gibt es sicherlich eine ganze Menge!), nur zu!

I’m curious about your feedback, so if you have anything to add (and I’m sure there is plenty!) please get in touch.

The Relevance of Weblogs for the Work of Political Journalists: My Masters Thesis is Online


I just received news that my masters thesis has been graded (1.0 = “very good”), which also means I’m now allowed to publish it online. For the thesis, I interviewed political journalists working at German newspapers (print and online) as well as news agencies about the relevance of weblogs for their work, and how they make use of weblogs. (They hardly do.)

The thesis is released under a Creative Commons license (by-nc-sa), more info about the thesis here.

Abstract As either competition or partners of traditional media, weblogs are assumed to become increasingly relevant for journalism (see Gillmor 2006, Neuberger 2006b, Bucher/Büffel 2006, Benkler 2006): In US election campaigns, bloggers have long since become heavyweights in their role as political commentators, and in Germany corporations and political parties also increasingly use weblogs as a means of communication.

How relevant are weblogs for the day-to-day work of political journalists in Germany? For this study, I interviewed political journalists working at German newspapers (print and online) as well as news agencies about the relevance of weblogs for their work.

The interviewed political journalists attested weblogs to be of little relevance for their work. Weblogs were attributed more relevance for international political reporting than for domestic political reporting.

Keywords: Weblogs, Blogs, Blogosphere, Political Journalists, Citizen Journalism, Participatory Journalism, Web 2.0, Journalism

The thesis is available here (German only except for the abstract): Die Bedeutung von Weblogs für die Arbeit von Politikjournalisten (Bihr 2007) (PDF, 1MB, 227 pages)

I’m curious about your feedback, so if you have anything to add (and I’m sure there is plenty!) please get in touch.