New Voices in Citizen Journalism

A quiet revolution in journalism is taking place, according to Mark Glazer, with the emergence of "hyperlocal online publications that promise to publish nearly every article, opinion and photo that any Joe Blow might submit. In a small corner of small Bakersfield, California, a bold publisher launched the Northwest Voice online and in print in May and has already had nearly 500 people submit articles or photos. In Skokie, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, students at Northwestern University launched GoSkokie to study how citizen media sites might operate with little editorial oversight. In Columbia, Missouri, students at the University of Missouri launched MyMissourian in affiliation with the student-run daily newspaper and with a miracle budget near $0." According to the Northwest Voice's Mary Lou Fulton, "We are the traditional journalism model turned upside down. Instead of being the gatekeeper, telling people that what's important to them 'isn't news,' we're just opening up the gates and letting people come on in. We are a better community newspaper for having thousands of readers who serve as the eyes and ears for the Voice, rather than having everything filtered through the views of a small group of reporters and editors."