This week on Square Mile Reports (22/01/2012) we have a Citizen Journalism special.
On Saturday January 14th Square Mile Reports went along to De Montfort University to attend the Square Mile community journalist workshop. Ran by the Director of the Leicester Centre for Journalism John Dilley the workshop focused on writing styles, photo composition, story angles, and a brief overlook of media law.
John’s DMU profile page describes him as being in charge of the ‘sexy’ part of the curriculum, helping students produce real stories on real papers and real websites on a daily basis. That’s exactly what John did at the community journalism workshop helping the group to produce an article for the forthcoming Square Mile newsletter.
We spoke to John about the importance Citizen Journalism, how it differs from mainstream reporting, the areas it tends to focus on and ways people can get their work seen by a large audience using the online technologies such as blogs, forums and websites.
Then we caught up with the class members who told how they are planning to get their voice heard and the particular news and events that are of interest to them.
As if that wasn’t enough we also spoke to John Coster the editor of Citizens’ Eye , the community news agency which covers Leicester and Leicestershire, about the subject of citizen journalism.
In the 4 years since its inception Citizens’ Eye has attracted a lot of attention both locally and nationally for covering stories and issues that are not always represented in the mainstream media issues relating to disability, human rights and ex-offenders have been highlighted by the organisation. Late last year Citizens’ Eye was named by the Media Trust as the first beacon hub for citizen journalism in the UK.
We caught up with John on a particularly important day for Citizens’ Eye at the launch of the Community Media Centre 2012 a programme of events taking place in Leicester to celebrate the Cultural Olympiad.
Over a 100 people gathered at Phoenix Square for the successful opening which included a speech by Deputy Mayor Rory Palmer. Three times Gold Medal winning Paralympian Kenny ‘Mooseman’ Churchill was also present for the event.
After he’d managed to catch his breath after all of the speeches and ribbon cutting I sat down had a chat with John about the role citizen journalism plays within the community.