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Good afternoon, guys.

I'm conducting a survey on the intersection of citizen journalism and the changes taking place in traditional media. The data will be used in a research paper submitted as my final in my NIU Media Management class (J449). If you are or were a member of the MSM, the independent press, a J school educator, or consider yourself a citizen journalist would you consider helping by answering the questions below?

The survey should take up no more than 15-20 minutes. You might find it easier to answer each question by copying and pasting them into your comment and writing your answers below each question. If you want privacy, you can send your replies to my email address at

Your answers will remain confidential (I may quote some of the replies given specifically, but will not use identifying names or places of businesses unless I receive approval from you specifically).

Survey closes on Monday, April 28, 2008.

1) Current age bracket:
a. 18-25
b. 26-35
c. 36-45
d. 46-55
e. 56-65
f. 65+

2) How long have you worked in news media?

3) What news media job title do you currently hold?

4) What former news media job titles/experience have you had?

5) Are you a member of the (select one):
a. Traditional news media
b. Independent news media
c. Citizen journalist news media
d. J-School/Academic
e. Other: __________________

6) Are you currently employed in:
a. Print
b. Broadcast TV
c. Radio
d. Internet
e. Other: __________________

7) Do you believe news media is more troubled today than last year?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Don’t know

8) If so, what is the number one challenge or problem facing traditional news media?

9) How has the rise of citizen journalism this past decade affected the work you do?

10) Which, in your opinion, is the main driver of citizen journalism:
a. Need, consumer frustration with traditional news reporting
b. Desire, citizens wishing to more actively participate in their world
c. Technology, first-ever ability to communicate on a grand scale via the Internet
d. Other: ___________________

11) What is the number one challenge or problem facing citizen-generated media?

12) What future do you wish to see for American news media?


Thank you, again, for your participation and time.

Have a great weekend!

Originally posted to Ilona's Ramblings on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I blog here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ilona, WisCheez

    so that makes me a civilian.

    I don't think the MSM has been much good since 70s.  Watergate was probably its last hurrah and only then because two guys stayed on the story the rest of the media ignored.

    TV changed everything.  It shrank the sources of news to 3 networks.  Prior to that there had been hundreds and even thousands of independent news organizations.

    It took them a while to realize they had the power to filter everything that got to us in the way of information and a while longer for ownership to realize the control was theirs.  The first generation of TV journalists (Murrow, Sevareid, Cronkite, et al) took their responsibility seriously.  The following generations have grown up in TV and they tend to think they are the message.  Those attracted to careers in TV and radio tend to be narcissistic (loving the sound of their own voice, the sight of their own face) and quite naturally less concerned about how they do their job than how they are perceived to be doing it.  This also makes them want to be "popular" so they tend to parrot whatever they see as the message people want to hear (whether their bosses, who can take away that beautiful mirror, or the public).

    They are not journalists anymore.  At best they are entertainers and at worst they are advertizers.

    We are the journalists now.  Some of work within the MSM (fortunately) without selling our souls to it.  Others just volunteer.

    •  Watergate... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Urizen, oibme, WisCheez, earicicle

      I was too young at the time, but my Dad always used to say that the only reason that story got off the ground was because the reporters pounded away at it day after day until the public began to fully realize what value it had. The "drive-by" reporting of today does not give the important stories enough time to gain a foothold.

      Thanks so much for your comment, Urizen.

      •  I was a teenager then (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ilona, WisCheez

        working as a messenger.  I'd wait around in offices for whatever it was I had to carry so I read newspapers all the time.  Fortunately I was in Boston and the Globe carried the WaPo stories (The NYT didn't touch it for months).  

        Until these wonderful tubes came along I was a newspaper addict even though they stopped serving the public and only served whatever agenda the money tol;d them to.  I'm thrilled I don't have to support them anymore.  I really miss the NYT crossword though.

  •  I wish I could claim journalism status (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ilona, Urizen, WisCheez

    I'd love to fill out your survey, ilona.  But I am in no sense a journalist.  There is a distinction between journalist and citizen that requires some blurring, but not complete elimination.

    Citizens are learning how to practice journalism in the face of the abject failure of the corporate media to deliver people the news.  Journalists, too often, forget their duties as citizens and the special role their profession plays in keeping our democracy healthy.

    The intersection between the concepts of "citizen" and "journalist" is a very fruitful area for academic inquiry.  I wish you well in your studies.  You are one of my greatest heroes.

    Hanoi didn't break John McCain, but Washington did.

    by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:42:36 AM PDT

    •  Yes, you are a journalist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ilona, WisCheez

      You write and people read what you write (I know I've read comments of yours and thought abou them before).  This is my favorite newspaper, full of noise and opinion.  

    •  You are a journalist... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, Urizen, WisCheez

      ...if what you blog about and research is done with intention to disseminate that data and information to other citizens in order to enrich the discourse in our public square...and you do that in spades.

      Citizens are learning how to practice journalism in the face of the abject failure of the corporate media to deliver people the news.

      Yes, that's my feeling, too. My paper (it is only an undergrad paper, and it is not anything groundbreaking at all) is an attempt to show a correlation between the rise of cj and the decline of newsroom research departments. I know that's why I've been blogging for years, and I assume it's the same for many others out there, too.

      Thanks, so much, for always being such a kind soul to me.

      •  I'm more of a cyber-pundit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I try to shape opinion and give context to information provided by others.  That's basically what I do here, since I have so little original information to share.  That's come to be called journalism, but it's something different.

        It's always been a pleasure to support you in any meager way.  Your story shows why all this blogging stuff is important:  occasionally it gives rise to heroes like you.

        Hanoi didn't break John McCain, but Washington did.

        by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 11:06:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Will answer your survey via e later this weekend if possible. (Am on deadline!) Dropping a comment in so I can link back later to the diary for the questions.

    Good luck with the survey!

    Sweet are the uses of adversity...[Find] tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It

    by earicicle on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:51:35 AM PDT

  •  I used to think I was a citizen journalist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ilona, WisCheez

    But my writing pales in comparison with those here.  I'm over 50, retired (under 60), mother and active in my school district as a voice.

    Retired (involuntarily) from the high-tech industry.

    As for number 7 - absolutely.  And citizen-generated journalism has a street cred gap. I don't know what it will take to leap that bar but for now it is there.

  •  I wish I fit into a category (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You know how I respect and would love to help you - but alas...Good luck with the program!

  •  Interesting survey, great topic! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm a freelancer.  I'll send you an email -- want to think about it a little bit first.  As far as #11 goes I've got a quick answer -- financial remuneration; that's the challenge as I see it.      

        It's neither fair, nor at all realistic to expect the volunteer efforts of citizen journalism to produce the deeply researched original reporting we need if we're going to be informed voters.  (Not that the traditional media is in any way fulfilling the mission....)

    Hoping for peace and understanding; wishing you the same.

    by WisCheez on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:50:34 PM PDT

    •  oh, & congrats on that impressive award ! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Hoping for peace and understanding; wishing you the same.

      by WisCheez on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 12:54:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks so much, WisCheez... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...will look for that in email. Appreciate it!

      And, I agree with your comment here about the need to have a strong MSM, not a weak one, esp. when it comes to print media. Newspaper investigations/articles generally drive the rest of the news, don't they? If they stop reporting on things that matter, every other media format has all that much less of substance to work up from.

      Thanks again in advance for your time and help...

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