Home > Citizen/Community Journalism > Citizen Journalism – from Pamphlet to Blog

Citizen Journalism – from Pamphlet to Blog

A very interesting video on Citizen Journalism done by Cambridge Community Television in 2006. Here it is:

[blip.tv ?posts_id=64230&dest=-1]

In particular, I thought the video’s comparison of the rise of today’s Citizen Journalism in the form of blogs with the rise of pamphleteering in the US in the 1760s and 1770s was most interesting. Quoting Chris Daly, Professor of Journalism at Boston University:

There’s a really fascinating movement that grows up quite spontaneously of people who have strong opinions that they’re afraid to publish in the normal channels. They develop an alternative kind of press in the 1760s and certainly gets roaring in the 1770s, and this consists of what are known as pamphlets or broadsides. It’s all a form of guerrilla-style journalism.

Now probably the ultimate example of this style of journalism – the use of pamphlets to get around the problems of being part of the establishment – had to be the career of Tom Paine. Because what Paine did was write the most popular pamphlet of his time. In January of 1776, he wrote the pamphlet called Common Sense.

Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of Global Voices Online, continues:

This is why in the first ammendment we have enshrined this right to the free press. That’s so we could have media, because at that point a major form of political discourse was publishing your own pamphlets, or publishing your own newspapers.

Fascinating. Of course, what followed this earlier period explosion of citizen journalism in America was a revolution. Hmm, will there be a parallel this time ’round?

BTW, I discovered this video via this blog post: Citizen Journalism: The Key Trend Shaping Online News Media – Introductory Guide With Videos. It’s a nice piece, even if the preponderance of advertising is somewhat annoying.


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