The Citizen Journalist

The online news magazine that enables participatory journalism with a smartphone app.

What's the big idea?

Media futurists have predicted that by 2021, “citizens will produce 50 percent of the news peer-to-peer.”

The future of news media will depend not on only how well they inform but how well they encourage and enable conversations with citizens.

The Citizen Journalist will be an online news magazine that collects content using an iPhone/Android app that allows the users to record video or images, and write an accompanying article, then transmit the data as a single package to “The Citizen Journalist” for publication. (Along with contact information for verification)

Describe the nearest player in your field.

The Huffington Post (, Slate (, The National Review (
Online news, commentary, and opinion magazines featuring general interest and politics.

How are you different from that player?

The mainstream news media have yet to meaningfully adopt or experiment with participatory journalism systems.

How's the world different with your idea in it?

Currently a handfull of corporations controls the mainstream press. Online bloggers offer an alternative, but they are often lacking credibility.

“The Citizen Journalist” seeks to enable participatory journalism while maintaining journalistic integrity through built in verification systems.

Why are you the one to run with this idea?

The free press is the life-blood of democracy. Currently the flow of news and information is controlled by a small group of wealthy media moguls. I believe that the quality of news and information can be enhanced by putting that power back in the hands of the people.

There have been 6 replies to this page

  1. Jonathan Pichot

    Why not just write for the Rapidian?

  2. Adam Bird

    With Jonathan on this one. And in my experience most people are poor writers, especially when it comes to explaining something complicated to a simple audience.

  3. Dan Mulligan


    “The Rapidian” is a local newspaper. This has nothing to do with local news. 

    Last year during the arab spring uprising it was almost impossible for mainstream news agencies to get news reports out of some areas where the protests were happening and the military was cracking down hard. So, Al Jazeera passed out prepaid cell phones to cab drivers and said, “when you see news happening record it and send the video and images to us.”

    Unfortunately, they were unable to confirm a lot of the news that they acquired that way, so they often had to publish with a disclaimer that said “we can not confirm the story, but we received this video from a citizen ....”

    The idea behind the smartphone app is to enable this kind of participatory journalism while maintaining journalistic integrity. The video or images and article are sent with contact information, gps information and profile info, so the editors can confirm what is sent.

    Also, there are editors. If the writing is sub par the editor calls the person and interviews them, the editor can write the actual article if need be.

  4. Dan Mulligan


    I am glad that you made the comment about writing for “the Rapidian.” “The Citizen Journalist” is not intended to be a local publication.
    It is intended to be very much like other online news magazines like “The Huffington Post” (, “Slate” (, and “The National Review” (
    Like those online magazines it will feature syndicated news, featured writers, news aggregation, blogs and editorial commentary.
    However, “The CJ,” will also feature content that is collected from users. This does not mean that it is not edited for readability,  or vetted for accuracy; the idea is to enable participatory journalism while providing news and information that the reader can trust.

  5. Dan Mulligan


    From “Wikipedia:”

    “New media technology, such as social networking and media-sharing websites, in addition to the increasing prevalence of cellular phones, have made citizen journalism more accessible to people worldwide. Die to the availability of technology, citizens can often report breaking news more quickly than traditional media reporters. Notable examples of citizen journalism reporting from major world events are the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Critics of the phenomenon, including professional journalists, claim that citizen journalism is unregulated, too subjective, amateurish, and haphazard in quality and coverage.”

  6. Gabriela Marchitelli

    Clearly for decases we’ve found that reports from the citizens have captured our attention on a national/international stage… Rodney King, Japan’s Tsunami Disaster, Treyvon Martin, Fort Hood Shooting,  even President Kennedy’s assasination, as well as Arab Spring and Occupy… and it seems quite timely to capture the tools (cell phones, photo apps, the huge social media audience) and add to it the validation, editorial support, and journalistic integrity that this proposed Start Garden idea proposes.  It’s an idea who’s time has come!

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