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Citizen Journalism, also public of participatory journalism, is news, media, and information, presented and/or created by citizens, not necessarily for professional or profit-oriented purposes. Citizen journalism is often created to provide information that the mainstream media is failing to provide, or to present a social or political cause through journalistic means.

Citizen Journalism at IDEA


Navigating Citizen Journalism on Debatepedia

This is the portal page for the topic Citizen journalism. From here, you can find a number of links to information regarding citizen journalism in general, citizen journalism around the world, as well as to examples of IDEA citizen journalism.

A complete list of Debatepedia articles related to this topic can be found at Category:Citizen journalism.

Create and consume citizen journalism through IDEA!

IDEA's international, citizen journalism programs train students from around the world to create their own journalism using limited resources. Once the students have made their own public media, IDEA publishes it on its website. At the links below, you can check out media created by IDEA and IDEA students, and learn how to get yourself involved in creating media with IDEA.



Featured Stories

  • Featured print story
  • Featured radio story
  • Featured video PSA
  • Featured blog

Citizen Journalism Tools

Free Software for Creating Public Media

Free and affordable software is essential for citizen journalism, so that any citizen can create media without requiring a professional budget. This kind of software does exist as an alternative to the very expensive professional tools. For example, Adobe's Photoshop can be replaced by Gimp, a free, downloadable, open-source image manipulation program. Another alternative would be to use a program built into your computer's operating system. For example, instead of using Final Cut Pro or Avid for video editing, you can use iMovie if your computer has a Mac OS, or Windows Movie Maker if you have a Windows OS.

Open-Source Software

  • Open Office is a productivity suite that can be used for a variety of purposes, including word processing, databases, and presentations.
  • Picasa can be used for digital photography importing and editing.
  • Gimp can be used for image manipulation.
  • SonicStage can be used for audio importing.
  • Audacity can be used for audio editing.
  • Jahshaka can be used for video editing.

Software built into Operating Systems

For Windows OS
For Mac OS
  • iMovie can be used for video editing.
  • iPhoto can be used for basic photo importing and editing.

Materials for Students

Materials for Trainers

Lesson Plans

Here you will find a number of lesson plans for teaching participatory journalism. These lesson plans have been developed by the trainers of IDEA's International Debate and Citizen Journalism Institute.

You can create and share your own lesson plan, using a blank Youth Media Template!
  • Print Journalism Lesson Plan, for teaching print journalism techniques and ethics, as they apply to the conscious citizen.
  • Video PSA Lesson Plan. This is a 14-day lesson plan for teaching the use of video cameras and Microsoft Windows' built-in, video-editing software to create a public service announcement.
  • Teaching Audacity. Here you can find a four-part lesson plan for teaching Audacity, an open-source, audio-editing program.
  • Journalistic Photography Lesson Plan, for teaching photography composition, digital editing, and photo-journalism ethics to students with anything from a cell phone camera to a high-end digital SLR.
  • Recording Audio Lesson Plan, for use with a Sony Hi-MD audio recorder.
  • Sonic Stage Lesson Plan, for importing audio with Sonic Stage, an open-source, audio-importing program.

Additional Materials

External Links

For a more thorough description and history of citizen journalism as a whole, visit the Wikipedia page on citizen journalism

Learn about citizen journalism around the world

Links to other websites about citizen journalism

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