Tooling up the #CitizenJournalist: @ange_gee_gee reports on #ComeCreate

Angela Gee
Angela Gee is a journalism and arts student at the University of Queensland. Her small town upbringing has led to a passion for writing about rural and regional issues. Angela is also interested in the role of citizen journalists and the changing face of news. You can view some of her work here or follow her on twitter @ange_gee_gee.
Angela Gee
- 7 years ago
Angela Gee

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Angela Gee

THE face of journalism is continually evolving and the increased role of citizen journalists is one indicator of this. While websites like No Fibs provide a voice for citizen journalists they are still regarded as lacking the authority and accuracy which mainstream media journalists and publications are thought to possess. Recently, I have been a part of a group of students from the University of Queensland who are looking to create a tool to help assist citizen journalists.

We also want to find out from citizen journalists whether they would use a tool like this.

No Fibs contributor and arts editor Michael Burge (@burgewords) offered his insight into the state of citizen journalism and identified several issues which impact citizen journalists including a ‘vulnerability to litigation’, access to media events and the image of citizen journalists in the eye of the public. Burge believes citizen journalists face the issue of not “being taken seriously by readers and audiences who often think a citizen journalist is ‘lesser than’ because they are not a ‘proper’ journalist.”

The tool we are creating – ComeCreate – looks to solve these issues with a particular focus on improving reliability and credibility, which Burge believes are ‘major issues for citizen journalists’. ComeCreate will be a web-based application which will offer users the opportunity to source stories, share content and link to source material for greater reliability.

ComeCreate will provide users with a history of their stories and drafts

ComeCreate will provide users with a history of their stories and drafts

The application will also support greater interaction between the reader and the citizen journalist by providing readers with the ability to submit and suggest content and stories. After considering what our tool offers, Burge identified this ability for interaction between citizen journalists and readers as having the potential to break new ground alongside interaction platforms which are emerging.

When asked what he believed would be valuable in a tool to assist citizen journalists, Burge said that “support and guidance on effective ways to sub-edit citizen journalists work, anything which under the mainstream media used to be called ‘editorial production’ would be an invaluable tool for the ‘average’ citizen journalist right now.”

ComeCreate plans to offer this by allowing users to draft their stories with others by asking for suggestions in terms of their written content, photographs and other material as well as headlines.

While ComeCreate is still is the design phase, to make it a valuable tool for citizen journalists it needs support and input from citizen journalists and readers. One of the biggest factors when designing a tool such as this is making sure that it is something that is genuinely needed by citizen journalists and incorporates the features which citizen journalists require and would actually use.

As a part of this process we are asking for your thoughts and feedback on how you as a reader would like to interact with citizen journalists. We also want to find out from citizen journalists whether they would use a tool like this and what features they would use or like to see incorporated. Share your thoughts in the comment section or join in the #ComeCreate conversation on Twitter.


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Comments


  1. Hi Ange, the concept looks very good and the points you raise re: barriers/risks/quality are definitely real issues. If #ComeCreate can improve these I would certainly be interested in using it.

  2. Rosemary Smith says

    I personally enjoy reading the work of the Citizen Journalist. I feel this form of media is far more open and thought provoking.
    I have honestly had enough and I am sure many thousands like me, of the control that Murdoch has on most forms of media. They use dirty and unfair tactics. A disgrace to democracy.

  3. whatismore says

    No Fibs, IA and AIM Poll bludger are about all I read now. Even the Guardian and to a lesser extent Saturdays Paper are timid and insipid.


  4. “. . . citizen journalists they are still regarded as lacking the authority and accuracy which mainstream media journalists and publications are thought to possess.”

    Perhaps, definitely true of MSM journalists I’d guess. As to ‘your average punter’ I’d guess they would often read those they find informative who are roughly in line with their own perspectives.